The Youngest Judge in New York
SEEING people from the pedestal of the bench left its mark on the young judge. His cousin and contemporary, Louis Seabury Weeks, once remarked candidly: "Fundamentally, Sam was a very human individual, but he was a little hard to kid--it was that judicial mien he acquired so early. When we were young men, at the beginning of the century, there were definitely class distinctions. It was one of the major facts of life. The gentlemen with wealth were supposed to have all the virtues while the common folk were crude and dull. But very soon, as a politician in the streets, Sam discovered that these distinctions were completely false. This awareness is what made him a good judge--and fit him for his investigative role later."
The cases that came before Judge Seabury in the city court were not only an index of the people's economic and legal difficulties but also of the growing conflict between the individual and the corporation. There were claims and counterclaims of bewildered litigants usually in court for the first time in their lives. Within the jurisdiction of the city court, original trials began and ended, with the raw material of life visible.
In spite of a Fusion victory, Tammany's presence was still felt on the bench--as Seabury soon discovered--and elsewhere in the city. Boss Croker attempted to continue his rule from the paddocks of English race courses but he soon found that his trans-Atlantic puppet