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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TAMMANY HALL, its history and its actions are of especial interest to Americans everywhere in this year of 1928 because one of its Sachems is a candidate for the highest office within the gift of the people.

Most of the facts herein told are familiar enough to the citizens of New York. Until 1924, when the battle lines were laid in the old Madison Square Garden in that famous fight for the Democratic Presidential nomination, Tammany cut little figure nationally. To-day, however, Tammany is on every lip and the famed Tiger of Tom Nast's cartoons is in every mind's eye. The interest is nation-wide.

This volume is a plain, compact review of the Tammany Society and its twin, Tammany Hall or what is known as the Organization - for none may say where the first stops and second begins-since its founding by William Mooney, an upholsterer of Revolutionary War days, through the eras of Aaron Burr, Fernando Wood, William Marcy Tweed, "Honest John" Kelly, Richard Croker and Charles Francis Murphy.

This history, curtailed sharply as it must be, is intended to give the reader some knowledge of Tammany, its method of gaining political control and its behavior after it has obtained that control.

It is intended also to give to the inquiring mind the background of Tammany. The author obtained the data from the files of New York newspapers, reports and records of specially appointed state leg­islative committees and works of reference of the various. periods covered.

The illustrations are cartoons of two widely sepa­rated periods. Those of Thomas Nast were first printed in Harper's Weekly in the days of "Boss" Tweed and in conjunction with the editorials and articles in the New York Times of that day were responsible for the exposure of the "Tweed Ring." In fact, Nast's cartoons (copies of which appear in this work) were so strong and aroused such interest, that a banker was sent to offer the cartoonist $500,­000 if he would "drop this Ring business" and take a vacation abroad. Nast refused. In the New York Times' own story of the Tweed Ring will be found the offer by Tweed's controller of a check for $5,000,000 to Mr. Jones to suppress the evidence of Tweed's thieving of millions of dollars from the city treasury. It was also refused and the Tweed explosion followed. The other copyright illustra­tions are current cartoons drawn for the New York Herald-Tribune by "Ding" (J. N. Darling) since June 1928, and reproduced in this work by courtesy of the New York Herald-Tribune. A. F.

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