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 PoliticsNYC.com

Gross Election Frauds

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No account of the trail of the tiger in these years would be complete without some reference to the gross election and naturalization frauds prac­ticed in the decade of 1860-70.

As stated earlier in this record, Tammany was organized as a benevolent society and at the begin­ning required that its officers be native Americans. Its leaders recognized, however, quite early the im­portance of controlling the elections, and accord­ingly opened its doors to the thousands of immi­grants who were arriving annually in this country. Frequently these newly arrived foreigners were "naturalized" and allowed to vote within a few months after their arrival.

This story of the meeting in New York of two Italians who had known each other in Italy is illus­trative of the period. Tony, who had been in the United States several months, met his old friend, a more recently arrived Italian, on the street and after a few words of greetings, said:
"Oh, Pietro, you're going to like these United

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