The Tiger: The Rise and Fall of Tammany Hall

By Oliver E. Allen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER
2
GROWING PAINS

ON APRIL 24, 1817, AN EVENT OCCURRED IN Tammany Hall's Wigwam that seems particularly surprising today in view of the organization's later reputation as a bastion of Irish Roman Catholics. A group purporting to represent New York City's Irish Catholic voters, irked by Tammany's refusal to give Irish Catholics proper representation among the party's nominees for public office in an upcoming election, broke into a meeting of the Hall's General Committee and demanded to be recognized. The group had a candidate for Congress, the Irish-born orator Thomas Addis Emmett, a lawyer of note in the city and brother of the Irish revolutionary leader Robert Emmett. It had previously asked Tammany to endorse Emmett because the Hall's political clout virtually guaranteed success at the polls. But the Tammany leaders rejected Emmett not just because he was a friend of their archenemy, former mayor De Witt Clinton, but because they suspected most Irish of being less than one hundred percent American patriots. When the insurgents, having marched into the Wigwam on the appointed evening, were refused recognition they exploded. As Tammany historian Gustavus Myers put it, "Eyes were blackened, noses and heads battered freely. The invaders broke the furniture, using it for weapons and shattering it maliciously; tore down the fixtures and shivered the windows. Reinforcements arriving, the intruders were driven out, but not before nearly all present had been bruised and beaten." 1 The Irish had given notice, and

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The Tiger: The Rise and Fall of Tammany Hall
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Preface vii
  • Chapter 1 - The Founding 1
  • Chapter 2 - Growing Pains 27
  • Chapter 3 - Fernan Do 51
  • Chapter 4 - The Ring 80
  • Chapter 5 - Th E Collapse 118
  • Chapter 6 - Hon EST Joh N 144
  • Chapter 7 - Th E Master 170
  • Chapter 8 - Th E Silent One 206
  • Chapter 9 - The Decline 232
  • Chapter 10 - Th E Twilight 260
  • Notes 285
  • Bibliography 297
  • Index 307
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