City Bosses in the United States: A Study of Twenty Municipal Bosses

By Harold B. Zink | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XII
CHRISTOPHER LYMAN MAGEE

From the days of Thomas Nast and his famous cartoons of Boss Tweed, municipal overlords have received much attention from newspapers. Indeed their countenances, with the ridiculous magnified a hundred times, have peered forth from front pages of daily papers at frequent intervals. Chris Magee received due attention from the press in spite of the fact that he owned and for a time edited a newspaper himself and was chosen president of the Pittsburgh Press Club. Nevertheless, after twenty-years of leadership over Pittsburgh a rival newspaper dared to eulogize him as the "most remarkable character the city has produced," and he impressed many of his fellow-citizens as the leading and most public-spirited resident of the city.1

"Senator" Magee, whose given names were Christopher and Lyman, came of a family with long American as well as Pittsburgh residence. A great-grandfather, David Hogg, seems to have been a relative of Captain Peter Hogg, an associate of George Washington in the French and Indian War. One account mentions him as a lawyer who lived near Staunton, Virginia, while another reports him as a native of Chester County, Pennsylvania, who moved on to Lancaster and finally to Pittsburgh in 1774. He is supposed to have been with the American army at Valley Forge, seems to have occupied himself as a trader in Pittsburgh, and records show that he purchased a lot in Pittsburgh on May 27, 1794. He sired three children and left at his death on February 9, 1800, a wife who lived to be one hundred years old. The Hoggs were Scotch Presbyterians. Another great-grandfather, Robert Magee, was born in County Derry, Ireland, in 1737, of Scotch parents, married Jane Jack, and came to Pennsylvania

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1
See the Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette, March 9, 1901, p. 1.

-230-

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