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Mr. Tilden, Mr. O'Conor, and Mr. Hewitt, to pursue men of their own party, accused of malfeasance in office, and in the prompt formation of a body composed of men of all parties, like the Committee of Seventy in 1870, to join in the work of reorganizing the city government after Tweed's overthrow. That the idea of non-partisanship, however, made, on the whole, but little impression was


T cannot be said that the objections to Tammany as a political organization within the city attracted any public attention until Tweed's day, or about 1870. It is true that the possibility of organizing the dangerous classes for purposes hostile to efficiency and purity in municipal government became apparent between 1852 and 1857, under the leadership of Fernando. But the anti-slavery agitation at that time absorbed. most of such attention as the public had to spare for political questions. It was plain that it was carrying the country toward a crisis of unknown magnitude, and all eyes were fixed on the growth of the Republican party, which was taking the slavery question out of the hands of the philanthropists and philosophers. The success of demagogues like Wood, therefore, in marshaling the emigrants who had begun to crowd into New York from 1846 on, for the seizure of the city government, was watched mainly from the Federal point of view. Its possible effect in strengthening the Democratic party at the Federal elections of 1856 and 1860 was what even the most thoughtful citizens mainly considered. The only defenses against such designs which occurred even to those who were most alarmed by them was the election of Republican Mayors, and the transfer to Commissioners at Albany, by Republican Legislatures, of a considerable portion of the municipal powers and patronage. The city was, in fact, mainly interesting to them at that time as the abode of a large Democratic majority. How to keep down this, majority was the municipal problem of that day, and the solution was held, according to the ideas of the time, to lie chiefly in depriving it of as many offices as possible.

It was only when, after the war, it was shown by Tweed to be possible to use the Tammany Society as a means of getting control of the city government and to make the city government a means of robbing the city treasury, and to use the city funds as a means of purchasing legislation from the State Legislature, that the municipal question began to loom up before the public eye as a new question in American politics. It was, as presented to us, a new question in all politics. No human experience threw any light on the way to govern a great city through universal suffrage. But the possibility of approaching the problem from a non-partisan point of view, of divesting it of all State or Federal character, first dimly showed itself in the readiness of leading Democrats like Mr. Tilden, Mr. O'Conor, and Mr. Hewitt, to pursue men of their own party, accused of malfeasance in office, and in the prompt formation of a body composed of men of all parties, like the Committee of Seventy in 1870, to join in the work of reorganizing the city government after Tweed's overthrow. That the idea of non-partisanship, however, made, on the whole, but little impression was

shown by the rapidity with which the Committee of Seventy rested from its labors, and with which the difficulties of city government passed out of the public mind. In fact, the Tammany Society, which had gone to pieces after Tweed's downfall, was restored, and in working order, under a new boss, John Kelly, within five years after that event. Moreover, the idea that good city government was only to be had through the triumph of the Republicans at the polls (the boss being always a Democrat), and that the best use that could be made of a city vote, on either side, was to prepare for a Presidential victory, was by 1877 completely in the ascendant once more. Governor Tilden, to his credit be it said, tried to revive the municipal idea by the appointment of a commission in that year to devise a framework of city government, which sat for some months and made a report. But the suggestion of a municipal Board of Audit, to be elected by a slightly limited suffrage, caused the peremptory rejection of its plan by both parties.

It cannot be said that during all this time no attempts were made to reform Tammany. A body like Tammany, which exists mainly for the division of spoils, is constantly exposed to desertions caused by dissatisfaction with the rule of division. All the workers cannot be satisfied, and the ordinary mode of expressing dissatisfaction, in the case of the more powerful, has always been to secede, hire another "Hall," and start another organization, called a "Democracy," distinguished either by the name of the leader of the revolt or by the name of the "Hall" in which the meetings are held. These secessions have always sought to justify their existence to the public by pleading disgust with Tammany corruption and a desire for reform, but as a general rule they always combat Tammany with machinery and agents exactly like those of Tammany itself, and disappear through a "deal" with Tammany, or absorption into Tammany. The Republican attempt instituted by Mr. Arthur when Collector of the Port, to control Tammany through a counter-machine, was of much the same character and has had much the same history. The main result of it was a series of "deals" which admitted the Republican "workers" to a share in the Tammany spoils, but exerted no influence whatever on the city government.

The methods of corruption which have led to the explosion to which we owe the attempt at reform, of which these pages are a record, have differed considerably from those employed by Tweed. His chief mode of despoiling the treasury was the raising of bills by tradesmen doing city work. The present Tammany men resorted to much more subtle processes—such as the enormous multiplication of salaried offices, and secret tolls or blackmail levied on all persons having business with the city, or exposed to annoyance at the hands of the police or other officials, and the sale of legislation, or of immunity from legislation, to corporations or firms. As usual, the discovery of such disorders was due to excess. The increasing corruption of the police made concealment no longer possible, and brought about the uprising of which this book is a commemoration.

What makes this uprising most worthy of commemoration is the fact that it has effected what appears to be a permanent lodgment in the popular mind of the non-partisan idea of city government. That this is the only possible solution of the tremendous problem of governing a vast concentration of wealth, trade, and commerce, through the votes of a great number of needy people, seems at last, after twenty years of slow growth, to have obtained a firm hold of the intelligence of that portion of the voting population which is most interested

in the peace and prosperity of the city. It has passed from the stage of piou's opinion and obtained a foothold in practical politics, as is shown by the fact that a Republican, well known to be a warm partisan in Federal politics, has obtained a vote of 154,000 for the Mayoralty, when the vote of his own party does not exceed 100,000. Moreover, the various organizations whose reports are contained in this volume, and whose exertions led to his success, either belong to different parties or are composed of men of different parties. The City Club and Good Government Clubs were, indeed, organized long before the election, on the non-partisan idea, and a large part of his success is undoubtedly due to their preaching. So that what is here celebrated is not simply, as it appears to me, a victory over corruption, or the election of an upright man as Mayor, or the transfer of municipal offices from thieves to honest men. It is the final adoption of a new agency in the work of municipal administration. But it is quite plain that its triumph is not complete. In the Legislature, for instance, among country members, who are unfamiliar with the special difficulties of city government, and indeed with its history, the very novelty of the idea of nonpartisanship works against it. To embrace it freely most country members have to unlearn some of the lessons of a lifetime. A good many voters in the city, too, put a great strain on themselves in abandoning their party at a city election, and are probably hardly yet sure in their minds that they have done right; and are waiting in fear and trembling lest the results should condemn them. But this is the history of all new ideas. They have to fight their way to the front in order to prove their value.

The history of the competitive system of selection for government offices is full of encouragement for the friends of non-partisanship in municipal government. In fact, civil service reform had, probably, a harder fight for recognition than any other new administrative method is ever likely to have in America, for it had to make the first break in the traditions under which two generations had grown up, and to get acceptance from a public which had never considered at all the possibility of any improvements in governmental machinery.

The essentially new feature of the process of agitation by which the late victory was won was the formation of the various clubs and organizations whose history and achievements are sketched in the following pages. They owe their existence to the general perception that any reform movement in this city to be really successful must be permanent. The experience of 1870 contained a very valuable lesson on this point. When the citizens went back to work, Tammany sprang rapidly into existence again and became more powerful than ever; so that it became abundantly apparent that if it was to be overthrown and kept out of the control of the city, it must be met with a persistence and a system equal to its own. It is to this policy that the City Club and the Good Government Clubs owe their existence. They are intended to supply that visible sign of mutual sympathy and support without which continuous unity of action is not possible. It is not enough, in a community so heterogenous as this, to know that a great many people agree with you about public affairs. It is desirable to have a place and organization which supply visible proof of their existence, and in which information about them can be obtained and means of communication with them be furnished. But what is wanted above all is the means of assuring the great multitude of doubters, that is of the people who despair of permanent municipal reform, that the fight is kept up; that the flag is still

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