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ments for giving larger privileges to the reform was won, Tammany was on masses of the people is long and per- the side of the poor man. Let this be suasive. William Mooney, a Revolu- remembered to its credit. tionary soldier and the keeper of an The patron saints of American demoupholstery shop, organized the society. crats during the first half of the nineIts first members were the 'Liberty teenth century were Thomas Jefferson Boys'-advocates of American inde- and Andrew Jackson. The Tammany pendence, who were aligned against Society became an active ally of both of Tories in particular and aristocrats in these Presidents. Many of their pargeneral. Tammany was created to ticular issues have little significance tooffset the influence of the newly formed day. Certainly the Jackson campaign Society of the Cincinnati, which it against the United States Bank has was feared might be the nucleus of an lost its meaning for a generation which hereditary aristocracy. At that time seeks financial stability in the Federal suffrage was strictly a privilege of Reserve System. But a hundred years property. Veterans of the Revolution ago the bank issue roused the country. who had borne hardships of war found Wisely or unwisely, the 'under dogs' themselves disfranchised at its close, were with Jackson. Tammany shared while rich Tories who had sided with in the spoils of Old Hickory's victory. Great Britain were able to vote after The Tammany of that early day also Alexander Hamilton had restored their took the popular side of the corporation privileges. Tammany became the issue. A large group of American citispokesman of manhood suffrage. The zens, often a majority, opposed the struggle was long and bitter. It is formation of corporations. The oppoalmost impossible now to realize the sition was futile but it seems to have contempt with which the aristocrats been almost instinctive. The issue viewed the aspirations of those who still fundamental — of the proper place would vote without the qualifications of the corporation in the State, was of property. Tammany became en- then being fought in every industrial trenched in the affections of the com- and commercial community. Corpomon people by advocating this cause rations have of course prospered deand its victory founded Tammany's spite every attempt on the part of legisprestige.
latures and congresses to thwart their Tammany aligned itself against im- growth; and often, in specific struggles, prisonment for debt from the begin- certain ones have had no more dependning. Under the debtor's law, it was able allies than the Tammany leaders. estimated that as many as 10,000 un- Still, nominally at least, Tammany has fortunates were imprisoned during a professed an anti-corporation creed single year. At one time the legislature from the days of Jackson's contest with was informed that upward of a thou- Nicholas Biddle down to the present sand debtors were confined in the New warfare of Mayor Hylan against the York jail. These wretches, kept in companies which operate New York prison at the will of their creditors, City's transit facilities. were neither fed nor clothed by the In all these matters Tammany has public authority. Although Tam- consistently preached, even if it has many's zeal in campaigning for a repeal not always practised, what its leaders of these barbarous acts often flagged, believed to be popular. by and large during the generation In 1868 the Democratic National of agitation which passed before the Convention, held in the new Tammany
Hall, nominated Tammany's candidate, prevent electric-power companies from Horatio Seymour, for the Presidency. destroying the scenic beauty of Niagara Tammany campaigned as the friend of Falls. Numerous laws designed to prothe poor. The general committee, with tect working men and women and their ‘Boss' Tweed in the chair, appealed children have been placed upon the for the election of Seymour in these statute books by the power of Tamwords: —
many. We believe in our cause. It is the In none of these matters was Tamcause of constitutional liberty, of per many a voice crying in the wilderness. sonal rights, of a fraternity of States, It has always been contemptuous of of an economical government, of the what its leaders call ‘idealistic reform.' financial credit of the nation, of one But once reform has won enough currency for all men, rich and poor, and adherents to pass into the stage of of the political supremacy of the white practical politics, Tammany has been race and the protection of American quick to pledge itself to whatever it labor. . . . Is not the pending contest believed would benefit the majority of preëminently one of capital against la- its constituents. This foresight in bor, of money against popular rights, part accounts for its persistent power. of political power against the struggling In the municipal affairs of New York interests of the masses?'
City, Tammany, despite the sordid This is a characteristic utterance. peculations of many of its leaders and
On one great issue, human slavery, members, has evidenced imagination. the Democratic Party conspicuously Many of the significant achievements failed, and Tammany, as its New York of the city are due to Tammany men. City agent, shared in that failure. Yet Central Park is a typical example. The in general, Tammany kept in tune with suggestion which led to the creation of the feelings of workingmen. It sup the park was first officially broached ported Horace Greeley for the Presi. in 1851 by Mayor A. C. Kingland, dency. During the dark years of re- a Whig, although Tweed is credited
with the South. It opposed the grants Tammany governments seized upon of public lands to railroads; and one of the idea and carried it through to its favorite sons, the present Governor completion. Alfred E. Smith, is largely responsible In these public enterprises Tammany for the final enactment of New York's politicians have not always been actuprogressive industrial code.
ated by the purest motives. On the Charles F. Murphy himself intro- contrary, scandals resulting from purduced the resolution pledging the Dem- chases of property for the city and from ocratic Party of the State of New York the letting of contracts on public works to seek the direct election of United account for much of the ill fame of the States Senators. The first legislative organization. Nevertheless, building proposal looking to the regulation of has been continuous. Tammany was public utilities was made in 1906 by responsible for the creation of Riverside a Tammany Senator. Approval of the Drive, that magnificent boulevard federal amendment making possible the along the Hudson; Tammany was reestablishment of the income-tax system sponsible for the Croton Aqueduct, and was brought about by Tammany legis- later for the tunnels and lakes through lators. Members of the same organiza- which New York brought its water tion were conspicuous in the fight to more than a hundred miles from the
Catskills; Tammany built Brooklyn from holding office. The allegation was Bridge. Long ago this link between the denied, but Tammany for some time two populous boroughs of Greater New continued to be considered anti-foreign York has been dwarfed by other struc- and in particular anti-Irish. On one tures, but at the time of its completion famous occasion a mob of two hundred in 1883 it was a symbol of the might of Irishmen invaded the Wigwam for the the metropolis. Tammany, whatever purpose of protesting against discrimithe shortcomings of some of its leaders, nation. They were expelled after a has thus been consistently a creator. riot. But a few years thereafter TamIt advocated public schools and it has many became the recognized friend of supported the College of the City of the immigrant and demanded that the New York. Tweed himself was respon- period of naturalization be shortened. sible for housing the Metropolitan During all the subsequent veering Museum in Central Park. Tammany tides of immigration Tammany has saw the possibility of creating a system maintained its position as the constant of public wharves. This enterprise too ally of the new citizen. This was the bred its scandal, but to-day New York case back in the years around 1850 actually possesses the docks. Tam when hundreds of thousands of immimany's sins are forgiven because Tam- grants from Ireland, Germany, and many officials have more initiative than Northern Europe were entering the interim ‘reform' governments. Tam United States, and it was still true sixty many's driving power constructed the years later when the newer immigration subways, the operation of which has from Central and Southern Europe was been the centre of contention during in full tide. In truth, there has been no Mayor Hylan's two administrations. more interesting political phenomenon Tammany not only favored munici- in this country than the adaptability pally owned subways after two of its shown by Tammany in winning the financial allies ceased to be interested in allegiance of widely various immigrant the transit companies, but also took the groups. “Big Tim' Sullivan, one of the further step of demanding city opera- more famous of the leaders of the last tion. This, with its fight for a five-cent few years, once boasted that he had fare, which goes back to Cleveland's made Columbus Day a holiday in order time, alone explains much of the to please the Italian voters. Sullivan strength which the ancient organizamay have taken too much credit for the tion has possessed during the last seven creation of this new festival, yet it is years.
undeniably true that the political Irishman has been a vigilant shepherd of
Italian and Jewish voters. Tammany's ability to keep its princi- Tammany is not only the first friend ples in harmony with the views of the of the newly arrived alien, it is also the masses of the people is also proved by kindly acquaintance of any voter who its attitude toward immigrants. Dur- happens to need whatever services a ing its early years the organization was politician can render. Its social and dominated by an anti-alien spirit not charitable features are of ancient oriunlike that recently roused in various gin. The Society of Saint Tammany parts of America. In 1817 Tammany was at first a patriotic institution, defiwas publicly accused of considering a nitely anti-British. Both Federalists change in its constitution through and Republicans were members. It which foreign-born might be excluded made much of the Fourth of July, its
orators extolling the virtues of native place of its multitudinous members, Americans and in particular of the but the district organizations have legendary Indian Chief Tammany, their own clubs where comradeship is whose name was given to the organiza- kept alive. Many Tammany men tion. A museum of Indian relics was never appear in the Hall. Judge Gaymaintained and the thirteen sachems nor, as we have seen, entered it only who ruled the organization were the after Tammany had made him Mayor. titular heads of as many tribes. It was Until recently, of course, the saloons from the first a club, a poor man's club. were also familiar meeting-places for
however, Tammany had shed its Fed. Charles F. Murphy got his start in eralists and was accepted as a definite politics through the barrooms which he part of the so-called Republican, that is owned. Disappearance of the recogthe Jeffersonian or Democratic, politi- nized liquor centre has not, however, cal organization.
diminished the interest of Tammany in In 1805 the society obtained a char- social affairs. The early manhood of ter from the Legislature as a benevolent such a conspicuous member of the and charitable body for the purpose of organization as Governor Alfred E. affording relief to the indigent and dis- Smith, the child of an East Side teamtressed members of said association, ster, found its chief color in the organitheir widows and orphans, and others Zation in his district. ‘Al' Smith and who may be the proper objects of their tens of thousands of his fellows were charity.' This Tammany Society still made to feel at home in district Tamlives and owns the structure known as many clubs. Vast numbers of the old Tammany Hall. Out of members of New Yorkers have the same kindly the Society the political organization memories of this political organization known as Tammany Hall was formed. which others have of their colleges. The Society and the Hall are seldom About thirty-five district clubs in the separated in the public mind, yet they Tammany Manhattan organization exercise slightly different functions, own their properties. In Charles F. even though their memberships inter- Murphy's old Twelfth District alone lock to some extent. The Society of there are now three Tammany clubs. Saint Tammany is responsible for the Perhaps the most famous is the Downsocial and charitable features which town Tammany Club at 59 Madison have done so much to strengthen the Street, near Governor Smith's old political organization. Fitz-Greene home, which is run under the ægis of Halleck expressed a tradition which has Tom Foley, one of the last of the oldnot yet perished, even though the type leaders. Foley began life as a porter is no longer obtainable, when he saloonkeeper and his ways have been wrote concerning the saloon beneath a none too gentle. But year after year he former home of the organization: has retained power despite changes in
the racial character of his district. It is There 's a barrel of porter at Tammany Hall, a tradition there that as the children of And the Bucktails are swigging it all the night
his neighborhood grow into boyhood long; In time of my boyhood 't was pleasant to call
and desire to organize baseball teams they can rely on ‘Old Tom' for aid in
buying the desired equipment. Later New York is too large a city for Tam- these boys of German, Italian, Irish, many Hall to be the physical meeting- Jewish, and American stock find a welcome at Tom Foley's club. The district distributed $50,000 in his own ward. leader of the Foley or Murphy type Of course, it was later proved that he
If a man wants a job, one of his Tam- charity, but New York remembered many friends will try to find work for other venal persons who did not feel him. If one of the 'boys’ gets into a moved to share ill-gotten gains with fight and is arrested, he naturally looks their poverty-stricken fellow citizens. to Tammany for relief. Tammany is Tammany has so managed its beliterally a friend at court. In a perfect nevolence as to awaken and retain the world justice would be so even-handed goodwill of the recipients. Apart from that none would need such alliances; political considerations this suggests a but in our practical compromising certain astuteness, since even those civilization many whose sins are slight who make of philanthropy a profession are freed on a good word spoken by a do not always obtain gratitude for their neighbor with political associations. efforts. Tammany's leaders, most of
Tammany is consistently a friend to whom have risen from poverty, possess unfortunates. It does not administer a lively sense of both the needs and relief with the regularity or the intelli- prides of the poor. Thus, while he was gence, for that matter, of a modern still an inconspicuous district leader, charity organization, but in bluff Charles F. Murphy contributed the hearty fashion it makes its contri- larger part of $4000 given by the Tambutions when and where it pleases. many General Committee for the relief Nor is this a recent development. The of those suffering during the blizzard of winter following the panic of 1837 was 1888. Of this sum, $1500 was given to marked by unemployment, poverty, Dr. W. S. Rainsford, rector of St. and suffering in New York. A Whig George's Church, for distribution. Dr. administration in power did nothing for Rainsford was so moved that he said the unemployed. Tammany promptly from his pulpit that if all the Tamorganized relief committees in various many leaders were like Mr. Murphy wards which distributed food, fuel, and the organization would be admirable. clothing. One prominent leader made a Throughout its history this spirit has habit of going about with a large basket been often manifested. If the philanin which he collected articles of food for thropy of this political organization the hungry. The motives of the Tam- were to be contrasted with the giving of many politicians who distributed their a well-managed social workers' society alms among the voters were challenged with ample funds, its record might then as now, but after all Tammany seem paltry; yet Tammany has been has always had rivals whose political neighborly with its philanthropy. ethics did not lead them to such expressions of compassion for the needy. Wisely or not the poor have remembered the aid given them in the pinches. The Tammany Society, which still ‘Boss' Tweed, perhaps the most no operates under its charter as a benevotorious figure American politics has lent institution, is managed by thirteen developed, ran true to form in this line. sachems, four of whom are also district During the winter of 1870–71, when leaders of Tammany Hall. The politianother historic panic had paralyzed cal organization rents the Wigwam the country, Tweed gave $1000 to each from the Society. Often when the alderman to buy coal for the poor. He thirty-five district leaders who are the