Franklin D. Roosevelt as Governor of New York

By Bernard Bellush | Go to book overview

XII
"HONEST GRAFT"

After weeks of maneuvering, among Republican leaders, the State legislature finally ratified the Hofstadter-Story concurrent resolution in March, 1931. Adopted over the violent opposition of Democrats, this resolution provided for a joint legislative inquiry into the administration and conduct of the various departments of the government of New York City and of State and local courts within its geographical area. It was understood beforehand that Samuel Seabury would be the counsel for this committee, which was under the chairmanship of Republican Samuel H. Hofstadter of New York City. 1

The busiest man in New York appeared to be Seabury, the independent Democrat. This tireless and fearless six-footer was in the process of concluding his damaging investigation into the Tammany-dominated Magistrates' Courts, was looking into charges leveled by the City Club of New York against elderly District Attorney Crain of New York County, and was now expected to initiate and carry through a thoroughgoing inquiry into alleged graft and corruption in the governmental structure of New York City.

This marked the beginning of the end for wise-cracking Jimmy Walker as public officeholder. It also signaled the advent of a serious cleavage between Tammany Hall and Governor Roosevelt which would spill over onto the floor of the Democratic national convention in Chicago the following year.

James J. Walker's story was not atypical of Tammany officeholders. He had come to the mayoralty of New York City through steady promotion at the hands of Tammany colleagues.

-269-

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Franklin D. Roosevelt as Governor of New York
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction xi
  • A New Governor 3
  • Upstairs in Albany" 37
  • Rebellion Behind Bars 58
  • Parity for the Farmer 76
  • Secure Our Savings" 103
  • To Prevent Starvation and Distress" 126
  • A Battle on Two Fronts 150
  • In Quest of Security" 175
  • I Stand Fairly Well with Labor" 191
  • Power Belongs to the People" 208
  • A Reasonable Return" 243
  • Honest Graft" 269
  • In Retrospect 282
  • Notes 287
  • Index 329
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