The Trail of the Tiger
Tammany: 1789-1928
Being An account of Tammany from 1789; The Society of St. Tammany, or Columbian Order;
Tammany Hall; The Organization; and the Sway of the Bosses

By Allan Frankin

Originally published 1928
This Web version copyright 2005


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To make possible the satisfying of Tammany's greed for money the organization had to control elections which it did with repeaters, filling the election boards with Tammany members and beating up and intimidating any who opposed the organization, while the police looked on and sometimes aided.

Croker returned to this country after the Lexow investigation and saw Tammany defeated in the 1894 election and William L. Strong elected mayor. The Boss had kept out of this election after having opposed Cleveland for president in 1892. Croker went abroad again and returned in the summer of 1897 and assumed the reins of Tammany, much to the disgust of some of his subordinates. He ran Robert A. Van Wyck, a little known judge, for mayor and elected him and Tammany again resumed his favorite pastime of grabbing the city government. On election night the denizens of the Tenderloin paraded, the underworld openly flaunting its glee over Van Wyck's election.

Van Wyck appointed William S. Devery, a police


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