In the autumn of 1848, a group of men, including clerks, artisans and business men, decided to organize a new fire engine company. One of them was Tweed. It was not Tweed's idea. Nor that of any of his associates. It was a neighborhood need, and had been discussed for months, ever since the Black Joke, as the old fire engine company on Gouverneur Street was known, had been disbanded. Some of the boyhood chums of Tweed, former members of his Cherry Hill gang, were among the active proponents of the new unit of red shirts. Of course there was one practical politician among them. He was John J. Reilly, who represented the district in the State Assembly. It was Reilly who invited Tweed to join the Volunteers.