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Tammany Hall Puck and Judge

The original, pre-Revolutionary War association that took the name of a revered Delaware Indian chief, Tamanend, would in time become synonymous with corruption and bribery; in the process, Tamanend would change to Tammany. The Indian headdress and/or fringed buckskins in some illustrations about Tammany allude to the Native American origin of the name. By 1805, the association had attracted middle class members opposed to the more aristocratic Federalist Party and had evolved into a charitable group: The Society of Tammany. Irish immigrants successfully fought to be admitted, and in time, the Democratic Executive Committee and the Society of Tammany were effectively one and the same: Tammany Hall.

Tammany images from Puck

Frederick Burr Opper on Tammany symbols, including Tammany boss John Kelly.

Left: Friedrich Graetz on John Kelly's revival of Tammany May 31, 1882
Once William Marcy Tweed, the notorious head of Tammany Hall, was dead, many thought and hopedTammany would also die. Kelly had been the city comptroller, and with a steady consolidation of his influence, did indeed bring Tammany back to life. This fanciful image literally spells out the source of Tammany's energy in the wire that carries the current: Patronage.

Friedrich Graetz Monkey See Monkey Do May 31, 1882.
This image is not about Tammany as such, but rather reflects New York City political events; Tammany was never far from the center of all such activity. Seth Low, the one who manages to shave without cutting himself, was a reformer, and at this time, Mayor of Brooklyn. He later became President of Columbia University (1890-1901) and was for one term (1901-1903) Mayor of New York, and an opponent of Tammany power.

Tammany images from Judge

Right: James Albert Wales c. 1881

This image ofTammany and an Allied Republican butcher demonstrates the willingness with which the nominal Democrats (Tammany) worked with Republican trade (business) interests, which, at least in theory, were meant to be different from one another.

detail from Grant Hamilton Tammany Kids Out in the Cold December 12, 1896
The detail view shows in the background the ruins of Tammany, and John Kelly, his suitcase packed, as he prepares to leave town. You may recognize in this image characters from the Palmer Cox series, The Brownies: most notable is the figure of William Jennings Bryan, warming his hands at the small stove. In the center is The Yellow Kid, in his yellow nightshirt, the popular and then recent comic invention of Richard Outcault, although here, The Kid represents David Hill, former contender for the Democratic nomination [as drawn by Opper for Puck] for president, once Governor of New York, and later, a United States Senator. While Hill did not actively seek Tammany support, neither did he wish to alienate its power brokers.