The History of Tammany Hall

CHAPTER XXII
The Civil War and After
1859-1867



THE stirring years of the Civil War were drawing near.  In this crisis, Tammany, ever pro-slavery, dealt in no equivocal phrases.  On November 1, 1859, at a meeting called to order by Isaac V. Fowler, James T. Brady, acting as president, referred to John Brown’s raid as “riot, treason and murder.”  Brady and others spoke dolefully of the dire consequences of a continuation of the abolition agitation and prophesied that if the “irrepressible conflict” ever came, it would result in an extermination of the black race.

But Grand Sachem Fowler was not to officiate at any more meetings.  He had been living for several years at a rate far beyond his means.  In one year his bill at the New York Hotel, which he made the Democratic headquarters, amounted to $25,000.1  He had spent $50,000 toward the election of Buchanan.  A social favorite, he gave frequent and lavish entertainments.2  President Pierce had appointed him Postmaster, but the salary was only $2,500 a year, and he had long ago exhausted his private means and much of the property of his family.  It was therefore a source of wonder whence his money came.  The problem was cleared up when, on May 10, 1860, he was removed from office, and an order was issued for his arrest under the accusation of having embezzled $155,000.3  The filching, it appeared, had been going on since 1855.4

Isaiah Rynders, then United States Marshal at New York, upon receiving orders to arrest Fowler, went to his hotel, but tarried at the bar and by his loud announcement of his errand, allowed word to be taken to Fowler, who forthwith escaped.  He subsequently made his way to Mexico.  His brother, John Walker Fowler, who upon recommendation of the “seven Sachems” had been appointed clerk to Surrogate Gideon J. Tucker, subsequently absconded with $31,079.65 belonging to orphans and others.5

In 1860 Tammany was greatly instrumental in inducing the Democrats of New York State to agree upon a fusion Douglas-Bell-Breckinridge electoral ticket.  On the registration and election days the frauds practised against the Lincoln electors surpassed anything the city had known.  In the Third Ward 63 fictitious names were registered in a single election district.  Five hundred of the 3,500 names of the Twelfth Ward register were found to be fraudulent.  In the Seventeenth Ward 935 names on the registry books were spurious, no persons representing them being discoverable at the places given as their residences.  An Irish widow’s two boys, six and seven years old respectively, were registered, mother and sons, of course, knowing nothing of it — and so on ad libitum.  Fictitious names, accredited to vacant lots or uninhabited buildings, were voted by the thousands.  The announcement of the result gave the Fusionists 62,611 votes, and Lincoln 88,311.

At the outbreak of the war, Mozart Hall, for purposes of political display, took a prompt position in favor of maintaining the Union, although Wood, its master spirit, advocated, in a public message, the detaching of New York City from the Union and transforming it into a free city on the Hamburg plan.6  Tammany, perforce, had to follow the lead of Mozart Hall in parading its loyalist sentiments.  The society raised a regiment, which was taken to the field in June, 1861, by Grand Sachem William D. Kennedy.7  Tammany long dwelt upon this action as a crowning proof of its patriotism.

The real sentiments of the bulk of Tammany and of Mozart Hall were to the contrary.  Both did their best to paralyze the energies of Lincoln’s administration.  In a speech to his Mozart Hall followers at the Volks Garden, on November 27, 1861, Wood charged the national administration with having provoked the war, and said that they (the administration) meant to prolong it while there was a dollar to be stolen from the national Treasury or a drop of Southern blood to be shed.  At the Tammany celebration of July 4, 1862, Grand Sachem Nelson J. Waterbury, though expressing loyalty to the Union, averred that it was the President’s duty “to set his foot firmly upon abolitionism and crush it to pieces, and then the soldiers would fight unembarrassed, and victory must soon sit upon the National banners.” Declarations of this kind were generally received with enthusiasm in both halls.

At times, however, under the sting of severe public criticism, Tammany Hall made haste to assert its fealty to the Union cause.  In September, 1861, Elijah F. Purdy, chairman of its general committee, issued a statement that “Tammany Hall had maintained an unswerving position upon this great question from the time the first gun way fired to the present hour.  It has been zealously devoted to the Union, in favor of upholding it with the utmost resources of the nation, and opposed to any action calculated to embarrass the Government or to prevent all loyal men from standing together in solid column for the country.”  Tammany put forth the claim that “three-fourths of the volunteer soldiers enlisted in this city and at the seat of war, are Democrats attached to Tammany Hall”;  and on October 3, 1861, resolved that with a deep sense of the peril in which the Union and the Constitution were involved by the reckless war being waged for their destruction by armed traitors, it (Tammany Hall) held it to be the first and most sacred duty of every man who loved his country to support the Government.

The war, which so engaged and diverted the popular mind, served as a cover for the continued manipulation of primaries and conventions, and the consummation of huge schemes of public plunder.  Wood himself pointed out that from 1850 to 1860 the expenses of the city government had increased from over $3,800,000 to $9,758,000, yet his tenure of office from 1860 to 1862 was characterized by even worse corruption than had flourished so signally in his previous terms.  After his installation, in 1860, it was charged that he had sold the office of City Inspector to Samuel Downes, a man of wealth, for $20,000;  that Downes had paid $10,000 to certain confederates of Wood, and that he had afterward been cheated out of the office.  Another charge, the facts of which were related in a presentment by the Grand Jury, accused Wood of robbing the taxpayers of $420,000.  The Common Council had awarded a five-years’ street-cleaning contract to Andrew J. Hackley, at $279,000 a year, notwithstanding the fact that one among other responsible persons had bid $84,000 a year less.  Afraid to submit the contract to the ordeal of public opinion, which might give rise to injunctions, the Common Council sped it through both boards on the same night.  Waiting in his office until nearly midnight for the express purpose of signing it, the Mayor hastily affixed his signature the moment it reached him.  The Grand Jury found that the sum of $40,000 in bribes had been raised and paid for the passage of the contract.  It was asserted that the equivalent Wood received for signing the bill was one-fourth the amount of the contract, or $69,750 a year, for five years, free of any other consideration than his signature, the other beneficiaries of the contract supplying all the money needed to protect the fraud.  Spurred on by public opinion, the police — when the work was not done in compliance with the contract — had reported to the Controller, who had refused to pay the monthly bills.  Then the contractors reduced the pay of their laborers from $1.25 to 95 cents a day in order to make good their payments to Wood.8

Hiram Ketchum, in November, 1861, publicly accused Wood of promising two men- Woodruff and Hoffman-Mozart Hall nominations for Judgeships, upon which they each paid $5,000 in checks to Wood’s account for “election expenses.”  Pocketing the money, Wood then made an agreement with Tammany to unite on two other men — Monell and Barbour — for Judges, on condition that Tammany should not unite with the Republicans against him in the December Mayoralty election.

S.B. Chittenden, a citizen of wealth and standing, charged, in Cooper Institute, November 26, 1861, that the signature of the Street Cleaning Commissioner necessary for certain documents could be bought for $2,500, and intimated that Wood was not dissociated from the procedure.

Wood had spent an enormous amount in his political schemes.  He himself admitted, according to the testimony of A.W. Craven, Chief Engineer of the Croton Aqueduct Department, before a committee of Aldermen, “that his object in removing heads of departments was to get control of the departments, so that he could put in those who would cooperate with him and, also, could pay off his obligations.”9

It is possible to give only an outline of the “jobs” stealthily put through the Common Council.  Newspaper criticism was, in a measure, silenced by appropriations of from $10,000 to $20,000 a year for “advertising,” though occasional exposures were made in spite of this.  One of these related to the appropriation of $105,000 in July, 1860, for a few days’ entertainment of the Japanese Embassy in New York.  Of this sum only a few thousand dollars were used for the purpose, the rest being stolen.10

Never more than now was patriotism shown to be the last refuge of scoundrels.  Taking advantage of the war excitement, the most audacious designs on the city treasury were executed under color of acts of the purest patriotism.  At a special meeting of the Common Council, on August 21, 1861, called ostensibly to help the families of the poor volunteers, a measure providing for the appointment of twenty-two Street Opening Commissioners was hurriedly passed, upon motion of Alderman Terence Farley, against whom several untried indictments were pending.  Without entering into details, it can be said that this action represented a theft of $250,000, in that the Commissioners were superfluous, and their offices were created merely to make more places for a hungry host of political workers.

If the city was a richer prize than ever to the politicians, the Legislature was no less desirable.  Alien members of both branches of that body were under the complete domination of political managers.  It was notorious that the Democratic and the Republican lobby lords exchanged the votes of their respective legislative vassals, so that it mattered little to either which political party had the ascendency in the Legislature.  One celebrated lobbyist declared that it was cheaper to buy, than to elect, a Legislature.  The passage of five franchises by the Legislature, on April 17, 1860, over Gov. Morgan’s veto, cost the projectors upwards of $250,000 in money and stock.11

Apparently hostile, the leaders of Tammany and of Mozart Hall soon saw that it was to their mutual benefit to have a secret understanding as to the division of the spoils.  While Mozart had supremacy for the moment, Tammany had superior advantages.  It could point to a long record;  its organization was perfect;  it had a perpetual home, and the thousands of its disappointed ward-workers and voters who had transferred their allegiance to Mozart, in the hope of better reward, would certainly flow back in time.  This changing about was an old feature of New York politics.  A successful political party was always depleted by thousands of office-seekers who left its ranks because disappointed in their hopes.  Most important of all, Tammany had dealt the decisive blow to Mozart Hall at the Charleston convention, in 1860, and at the Syracuse convention, in September, 1861, when its delegation secured the recognition of “regularity.”

Hence Mozart Hall, to avoid losing the State offices, willingly bargained with Tammany, and in the Fall of 1861 the two combined on nominees for the Legislature.  They could not agree on the Mayoralty, Wood determining to stand for re-election.  But true to their agreement not to ally themselves with the Republicans, the Tammany leaders nominated independently, selecting C. Godfrey Gunther.  Once more a non-partizan movement sprang up to combat the forces of corruption.  The People’s Union, composed of Republicans and Democrats, succeeded, despite the usual frauds, in electing George P. Opdyke, a Republican, by less than 1,000 plurality, he receiving 25,380 votes;  Gunther, 24,767;  and Wood 24,167.  In violation of the law, returns in ten districts were held back for evident purposes of manipulation.  When the figures showed Opdyke’s election, attempts were made to deprive him of his certificate on the pretense that the returns as published in the daily newspapers were inaccurate.  After much counting by the Board of Aldermen, whose attempt at “counting out” Opdyke was frustrated by the vigilance of his friends, the latter was declared elected by 613 plurality.

Newspaper accounts described a lively time, quite in keeping with a long line of precedents, in Tammany Hall on election night.  The crowd was in unpleasant humor because of Gunther’s defeat.  When “Jimmy” Nesbit, a good-natured heeler of the Sixth Ward, was called upon to preside, he tried to Evoke cheers for Gunther.  Chafing at the lack of enthusiasm, he swore fiercely at his hearers.  A shout was heard, “Three cheers for Fernando Wood,” whereupon the eminent chairman lost his equanimity and let fly a pitcher at the offender’s head.  He was on the point of heaving another missile, a large pewter pitcher, but a bystander caught his hand.  Cries of “Tammany is not dead yet,” were heard, and then Chauncey Shaeffer regaled the crowd with the information that he got his first meal, with liquor thrown in, at Tammany Hall, sixteen years before, and he would never desert her.  Shaeffer told the Tammanyites how he had gone to the White House and advised the President to let out the job of putting down the rebellion to Tammany Hall.  Cries broke forth of, “You’re drunk, Shaeffer !”  “You’re a disgrace to Tammany Hall.”  After trying to sing “The Red, White and Blue,” Shaeffer stumbled off the platform.  Isaiah Rynders then arose, and after denouncing the leaders for not being there, assured his hearers that there were many respectable gentlemen present and some d—d fools.  This edifying meeting ended by “the chairman jumping from the platform and chasing a Wood man out of the room.”

Though no longer in office, Wood was still a powerful factor, since Mozart Hall, of which he was the head, could poll, or pretend to poll, 25,000 votes.  Further overtures were made between him and the leaders of Tammany in 1862, with the result that an understanding was reached to divide the nominations equally.  The partition was conducted amicably until the office of Surrogate was reached.  Besides this there was an odd member of the Assembly not accounted for.  The leaders could not agree as to how these two offices should be disposed of, and on the evening of October 2 the general committee met in the Wigwam to discuss the profound problem.  Crowds were gathered inside and outside the hall, in the lobby, bar-room and on the stairs.  The excitement was such that a squad of police was sent to the scene to maintain peace.

Their services were needed.  Heated discussions had been going on all the evening.  Richard B. Connolly had his “party” an hand, eager for the fray.  Francis I.A. Boole mustered his retainers by the score — “fine strapping fellows, with upturned sleeves and significant red shirts that told of former battles and hard-earned laurels.”  At 11 o’clock the fighting began.  It had not progressed far, however, when the police charged, and wielding their clubs right and left, drove the combatants in disorder into the street.  The committee was in session nearly all night, but a renewal of the scrimmage was not attempted.

After much haggling, the factions finally agreed.  Nominations brought such great sums that the severe contention of the leaders is easily explainable.  A hint of the enormous sums wrung from this source was given by Judge Maynard, when addressing a meeting of the “Representative Democracy,” in Cooper Union, on October 27, 1863.  He stated that one man in Mozart Hall (doubtless referring to Fernando Wood) was the chief of all the “strikers” in New York City, and that this person made from $100,000 to $200,000 every year marketing offices.12  Nominations and appointments went to the highest bidders, and some of the leaders held as many as thirteen different offices each.  At the same meeting W.R. Ranken stated that “the manner in which these two organizations — Tammany and Mozart Hall — have packed their preliminary conventions and organizations, has been of such a character as to bring the blush of shame to every man of principle in the party.  No man, were he to poll 10,000 votes, under those primary elections, could be admitted within the precincts of Tammany Hall unless he came with the indorsement of the Election Inspectors who were under the influence of the two or three men who held the reins of power there.”13

The State and Congressional elections in November showed the power of the combined halls.  Seymour, for Governor, carried the city by 31,309 plurality.  Among the Democratic Congressmen elected was Fernando Wood, who, evidently despairing of again filling the Mayor’s chair, had determined to employ his activities in another field.

The city election for minor officers occurred in December, and the two halls again won.  The apportionment of the offices, however, caused a number of clashes.  One of the offices filled was that of Corporation Counsel, the nomination to which fell to the lot of Mozart Hall.  Wood had promised it to John K. Hackett, subsequently Recorder, but gave it to John E. Devlin, a Sachem, supposed to be one of Wood’s bitterest opponents.  By way of smoothing Hackett’s ire, Wood promised to have him appointed Corporation Attorney.  This promise was also broken.  Hackett went to Wood’s house and was shown into his parlor.  “Mr. Wood,” said Hackett, as soon as the man who had been thrice Mayor of the metropolis of America appeared, “I called to say to you, personally, that you are a scoundrel, a rascal and a perjured villain.”  Wood threatened to put him out and rang the bell.  As the servant was on the point of entering, Hackett drew a revolver from his pocket and went on:  “If that man comes between us, I shall blow out his brains and cut off your ears.  So you may as well listen.  On a certain night, in a room of the Astor House, were four persons, Mr. D., Mr. X., Mr. Y., and yourself.  One of these four is a scoundrel, a rascal, a perjured villain and a hound.  It is not Mr. D., nor Mr. X., nor Mr. Y. Who he is, I leave you to imagine.”

The degraded state of politics, sinking yearly still lower, caused unspeakable disgust, but the honest element of the citizenship seemed powerless.  The occasional election of a reform Mayor made little difference in the situation, for either through the impotence of his position or his personal incompetency, the spoilsmen managed to prevail.  The Common Council was the supreme power, and this body Tammany, or Tammany and Mozart together, generally controlled.  The public money was spent as the Aldermen pleased.  The Mayor’s veto became a legal fiction, for a bare majority14 sufficed to overcome it, and this could generally be secured through deals and the trading of votes on one another’s “jobs.”  The veto, in the words of a later Mayor, amounted “to nothing more than the publication of his remonstrance in corporation newspapers, to cause a few hours’ delay and excite the contempt of the members [of the Common Council] who have determined to carry their measure in spite of his remonstrance.”15

Public indignation resulted in another anti-Tammany demonstration of strength in 1868.  The Wigwam nominated for Mayor, Francis I.A. Boole, generally considered as nauseating a type of the politician as Tammany could bring forth.  Independent Democrats and some Republicans thereupon rallied to the support of C. Godfrey Gunther, nominee of a new “reform” organization — the “McKeon Democracy.”  The Republican organization, however, stood apart, nominating Orison Blunt.  Gunther was elected, receiving 29,121 votes, to 22,579 for Boole, and 19,383 for Blunt.  At this, as in previous elections, there were unmistakable Wigwam frauds, such as repeating and altering election returns.

Hitherto, in Presidential conventions since Van Buren’s time, the Democratic candidates had been nominated against Tammany’s resistance, the organization having had each time a candidate of its own whom it sought to force on the convention.  In 1864, however, the Wigwam shrewdly anticipated the action of the Chicago convention by recommending McClellan as the Democratic nominee.  On the night of McClellan’s nomination, Tammany held a ratification meeting in the City Hall Park, denounced “the imbecility of the administration of Abraham Lincoln” in the conduct of the war and “its ruinous financial policy,” and declared that it had “forfeited the confidence of the loyal States;  usurped powers not granted by the Constitution;  endeavored to render the executive, aided by the military, superior to the judicial and legislative branches of the Government, and assumed to destroy life and confiscate property by its unconstitutional proclamations.”  Again, on November 16, at a meeting of the general committee, George H. Purser, a lobbyist and organization leader, offered a resolution, which was unanimously approved, practically declaring the war a failure.

In this election the Republicans took precautions to prevent repetition of the frauds of preceding years.  An investigation disclosed illegal registration on a large scale.  To hold the lawless in check, Gen. Benjamin F. Butler was ordered to New York.  He brought 6,000 of his own troops, with artillery and a regiment of regulars, which he kept within call outside of the city until after the election, and he established a civilian system of surveillance in every election district.  An unusually orderly election was the result, though fraud was not entirely suppressed, and it was charged that both sides were parties to it.  McClellan received a majority in the city of 37,023, of the total vote of 110,433.

In 1865 Tammany again nominated Francis I.A. Boole for Mayor.  Boole, as City Inspector, was the head of a department which embraced the Street Cleaning and Health Bureaus.  Daniel B. Badger testified before the Senate Investigating Committee of 1865 that in the previous year he had put in a written bid to clean the streets for $300,000, but when it was opened, Boole announced loudly that it was $500,000, and gave the contract elsewhere, with the consequence that it cost $800,000 to clean the streets in 1864.16  Many witnesses swore that they paid various sums, ranging about $200 each, for positions under Boole, only to be suddenly dismissed later.17  A surprising number of men were on Boole’s payrolls who had other business and who appeared only to draw their salaries.18  The filthy condition of the city entailed a fearful sacrifice of life, the average deaths yearly being no less than 88 in 1,000.19  Nearly all the 220 Health Wardens and special inspectors under Boole were illiterate and unfit.  One of them testified that he thought “the term 'hygienic’ meant the odor arising from stagnant water.”20

Boole, about this time, was engaged in other activities than the protection of the city’s health.  In a suit brought by William Elmer against Robert Milbank in the Superior Court, in 1867, Milbank testified that he had called upon Boole to learn how he could secure the passage of an ordinance allowing the People’s Gas Light Company to lay pipes in the streets.  Boole referred him to Charles E. Loew,21 a clerk in the Common Council, and later County Clerk, and a noted Tammany figure.  Milbank gave Loew $20,000 cash22 and $80,000 in stock, whereupon the Common Council passed the ordinance on the same night.

Public criticism was so caustic that Tammany withdrew Boole and nominated John T. Hoffman, a man of some popularity and considerable ability.  The Mozart faction nominated John Hecker, a religious and political enthusiast of narrow views, but acceptable to the Mozart “boys” or “strikers,” because of his willingness to supply an abundance of money.  Smith Ely, Jr., urged Hecker to withdraw, as his candidacy was hopeless.  “Mr. Ely,” said Hecker, “you form your opinions in the ordinary way of a business man and politician, but I receive my impressions directly from on High.” The Republicans nominated Marshall O. Roberts, and the “McKeon Democracy” renominated Gunther.

Frauds were as common as ever.  It was well established that 15,000 persons who had registered could not be found at the places given as their residences.  In the disreputable districts, upon which Tammany depended for a large vote, a non-Tammany speaker was in actual danger of his life.  Hoffman received 32,820 votes;  Roberts, 81,657;  Hecker, 10,390, and Gunther, 6,758.

There is little to say of Hoffman’s administration.  Frauds and thefts of every description continued as before, though it is not possible to connect his name with any of them.  His popularity grew.  The Tammany Society elected him Grand Sachem, the Democratic State Committee named him for Governor in 1866,23 and toward the end of his term as Mayor he was renominated for that office.  Fernando Wood again came forth as the Mozart Hall nominee, and the Republicans selected William A. Darling.  Hoffman swept everything before him (December, 1867), receiving 63,061 votes, to 22,837 for Wood, and 18,483 for Darling.

The total vote was 104,481, an increase of 22,779 in two years.  The reasons for this astounding augmentation were no secret to any one.  Repeating was one cause, and false registration was another;  in one ward alone — the Eighteenth — in this election, 1,500 fraudulent registrations were discovered.  But the main cause was illegal naturalization.  In the Supreme Court and the Court of Common Pleas, citizens were turned out at the rate, often, of about 1,000 a day.  The State census of 1865 gave the city 51,500 native and 77,475 naturalized voters.24  The figures were doubtless false, probably having been swelled to allow fraudulent totals at the polls to come within the limits of an officially declared total of eligible voters.  Nevertheless, the figures are significant of the proportion of aliens to natives.  The predominance of the former, moreover, was daily made greater through the connivance of corrupt Judges with the frauds of the politicians.  The bulk of these aliens added to the hopelessness of the local situation.  With their European ideas and training, and their ignorance of our political problems, they became the easy prey of the ward “bosses” and aided in imposing upon the city a reign of unexampled corruption.

Heretofore the Tammany organization had been held in the control of constantly changing combinations.  Duumvirates, triumvirates and cliques of various numbers of men had risen, prospered and passed away.  The period is now reached when the power became centralized in one man.  Fernando Wood had illustrated the feasibility of the “boss” system;  William M. Tweed now appeared to develop it to its highest pitch.  The “boss” was the natural result of the recognized political methods.  Where, as in previous times, three or four or half a dozen leaders had put their wits together and dictated and sold nominations, Tweed, astute, unprincipled and thoroughly versed in the most subterranean phases of ward politics, now gathered this power exclusively in his own hands.  How he and his followers used it was disclosed in the operations of the extraordinary Tweed, or Tammany “Ring.”




1 Statement to the author by Douglas Taylor, then his private secretary.

2 Fowler was an exception to the average run of the leaders who preceded him, in that he was a college graduate and moved in the best social circles.  With a view of bettering the, “tone” of the Wigwam, he had induced a number of rich young men to join the organization.

3 Report of Postmaster-General Holt, Senate Documents, 1st Session, 36th Congress, Vol. XI, No. 48.  Also Postmaster-General Holt’s communication to James J. Roosevelt, United States District Attorney, at New York, Ibid., XIII, No. 91, p. II.

4 Nelson J. Waterbury, Grand Sachem (1862), was at this time, and had been for several years, Fowler’s Assistant Postmaster.

5 Statement by Mr. Tucker to the author.  Confirmed by reference to report of Charles E. Wilbour to the Board of Supervisors, May 26, 1870.

6 Proceedings of the Board of Aldermen, Vol. LXXXI, pp. 25-26.

7 This regiment was the Forty-second New York Infantry.  Kennedy died a few days after the arrival in Washington, and was succeeded by a regular army officer.  The Forty-second took part in thirty-six battles and engagements.  Its record stood: killed 99;  wounded, 328;  missing, 298.

8 Hackley, in fact, received $279,000 for only six months’ work.  During the two years “for which he received full pay he has not done more than one year’s actual work in cleaning the city, as the returns in this department abundantly prove.”  Documents of the Board of Aldermen, 1863, part 1, No. 4.

9 Documents of the Board of Aldermen, 1860-61, Vol. XXVII, No. 18.

10 The original appropriation had been $30,000.  The joint Council committee, of which Francis I.A. Boole was the head, submitted bills for alleged expenditures aggregating $125,000.  Boole explained that his colleagues considered this sum excessive, and would therefore “knock off” $20,000.  Documents of the Board of Aldermen, 1861, No. 17.

11 For this and other instances see The History of Public Franchises in New York City, by the author.

12 This speech was reprinted in the New York Herald, October 28, 1863.  The Herald was known as Wood’s special organ.

13 In a remarkable report handed down in 1862 by a select committee of the Board of Aldermen, the admission was made that the “primary elections are notoriously and proverbially the scenes of the most disgraceful fraud, chicanery and violence.  They are without legal restraint or regulation, nor can such restraint or regulation be imposed upon them.  Peaceable and orderly citizens, almost without exception, refuse to attend these meetings.”  Documents of the Board of Aldermen, 1862, Vol. XXIX, No. 7.

14 The reformers of the city had successfully sought to incorporate in the charter of 1853, a clause requiring a two-thirds vote to overcome a veto.

15 Documents of the Board of Aldermen, 1865, part 1, No. I.

16 Senate Documents, 1865, Vol. II, No. 38, pp. 75-76.

17 Ibid., pp. 166-70, etc.

18 Ibid., pp. 252-56.

19 City Inspector’s Report for 1863.  The wretched condition of the city about this time caused the Legislature to establish the Metropolitan Board of Health, to have jurisdiction over the counties of New York, Kings, Westchester and Richmond and certain other territory.  This board’s first report declared that the hygienic conditions of the city were disgusting and horrible;  that epidemics were frequent, and that one-third of the deaths occurring in New York and Brooklyn were due to zymotic diseases.  See Report of Metropolitan Board of Health, 1866, p. 133.

20 Senate Documents, 1865, No. 38.

21 Loew was several times a Sachem, holding that rank as late as 1886.

22 See Judgment Roll (1867) in the Superior Court docket and Exhibit A, forming part of the bill of particulars.

23 He was defeated by Reuben E. Fenton.

24 From 1847 to 1860, 2,671,745 immigrants landed at the Port of New York.  Documents of the Board of Aldermen, 1861, Vol XXVIII, No. 5.  In 1855 the native voters in New York City had numbered 46,173, and the aliens, 42,704.