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

Early History of Tammany

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ON March 4, 1789, George Washington stood in front of the old Federal Hall at Wall and Nas­sau Streets, New York City, and swore to uphold, as first President of the United States, the recently ratified Constitution of his country.

A little later in that historic year another in­auguration took place in the same neighborhood. A newly formed society moved into quarters in nearby Broad Street and began to solicit member­ship in the pleasing names of "the smile of charity, the chain of friendship and the flame of liberty; and, in general, whatever may tend to perpetuate the love of freedom or the political advantages of this country."

The society was "The Society of St. Tammany, or Columbian Order"; and so ardently did it un­dertake immediate pursuit of its charitable, friendly and patriotic course that seven years later, when about to retire from his distinguished office, Presi­dent Washington felt called upon to devote a portion­


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