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Lights and Shadows of New York Life - or, the Sights and Sensations of the Great City
by James D. McCabe
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"We proceed to another and better specimen: A resolution was introduced, appropriating $4000 for the purpose of presenting stands of colors to five regiments of city militia, which were named, each stand to cost eight hundred dollars. Mr. Pullman, as usual, objected, and we beg the reader to mark his objections. He said that he was a member of the committee which had reported the resolution, but he had never heard of it till that moment, the scheme had been 'sprung' upon him. The chairman of the committee replied to this, that, since the other regiments had had colors given them by the city, he did not suppose that any one could object to these remaining five receiving the same compliment, and therefore he had not thought it worth while to summon the gentleman. 'Besides,' said he, 'it is a small matter anyhow;'—by which he evidently meant to intimate that the objector was a very small person. To this last remark, a member replied, that he did not consider $4000 so very small a matter. 'Anyhow,' he added, 'we oughter save the city every dollar we kin.' Mr. Pullman resumed. He stated that the Legislature of the State, several months before, had voted a stand of colors to each infantry regiment in the State; that the distribution of these colors had already begun; that the five regiments would soon receive them; and that, consequently, there was no need of their having the colors which it was now proposed to give them. A member roughly replied, that the colors voted by the State Legislature were mere painted banners, 'of no account.' Mr. Pullman denied this. 'I am,' said he, 'captain in one of our city regiments. Two weeks ago we received our colors. I have seen, felt, examined, and marched under them; and I can testify that they are of great beauty, and excellent quality, made by Tiffany & Co., a firm of the first standing in the city.' He proceeded to describe the colors as being made of the best silk, and decorated in the most elegant manner. He further objected to the price proposed to be given for the colors. He declared that, from his connection with the militia, he had become acquainted with the value of such articles, and he could procure colors of the best kind ever used in the service for $375. The price named in the resolution was, therefore, most excessive. Upon this, another member rose and said, in a peculiarly offensive manner, that it would be two years before Tiffany & Co. had made all the colors, and some of the regiments would have to wait all that time. 'The other regiments,' said he, 'have had colors presented by the city, and I don't see why we should show partiality.' Whereupon Mr. Pullman informed the board that the city regiments would all be supplied in a few weeks; and, even if they did have to wait awhile, it was of no consequence, for they all had very good colors already. Honest Stephen Roberts then rose, and said that this was a subject with which he was not acquainted, but that if no one could refute what Mr. Pullman had said, he should be obliged to vote against the resolution.

"Then there was a pause. The cry of 'Question!' was heard. The ayes and noes were called. The resolution was carried by eighteen to five. The learned suppose that one-half of this stolen $4000 was expended upon the colors, and the other half divided among about forty persons. It is conjectured that each member of the Councilmen's Ring, which consists of thirteen, received about forty dollars for his vote on this occasion. This sum, added to his pay, which is twenty dollars per session, made a tolerable afternoon's work.

"Any one witnessing this scene would certainly have supposed that now the militia regiments of the City of New York were provided with colors. What was our surprise to hear, a few days after, a member gravely propose to appropriate $800 for the purpose of presenting the Ninth Regiment of New York Infantry with a stand of colors. Mr. Pullman repeated his objections, and recounted anew the generosity of the State Legislature. The eighteen, without a word of reply, voted for the grant as before. It so chanced that, on our way up Broadway, an hour after, we met that very regiment marching down with its colors flying; and we observed that those colors were nearly new. Indeed, there is such a propensity in the public to present colors to popular regiments, that some of them have as many as five stands, of various degrees of splendor. There is nothing about which Councilmen need feel so little anxiety as a deficiency in the supply of regimental colors. When, at last, these extravagant banners voted by the corporation are presented to the regiments, a new scene of plunder is exhibited. The officers of the favored regiment are invited to a room in the basement of the City Hall, where city officials assist them to consume $300 worth of champagne, sandwiches, and cold chicken—paid for out of the city treasury—while the privates of the regiment await the return of their officers in the unshaded portion of the adjacent park.

"It is a favorite trick with these councilmen, as of all politicians, to devise measures, the passage of which will gratify large bodies of voters. This is one of the advantages proposed to be gained by the presentation of colors to regiments; and the same system is pursued with regard to churches and societies. At every one of the six sessions of the Councilmen which we attended, resolutions were introduced to give away the people's money to wealthy organizations. A church, for example, is assessed $1000 for the construction of a sewer, which enhances the value of the church property by at least the amount of the assessment. Straightway, a member from that neighborhood proposes to console the stricken church with a 'donation' of $1000, to enable it to pay the assessment; and as this is a proposition to vote money, it is carried as a matter of course. We select from our notes only one of these donating scenes. A member proposed to give $2000 to a certain industrial school,—the favorite charity of the present time, to which all the benevolent most willingly subscribe. Vigilant Christopher Pullman reminded the board that it was now unlawful for the corporation to vote money for any object not specified in the tax levy as finally sanctioned by the Legislature. He read the section of the Act which forbade it. He further showed, from a statement by the Comptroller, that there was no money left at their disposal for any miscellaneous objects, since the appropriation for 'city contingencies' was exhausted. The only reply to his remarks was the instant passage of the resolution by eighteen to five. By what artifice the law is likely to be evaded in such cases, we may show further on. In all probability, the industrial school, in the course of the year, will receive a fraction of this money—perhaps even so large a fraction as one half. It may be that, ere now, some obliging person about the City Hall has offered to buy the claim for $1000, and take the risk of the hocus-pocus necessary for getting it—which to him is no risk at all.

"It was proposed, on another occasion, to raise the fees of the Inspectors of Weights and Measures—who received fifty cents for inspecting a pair of platform scales, and smaller sums for scales and measures of less importance. Here was a subject upon which honest Stephen Roberts, whose shop is in a street where scales and measures abound, was entirely at home. He showed, in his sturdy and strenuous manner, that, at the rates then established, an active man could make $200 a day. 'Why,' said he, 'a man can inspect, and does inspect, fifty platform scales in an hour.' The cry of 'Question!' arose. The question was put, and the usual loud chorus of ayes followed.

"As it requires a three-fourths vote to grant money—that is, eighteen members—it is sometimes impossible for the Ring to get that number together. There is a mode of preventing the absence, or the opposition of members, from defeating favorite schemes. It is by way of 'reconsideration.' The time was when a measure distinctly voted down by a lawful majority was dead. But, by this expedient, the voting down of a measure is only equivalent to its postponement to a more favorable occasion. The moment the chairman pronounces a resolution lost, the member who has it in charge moves a reconsideration; and, as a reconsideration only requires the vote of a majority, this is invariably carried. By a rule of the board, a reconsideration carries a measure over to a future meeting—to any future meeting which may afford a prospect of its passage. The member who is engineering it watches his chance, labors with faltering members out of doors, and, as often as he thinks he can carry it, calls it up again, until at last the requisite eighteen are obtained. It has frequently happened that a member has kept a measure in a state of reconsideration for months at a time, waiting for the happy moment to arrive. There was a robust young Councilman, who had a benevolent project in charge of paying $900 for a hackney-coach and two horses, which a drunken driver drove over the dock into the river one cold night last winter. There was some disagreement in the Ring on this measure, and the robust youth was compelled to move for many reconsiderations. So, also, it was long before the wires could be all arranged to admit of the appointment of a 'messenger' to the City Librarian, who has perhaps less to do than any man in New York who is paid $1800 a year; but perseverance meets its reward. We hear that this messenger is now smoking in the City Hall at a salary of $1500.

"There is a manoeuvre also for preventing the attendance of obnoxious, obstructive members, like the honest six, which is ingenious and effective. A 'special meeting' is called. The law declares that notice of a special meeting must be left at the residence or the place of business of every member. Mr. Roberts's residence and Mr. Roberts's place of business are eight miles apart, and he leaves his home for the day before nine in the morning. If Mr. Roberts's presence at a special meeting, at 2 P.M., is desired, the notice is left at his shop in the morning. If it is not desired, the notice is sent to his house in Harlem, after he has left it. Mr. Pullman, cabinet-maker, leaves his shop at noon, goes home to dinner, and returns soon after one. If his presence at the special meeting, at 2 P.M., is desired, the notice is left at his house the evening before, or at his shop in the morning. If his presence is not desired, the notice is left at his shop a few minutes after twelve, or at his house a few minutes past one. In either case, he receives the notice too late to reach the City Hall in time. We were present in the Councilmen's Chamber when Mr. Pullman stated this inconvenience, assuming that it was accidental, and offered an amendment to the rule, requiring notice to be left five hours before the time named for the meeting. Mr. Roberts also gave his experience in the matter of notices, and both gentlemen spoke with perfect moderation and good temper. We wish we could convey to our readers an idea of the brutal insolence with which Mr. Pullman, on this occasion, was snubbed and defrauded by a young bar-keeper who chanced to be in the chair. But this would be impossible without relating the scene at very great length. The amendment proposed was voted down, with that peculiar roar of noes which is always heard in that chamber when some honest man attempts to put an obstacle in the way of the free plunder of his fellow-citizens.

"These half-fledged legislators are acquainted with the device known by the name of the 'previous question.' We witnessed a striking proof of this. One of the most audacious and insolent of the Ring introduced a resolution, vaguely worded, the object of which was to annul an old paving contract, that would not pay at the present cost of labor and materials, and to authorize a new contract at higher rates. Before the clerk had finished reading the resolution, honest Stephen Roberts sprang to his feet, and, unrolling a remonstrance with several yards of signatures appended to it, stood, with his eye upon the chairman, ready to present it the moment the reading was concluded. This remonstrance, be it observed, was signed by a majority of the property-owners interested, the men who would be assessed to pay for one-half of the proposed pavement. Fancy the impetuous Roberts, with the document held aloft, the yards of signatures streaming down to his feet, and flowing far under his desk, awaiting the time when it would be in order to cry out, 'Mr. President.' The reading ceased. Two voices were heard shouting, 'Mr. President.' It was not to Mr. Roberts that an impartial chairman could assign the floor. The member who introduced the resolution was the one who caught the speaker's eye, and that member, forewarned of Mr. Roberts's intention, moved the previous question. It was in vain that Mr. Roberts shouted 'Mr. President;' it was in vain that he fluttered his streaming ribbon of blotted paper. The President could not hear a word of any kind until a vote had been taken upon the question whether the main question should now be put. The question was carried in the affirmative by a chorus of ayes, so exactly timed that it was like the voice of one man. Then the main question was put, and it was carried by another emphatic and simultaneous shout."

Under the rule of such a Council the public money disappeared. Men who went into the Council poor came out of it rich. Taxes increased, the cost of governing the city became greater, crime flourished, and the chief city of the Union became noted for its corrupt government.



IV. "THE RING."

I. THE HISTORY OF THE RING.

We have spoken of the outrages practised upon the citizens of New York by the Common Council of that city. We must now turn our attention to the other branches of the City Government, and investigate the conduct of the real rulers of New York.

For several years the political power and patronage has been lodged in the hands of, and exercised by a set of men commonly known as "The Ring." They rose to power in consequence of the neglect of their political duties by the respectable citizens of New York, and, having attained power, were not slow in arranging affairs so that their ill-gotten authority might be perpetuated. They controlled the elections by bribery, and the fraudulent counting of votes, and so filled the elective offices with their own creatures. Having done this, they proceeded to appoint to the other offices only such men as were bound to them, and whom they could trust to cover up their mutual dishonesty. Competency to discharge the duties of the offices thus given was not once considered. The Ring cared only for men who would unite in plundering the public treasury, and be vigilant in averting the detection of the theft. They wanted to exercise political power, it is true, but they also desired to enrich themselves at the public expense.

Having secured the city offices, with the control of the finances, the police, the fire department, and the immense patronage of the city, they believed themselves strong enough to hold all they had won. They did not believe that the people of New York would ever awake to a true sense of their public duties, and, if they did, the Ring felt confident that they could control any election by filling the ballot-boxes with fraudulent votes. In many cases money was taken from the city treasury, and used to purchase votes for the Ring or Tammany Hall ticket. It was also used to bribe inspectors of elections to certify any returns that the leaders of the Ring might decide upon; and it came to be a common saying in New York that the Tammany ticket could always command a majority in the city sufficient to neutralize any hostile vote in the rest of the State. If the leaders of the Ring desired a majority of 25,000, 30,000, or any number, in the city, that majority was returned, and duly sworn to by the inspectors of election, even by those of the party opposed to the Ring; for money was used unsparingly to buy dishonest inspectors.

As a matter of course, no honest man took part in these disgraceful acts, and the public offices passed, almost without exception, into the hands of the most corrupt portion of the population. They were also the most ignorant and brutal. The standard of education is, perhaps, lower among the public officials of New York than among any similar body in the land. Men whose personal character was infamous; men who were charged by the newspaper press, and some of whom had been branded by courts of justice with felonies, were elected or appointed to responsible offices. The property, rights and safety of the greatest and most important city in the land, were entrusted to a band of thieves and swindlers. The result was what might have been expected. Public interests were neglected; the members of the Ring were too busy enriching themselves at the expense of the treasury to attend to the wants of the people. The City Government had never been so badly administered before, and the only way in which citizens could obtain their just rights was by paying individual members of the Ring or their satellites to attend to their particular cases. It was found almost impossible to collect money due by the city to private parties; but, at the same time, the Ring drew large sums from the public treasury. Men who were notoriously poor when they went into office were seen to grow suddenly and enormously rich. They made the most public displays of their suddenly acquired magnificence, and, in many ways, made themselves so offensive to their respectable neighbors, that the virtue and intelligence of the city avoided all possible contact with them. Matters finally became so bad that a man laid himself open to grave suspicion by the mere holding of a municipal office. Even the few good men who retained public positions, and whom the Ring had not been able, or had not dared, to displace, came in for a share of the odium attaching to all offices connected with the City Government. It was unjust, but not unnatural. So many office-holders were corrupt that the people naturally regarded all as in the same category.

In order to secure undisturbed control of the city, the Ring took care to win over the Legislature of the State to their schemes. There was a definite and carefully arranged programme carried out with respect to this. The delegation from the City of New York was mainly secured by the Ring, and agents were sent to Albany to bribe the members of the Legislature to vote for the schemes of the Ring. Mr. Samuel J. Tilden, in his speech at Cooper Institute, November 2, 1871, says that $1,000,000, stolen from the treasury of the city, were used by the Ring to buy up a majority of the two Houses of the Legislature. By means of these purchased votes, the various measures of the Ring were passed. The principal measure was the Charter of the City of New York. "Under the pretence of giving back to the people of the City of New York local self-government, they provided that the Mayor then in office should appoint all the heads of Departments for a period of at least four years, and in some cases extending to eight, and that when those heads of Departments, already privately agreed upon, were once appointed they should be removable only by the Mayor, who could not be impeached except on his own motion, and then must be tried by a court of six members, every one of whom must be present in order to form a quorum. And then they stripped every legislative power, and every executive power from every other functionary of the government, and vested it in half a dozen men so installed for a period of from four to eight years in supreme dominion over the people of this city." {78}

Besides passing this infamous charter, the Ring proceeded to fortify their position with special legislation, designed to protect them against any effort of the citizens to drive them from office, or punish them. This done, they had unlimited control of all the public affairs, and could manage the elections as they pleased, and they believed they were safe.

The "Committee of Seventy," appointed by the citizens of New York to investigate the charges against the municipal authorities, thus speak of the effect of the adoption of the New Charter, in their report presented at the great meeting at Cooper Institute, on the 2d of November, 1871:

"There is not in the history of villainy a parallel for the gigantic crime against property conspired by the Tammany Ring. It was engineered on the complete subversion of free government in the very heart of Republicanism. An American city, having a population of over a million, was disfranchised by an open vote of a Legislature born and nurtured in Democracy and Republicanism, and was handed over to a self-appointed oligarchy, to be robbed and plundered by them and their confederates, heirs and assigns for six years certainly, and prospectively for ever. A month's exhumation among the crimes of the Tammany leaders has not so familiarized us with the political paradox of the New Charter of the City of New York, that we do not feel that it is impossible that the people of this State gave to a gang of thieves, politicians by profession, a charter to govern the commercial metropolis of this continent—the great city which is to America what Paris is to France—to govern it with a government made unalterable for the sixteenth part of a century, which substantially deprived the citizens of self-control, nullified their right to suffrage, nullified the principle of representation—which authorized a handful of cunning and resolute robbers to levy taxes, create public debt, and incur municipal liabilities without limit and without check, and which placed at their disposal the revenues of the great municipality and the property of all its citizens.

"Every American will say: 'It is incredible that this has been done.' But the history of the paradox is over two years old. And it is a history of theft, robbery, and forgery, which have stolen and divided twenty millions of dollars; which have run up the city debt from $36,000,000 in 1869 to $97,000,000 in 1871, and which will be $120,000,000 by August, 1872; which have paid to these robbers millions of dollars for work never performed and materials never furnished; which paid astoundingly exorbitant rents to them for offices and armories, many of which were never occupied and some of which did not exist—which remitted their taxes, released their indebtedness, and remitted their rents, to the city due and owing—which ran the machinery for widening, improving and opening streets, parks and boulevards, to enable these men to speculate in assessed damages and greatly enhanced values—which created unnecessary offices with large salaries and no duties, in order to maintain a force of ruffianly supporters and manufacturers of votes—which used millions of dollars to bribe and corrupt newspapers, the organs of public opinion, in violation of laws which narrowly limited the public advertising—which camped within the city a reserve army of voters by employing thousands of laborers at large pay upon nominal work, neither necessary nor useful—which bought legislatures and purchased judgments from courts both civil and criminal.

* * * * *

"Fellow-citizens of the City and State of New York, this report of the doings of the Committee of Seventy would be incomplete if it did not fully unfold to you the perils and the difficulties of our condition. You know too well that the Ring which governs us for years governed our Legislatures by bribing their members with moneys stolen from their trusts. That, seemingly, was supreme power and immunity. But it was not enough. A City Charter to perpetuate power was needed. It was easily bought of a venal Legislature with the proceeds of a new scoop into the city treasury. Superadded to this the Ring had devised a system, faultless and absolutely sure, of counting their adversaries in an election out of office and of counting their own candidates in, or of rolling up majorities by repeating votes and voting in the names of the absent, the dead, and the fictitious. Still their intrenched camp of villainy was incomplete. It was deficient in credit. This is a ghastly jest, the self-investment of the robbers of the world with a boundless financial credit. And yet the Ring clothed themselves with it. They entrenched themselves within the imposing limits of some of our most powerful bank and trust companies. They created many savings banks out of the forty-two which exist in the city and county of New York. This they did within the last two years. The published lists of directors will enable you to identify these institutions. Now the savings bank is a place to which money travels to be taken care of; and if the bank has the public confidence, people put their money in it freely at low rates of interest, and the managers use the funds in whatever way they please. In the Ring savings banks there are on deposit to-day, at nominal rates of interest, many millions of dollars. It is believed that into these banks the Ring have taken the city's obligations and converted them into money, which has been sent flowing into the various channels of wasteful administration, out of which they have drawn into their pockets millions on millions. The craft of this contrivance was profound. It wholly avoided the difficulty of raising money on the unlawful and excessive issues of city and county bonds, and took out of public sight transactions which, if pressed upon the national banks, would have provoked comment and resistance, and have precipitated the explosion which has shaken the country. I think that among the assets of the savings banks of this city, county and State will be found not far from $50,000,000 of city and county debt taken for permanent investment. For the first time in the history of iniquity has the bank for the saving of the wages of labor been expressly organized as a part of a system of robbery; and for the first time in the history of felony have the workmen and workwomen, and the orphans and the children of a great city unwittingly cashed the obligations issued by a gang of thieves and plunderers."

Having made themselves secure, as they believed, the Ring laughed at the idea of punishment, if detected. They not only controlled the elections, but they also controlled the administration of justice. The courts were filled with their creatures, and were so distorted from the purposes of the law and the ends of justice, that no friend of the Ring had any cause to fear punishment at their hands, however great his crime. The majority of the crimes committed in the city were the acts of the adherents of the Ring, but they escaped punishment, as a rule, except when a sacrifice to public opinion was demanded. If the criminal happened to be a politician possessing any influence among the disreputable classes, he was sure of acquittal. The magistrate before whom he was tried, dared not convict him, for fear of incurring either his enmity, or the censure of the leaders of the Ring to whom his influence was of value. So crime of all kinds increased in the city.

[Picture: A. OAKEY HALL, MAYOR OF NEW YORK.]

Under the protection of the New Charter, the Ring began a systematic campaign of robbery. Section four of the County Tax Levy, one of their measures, provided that liabilities against the county, the limits of which coincide with those of the city, should be audited by the Mayor, the Comptroller and the President of the Board of Supervisors, or in other words, Mayor Hall, Comptroller Connolly, and Mr. William M. Tweed, and that the amount found to be due should be paid. "These Auditors," says Mr. Tilden, "met but once. They then passed a resolution, which stands on the records of the city in the handwriting of Mayor Hall. It was passed on his motion, and what was its effect? It provided that all claims certified by Mr. Tweed and Mr. Young, Secretary of the old Board of Supervisors, should be received, and, on sufficient evidence, paid." Thus the door was thrown open to fraud, and the crime soon followed. "Mayor Hall," continues Mr. Tilden, "is the responsible man for all this. He knew it was a fraudulent violation of duty on the part of every member of that Board of Audit to pass claims in the way they did."

The door being thus thrown open to fraud, the thefts of the public funds became numerous. All the appropriations authorized by law were quickly exhausted, and large sums of money were drawn from the treasury, without the slightest warrant of law.

[Picture: WILLIAM M. TWEED.]

The new Court House in the City Hall Park was a perfect gold mine to the Ring. Immense sums were paid out of the treasury for work upon this building, which is still unfinished. Very little of this money was spent on the building, the greater part being retained, or stolen by the Ring for their own private benefit. The Court House has thus far cost $12,000,000, and is unfinished. During the years 1869, 1870, and a part of 1871, the sum of about $8,223,979.89 was expended on the new Court House. During this period, the legislative appropriation for this purpose amounted to only $1,400,000. The Houses of Parliament in London, which cover an area of nearly eight acres, contain 100 staircases, 1100 apartments and more than two miles of corridors, and constitute one of the grandest architectural works of the world, cost less than $10,000,000. The Capitol of the United States at Washington, the largest and most magnificent building in America, will cost, when completed, about $12,000,000, yet, the unfinished Court House in New York has already cost more than the gorgeous Houses of Parliament, and as much as the grand Capitol of the Republic.

[Picture: THE NEW COUNTY COURT HOUSE]

The Court House was not the only means made use of to obtain money. Heavy sums were drawn for printing, stationery, and the city armories, and upon other pretexts too numerous to mention. It would require a volume to illustrate and rehearse entire the robberies of the Ring. Valid claims against the city were refused payment unless the creditor would consent to add to his bill a sum named by, and for the use of, the Ring. Thus, a man having a claim of $1500 against the city, would be refused payment until he consented to make the amount $6000, or some such sum. If he consented, he received his $1500 without delay, and the $4500 was divided among the members of the Ring. When a sum sufficient for the demands of the Ring could not be obtained by the connivance of actual creditors, forgery was resorted to. Claims were presented in the name of men who had no existence, who cannot now be found, and they were paid. The money thus paid went, as the recent investigations have shown, into the pockets of members of the Ring. Further than this, if Mr. John H. Keyser is to be believed, the Ring did not hesitate to forge the endorsements of living and well-known men. He says: "The published accounts charge that I have received upwards of $2,000,000 from the treasury. Among the warrants which purport to have been paid to me for county work alone there are upwards of eight hundred thousand dollars which I never received nor saw, and the endorsements on which, in my name, ARE CLEAR AND UNMISTAKABLE FORGERIES."

Another means of purloining money is thus described by Mr. Abram P. Genung, in a pamphlet recently issued by him:

"A careful examination of the books and pay-roll (of the Comptroller's Office) developed the important fact that the titles of several accounts might be duplicated by using different phraseology to convey the same meaning; and that by making up pay-rolls, by using fictitious names of persons alleged to be temporarily employed in his (the Comptroller's) department, he could even cheat the 'heathen Chinee,' who had invited him to take a hand in this little game of robbery. Hence, Mr. 'Slippery' set about finding additional titles for several of the accounts, and in this way 'Adjusted Claims' and 'County Liabilities' became synonymous terms, and all moneys drawn on either account, instead of being charged to any appropriation, became a part of the permanent debt of the city and county. Under the same skilful manipulation, 'County Contingencies,' and 'Contingencies in the Comptroller's Office' meant the same thing, as did also the amount charged to 'Contingencies in the Department of Finance,' generally charged in the city accounts to make it less conspicuous. Again, there are three distinct pay-rolls in the County Bureau. One of these contains the names of all the clerks regularly employed in the Bureau, and about a dozen names of persons who hold sinecure positions, or have no existence. The other two rolls contain about forty names, the owners of which, if, indeed, they have any owners, have never worked an hour in the department. The last two rolls are called 'Temporary Rolls,' and the persons whose names are on them are said to be 'Temporary Clerks' in the Comptroller's Office. One of them is paid out of the regular appropriation of 'Salaries Executive,' but the other is paid out of a fund raised by the sale of 'Riot Damages Indemnity Bonds,' and becomes a part of the permanent debt of the county. Again, there are no less than five different accounts to which repairs and furniture for any of the public offices, or the armories of the National Guard, can be charged; while more than half of the aggregate thus paid out, is not taken out of any appropriation, but is raised by the sale of revenue bonds or other securities, which may be converted at the pleasure of the Comptroller into long bonds, which will not be payable until 1911—forty years after many of the frauds which called them into existence shall have been successfully consummated by Connolly and his colleagues. . . .

"When it becomes necessary to place a man in an important position, or a position where he must necessarily become acquainted with the secrets of the office, some one who is already in the confidence of the thieves throws out a hint that their intended victim can make $100 or $200 a month, in addition to his salary, by placing one or two fictitious names on one of the rolls, and drawing the checks for the salaries to which actual claimants would be entitled at the end of each month.. This involves the necessity of signing the fictitious names on the payroll or voucher, when the check is received, and endorsing the same name on the check before the bank will cash it. . . . So long as he is willing to do their bidding, and to embark in every description of rascality at their dictation, he can go along very smoothly; but if he should become troublesome at any time, or if he should show any conscientious scruples when called upon to execute the will of his masters, they would turn him adrift without an hour's warning, and crush him, with the evidence of his guilt in their possession, if he had the hardihood to whisper a word about the nefarious transactions he had witnessed."

We have not the space to enumerate the various methods of plundering the city adopted by the Ring. What we have given will enable the reader to obtain a clear insight into their system. During the years 1869 and 1870, the following sums were paid by the Comptroller:

$ Keyser & Co. 1,561,619.42 Ingersoll & Co. 3,006,391.72 C. D. Bollar & Co. 951,911.84 J. A. Smith 809,298.96 A. G. Miller 626,896.74 Geo. S. Miller 1,568,447.62 A. J. Garvey and others 3,112,590.34 G. L. Schuyler 463,039.27 J. McBride Davidson 404,347.72 E. Jones & Co. 341,882.18 Chas. H. Jacobs 164,923.17 Archibald Hall, jr. 349,062.85 J. W. Smith 53,852.83 New York Printing Co. 2,042,798.99 Total 15,457,063.65

These are the figures given by the "Joint Committee of Supervisors and Aldermen appointed to investigate the public accounts of the City and County of New York." {86} In their report, presented about the 9th of October, 1871, they say: "Your Committee find that immense sums have been paid for services which have not been performed, for materials which have not been furnished, and to employes who are unknown in the offices from which they draw their salaries. Also, that parties having just claims upon the city, failing to obtain payment therefor, have assigned their claims to persons officially or otherwise connected with different departments, who have in many instances fraudulently increased their amounts, and drawn fourfold the money actually due from the city. Thus it appears in the accounts that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been paid to private parties who positively deny the receipt of the money, or any knowledge whatever of the false bills representing the large sums paid to them. These investigations compel the belief that not only the most reckless extravagance, but frauds and peculations of the grossest character have been practised in several of the departments, and that these must have been committed in many instances with the knowledge and cooperation of those appointed, and whose sworn duty it was to guard and protect the public interests."

Under the management of the Ring, the cost of governing the city was about thirty millions of dollars annually. The city and county debt (practically the same, since both are paid by the citizens of New York,) was doubled every two years. On the 1st of January, 1869, it was $36,000,000. By January 1st, 1871, it had increased to $73,000,000. On the 14th of September, 1871, it was $97,287,525, and the Citizens' Committee declare that there is grave reason to believe that it will reach $120,000,000 during the present year (1871).

For several years the Ring continued their robberies of the treasury, enriching themselves and bringing the city nearer to bankruptcy every year. Taxes increased, property was assessed for improvements that were never made, and the assessments were rigorously collected. Large sums were paid for cleaning the streets, which streets were kept clean only by the private subscriptions of the citizens residing in them, as the writer can testify from his personal experience. The burdens of the people became heavier and heavier, and the members of the Ring grew richer and richer. They built them palatial residences in the city, and their magnificent equipages were the talk of the town. They gave sumptuous entertainments, they flaunted their diamonds and jewels in the eyes of a dumbfounded public, they made ostentatious gifts to the poor, and munificent subscriptions to cathedrals and churches, all with money stolen from the city; and with this same money they endeavored to control the operations of Wall street, the great financial centre of the Republic. They built them country seats, the beauty and magnificence of which were duly set forth in the illustrated journals of the day; and they surrounded themselves with every luxury they could desire—all with money stolen from the city. Did any man dare to denounce their robberies, they turned upon him with one accord, and the whole power of the Ring was used to crush their daring assailant. They encouraged their adherents to levy blackmail upon the citizens of New York, and it came to be well understood in the great city that no man, however innocent, arrested on a civil process, could hope to regain the liberty which was his birthright, without paying the iniquitous toll levied upon him by some portion of the Ring. Even the great writ of Habeas Corpus—the very bulwark of our liberties—was repeatedly set at defiance by the underlings of the Ring, for the purpose of extorting money from some innocent man who had fallen into their clutches.

The Ring was all-powerful in the great city, and they there built up an organized despotism, the most infamous known to history. No man's rights, no man's liberties were safe, if he ventured to oppose them. They even sought to strike down freedom of speech and the liberty of the press. Mr. Samuel J. Tilden, in the speech from which we have quoted before in this chapter, makes this distinct charge against them. He says: "Mr. Evarts went to Albany last year, and carried with him my protest against the passage of the law giving to the judges a power unknown in the jurisprudence of this State—unknown in the jurisprudence of the United States for the last thirty years—whereby it was secured that any member of the City Government that might be offended, could put his hand upon the city press, and suppress its liberties and freedom of speech."

How long all this would have continued, it is impossible to say, had it not pleased God that there should be jealousies and dissensions amongst the members of the Ring strong enough to break even the infamous bonds that had so long bound them together.

The citizens of New York had for some time been slowly coming to the conclusion that they were losing their rights and property, and had been seeking for some legal means of attacking and overthrowing the Ring. Their great necessity was absolute and definite proof of fraud on the part of certain individuals. This was for a long time lacking, but it came at length. In July, 1871, a former prominent member of the Ring, having quarrelled with the Ring over a claim of three or four hundred thousand dollars, which Mr. Tweed had refused to allow, avenged himself by causing the publication of a series of the public accounts, transcribed from the books of the Comptroller. These accounts showed the millions that had been fraudulently paid away for work which had never been done, and furnished the first definite evidence of fraud on the part of the members of the Ring that had been given to the public. The press, with the exception of a few unimportant sheets owned or controlled by the Ring, denounced the frauds, and demanded an investigation of the public accounts. Mayor Hall, William M. Tweed, Richard B. Connolly, and all the greater and lesser magnates of the Ring were implicated in the terrible story told by the published accounts. The respectable citizens, without regard to party, at once joined in the demand, and expressed their determination to put an end to the power of the Ring. The whole land—nay the whole civilized world—rang with a universal cry of indignation. The temper of the citizens was such as admitted of no trifling.

The publication of the Comptroller's accounts, which revealed the stupendous system of fraud they had practised so successfully, burst upon the Ring like a clap of thunder from a clear sky. It not only surprised them, but it demoralized them. They were fairly stunned. At first they affected to treat the whole matter as a partisan outburst which would soon "blow over." Some of the more timid took counsel of their fears and fled from the city, some even quitting the country. The more hardened endeavored "to brave it out," and defiantly declared that the citizens could not molest them. All the while the wrath of the people grew hotter, and the demand for the publication of the Comptroller's accounts became more urgent. Comptroller Connolly, conscious of his guilt, met this demand with vague promises of compliance. Mayor Hall set himself to work to prove that the whole affair was a mistake, that no money had been stolen, that the City Government had been unjustly assailed, and by his ill-advised efforts drew upon himself a larger share of the public indignation and suspicion than had previously been accorded to him. The great object of the Ring was to gain time. They meant that the Comptroller's accounts should not be published, and to accomplish this they began the attempt to get possession of the Comptroller's office, the records of which contained the evidence of their crimes. With this important department in their hands they could suppress this evidence, or, if driven to desperation, destroy it. A council of the leaders of the Ring was called, at which it was resolved to get Mr. Connolly out of the Comptroller's office, and to put in his place a creature of their own. They did not dare, however, to make an effort to oust Connolly, without having some plausible pretext for their action. They feared that he would expose their mutual villainy, and involve them in his ruin, and they wished to prevent this. Still, they resolved to get rid of him, and their plan was first to crush him, and thus prevent his exposing them. We shall see how their plan worked.

Meanwhile the public indignation had been growing stronger daily. On the 4th of September, 1871, a large and harmonious meeting of citizens, without regard to party, was held at Cooper Institute. At this meeting it was resolved to compel an exposure of the frauds practised upon the people, and to punish the guilty parties; and committees were appointed, money subscribed, and the best legal talent in the city retained for that purpose. A reform movement to carry the November elections in the interest of the citizens and tax-payers was inaugurated, and the power of the courts was invoked to put a stop to the further expenditure of the city funds. The popular sentiment was too strong to be mistaken, and some of the leading officials, and several journals which had previously supported the Ring, took the alarm and entered the ranks of the party of Reform. The Democratic party of the State repudiated the Ring, and it was plain that the Tammany ticket would be supported only by the lowest classes of the city voters. The members of the Ring were now thoroughly aroused to the danger which threatened them; but, true to their corrupt instincts, they endeavored to meet it by fraud. They appointed a Committee of Aldermen to act with the Citizens' Committee in the investigation of the alleged frauds, and then withheld from them all evidence that could be of service to them.

The Comptroller's office contained not only the accounts of moneys paid out, but also the vouchers for all sums expended, properly signed and sworn to by the parties receiving the money, and these vouchers constituted the principal proof of the frauds. On Monday, September 11th, the city was startled by the announcement that the office of the Comptroller had been forcibly entered during the previous day, Sunday, and that the vouchers covering the principal transactions of the Ring had been stolen. It was a bold deed, and was so thoroughly characteristic of the Ring, that the public at once attributed it to that body. The Ring on their part endeavored to produce the belief that the Comptroller had stolen the vouchers to screen himself. Mayor Hall immediately wrote a peremptory letter to Mr. Connolly, asking him to resign his position as he (the Comptroller) had lost the confidence of the people. Mr. Connolly was not slow to perceive that the Ring were determined to sacrifice him to secure their own safety, and he declined to become their victim. He not only refused to resign his position at Mayor Hall's demand, but set to work vigorously to discover and bring to light the persons who had stolen the vouchers. To have stolen the vouchers himself, or to have countenanced the robbery, would have been worse than folly on the part of the Comptroller. It would have damaged him fatally with the citizens, who were disposed to deal lightly with him if he would aid them in getting at and punishing the villainies of his former confederates. There was no reason why he should seek to screen the Ring, for they made no secret of their intention to destroy him. In view, therefore, of the facts as at present known, it seems certain that the theft was brought about by the Ring for the purpose of throwing the suspicion of the crime upon the Comptroller, and thus giving them a pretext for crushing him.

Wisely for himself, Mr. Connolly determined to let the Ring shift for themselves, and throw himself upon the mercy of the Reform party. He withdrew from the active discharge of the duties of his office, and appointed Mr. Andrew H. Green—an eminent citizen, possessing the respect and confidence of all parties—his deputy, with full powers, and avowed his determination to do his utmost to afford the Citizens' Committee a full and impartial investigation of his affairs. The Ring made great efforts to prevent his withdrawal, or, rather, the appointment of Mr. Green. Says Mr. Samuel J. Tilden, who was the real cause of this action on Mr. Connolly's part, and who was the acknowledged leader of the Reform Democracy during the contest:

"When Mr. Connolly came to my house on that morning on which he executed an abdication in favor of Mr. Green, he was accompanied by two counsel, one of whom was half an hour behind time, and I learned, not from him, but from other sources, that he spent that half hour at the house of Peter B. Sweeny. When the conference went on, he said, not speaking for himself individually, but still he would state the views taken by other friends of Mr. Connolly as to what he should do. He said he was assured that some respectable man would be put in the office of Comptroller, and that then he would say to Mr. Booth, of the Common Council Committee, and to the Committee of Seventy: 'I am competent to make every necessary investigation myself.' And that then everything that would hurt the party would be kept back; and that was the consideration presented to Mr. Connolly in my presence, and in the presence of Mr. Havemeyer and the two counsel. I told Mr. Connolly that the proposition was wrong, and would fail, and ought to fail; that no man had character enough to shut off the injured and indignant citizens from the investigation desired; and if he attempted to do it, it would ruin everybody concerned in it, and plunge him in a deeper ruin. That his only chance and hope was in doing right from that day, and throwing himself upon the charity and humanity of those who had been wronged."

Failing to prevent the appointment of Mr. Green, the Ring endeavored to ignore it. The Mayor professed to regard the Comptroller's withdrawal from his office as a resignation of his post. He at once announced his acceptance of this resignation, and proceeded to appoint a successor to Mr. Connolly. Here, however, the Ring met with another defeat. During the early part of 1871, Mr. Connolly had some idea of visiting Europe, and, in order to keep prying eyes from his official records, had procured the passage of a law by the Legislature, authorizing him to appoint a Deputy-Comptroller, who "shall, in addition to his other powers, possess every power, and perform every duty belonging to the office of Comptroller, whenever the said Comptroller shall, by due written authority, and during a period to be specified in such authority, designate and authorize the said Deputy-Comptroller to possess the power and perform the duty aforesaid." Mr. Connolly thus had the legal power to appoint Mr. Green, and the Mayor's refusal to recognize the appointment was mere bombast. The best legal talent in New York sustained Mr. Connolly, and the Mayor's own law officer advised him that he must respect the appointment; and so the statute that had been framed for the protection of the Ring was unexpectedly used for their destruction.

[Picture: THE ROBBERY OF THE VOUCHERS]

Still another discomfiture awaited the Ring. A few days after the appointment of Mr. Green, a servant girl employed in the family of the janitor of the new Court House, unexpectedly revealed, under oath, the manner in which the vouchers were stolen from the Comptroller's office, and the names of the thieves. Her sworn statement is as follows:

"City and County of New York, ss.—Mary Conway, being duly sworn, doth depose and say: I have lived with Mr. and Mrs. Haggerty, in the County Court-House, for over fourteen months, as cook; for about three or four months I did general housework; on Sunday morning, September 10th, I got out of bed with the child that slept with me, wanting to get up; I don't know whether it was half-past six or seven o'clock; Mrs. Haggerty came into the room in her night-dress; and said to me, 'it is too early to get up yet;' I said to her, 'being as I am up I guess I will dress myself;' as I was dressed I went out into the hall; I heard a knocking down stairs; I said to Mrs. Haggerty, 'it sounds as if it was at the Comptroller's door;' I went over to the kitchen, unlocked the kitchen door, and went down stairs to the head of the stairs that leads to the Comptroller's hall; I saw Charley Baulch knocking at the Comptroller's door, and calling, 'Murphy, are you there?' Murphy is a watchman; I came up stairs and went back to the kitchen; shortly after I went down stairs again and saw Charley Baulch with the door of the Comptroller's office open, he holding it back on the outside, and I saw Mr. Haggerty come out of the door with bundles of papers in his arms and bring them up to his bedroom; the door where he came out is at the foot of the stairs, where the glass is broken, going into the County Bureau; I came back, and did not go down any more; each bundle of papers was tied with either a pink tape or a pink ribbon round them; the next thing, I went over from the kitchen out into the hall for a scuttle of coal; in this hall Mr. Haggerty's bedroom door faced me; I saw a man with gray clothes going in there with another bundle of papers like what Mr. Haggerty had; then I brought back the coal to the kitchen, and put it on the fire; the next I saw was this man with the gray clothes going down with a pillow-case on his back, full, that looked as though filled with papers, shaped like the bundles Mr. Haggerty had; at the same time he went down the stairs Charley Baulch said to him, 'This way;' I kind of judged there was something up, and I went to look in the drawer where the pillow-cases were, and I missed one of the linen pillow-cases; I did this soon afterward; soon after the man went down with the pillow-case, Mrs. Haggerty came into the kitchen, giving me a key, and telling me to go over to the drying-room; that is a room separate from the bedrooms; there was a chest there full of linen, table linen and bed linen, and silver right down in the bottom; she told me to get a nut-picker and bring it over, as Mr. Haggerty wanted one; I took all the clothes out of the trunk, and got the nut-picker and brought it back to her, and before I got into the kitchen I said to Mrs. Haggerty, 'What is the matter? The kitchen's all black with smoke, and the dining room's all black with smoke.' She said, 'Mr. Haggerty wanted these papers burned, I told him not to put them in, but he wants them burned;' I went over to the range to cook some eggs for breakfast; it was full of burned papers on the top and in the bottom; there lay a bundle of papers on the top that were about half burned, with a piece of pink tape around them; I put on the cover again; they were partly smothered, going out; Mrs. Haggerty had a poker stirring up the papers on the top and underneath, where the ashes were; the bottom of the range was full of burning papers, and Mrs. Haggerty had the poker stirring them up so that they would burn faster; from underneath the range and the top she took three or four pailfuls of burned papers and emptied them up stairs on the attic floor, in a heap of ashes.

"On Tuesday next, when Mrs. Haggerty came home from the market, she asked me if there was anything new about this robbery in the Comptroller's office; I told her I did not know; I didn't hear nothing, no more than a man came up stairs to-day, and asked me if I let anybody in on Sunday, or if I knew anybody to come into the building on Sunday; I told him I did not know who came in; I didn't attend to the front door; I was cooking, and had nothing to do with the front door; and I asked the man who sent him up stairs; and he said a man down in the hall sent him up stairs to inquire; next, I told Mrs. Haggerty that if I had known it was Charley Baulch sent him up stairs to find any information from me, I should have told the man to go down stairs, that Charley Baulch knew as much about it as I did, and more, for he was one of the men that helped to rob it; she said to me, 'Christ! If Charley Baulch knowed that, he'd run into the East River and drown himself—if he knowed you saw him;' this was on Tuesday night I told her this; Mr. Haggerty left town on Tuesday, saying he was going to Saratoga with Hank Smith, and he would be home on Thursday or Friday, and on Wednesday night he got home from Saratoga; Mrs. Haggerty told him the remarks that I made to her on Tuesday night about the robbery; that I saw all that passed; she told me on Thursday morning that she told Mr. Haggerty about it all, last night; that he was going to wash his feet, but he felt so bad over it; they sat up for two hours in the room talking, and he didn't wash his feet; on Thursday morning when Mr. Haggerty came into the kitchen, he came to me, running in, and said, 'Mary!' I said, 'Sir!' Said he, 'I don't want you to speak of what you saw passed here on Sunday morning; I don't want you to tell these old women or old men in the building; Charley Baulch done it for me, and I done it for another man;' I said, 'I haven't told it to anyone;' He said, 'You did tell it to Kitty' (his wife); I said, 'She knew as much about it as I did; she saw the papers burning;' on next Friday of that same week I saw Mark Haggerty, Mr. Haggerty's brother, who is a detective in the Mayor's office, I think; I called him up stairs and asked him to come in; he said, 'No, I am afraid to come in; I am afraid of Ed.,' that is, Mr. Haggerty; they have not been on speaking terms in a year; I then told him the occurrences that happened in the Court-House on Sunday morning; I told him I didn't feel like staying there; that I was almost crazy about it; he told me to keep it still; that if anybody would hear about it outside they would be collared; I asked him would it be prison; he said certainly.

"On Saturday night I went down to the market where Mrs. Haggerty keeps a stand, and told her that I was going to leave for a few days until this mess would be settled, for fear there would be any arrest, and I should be a witness; she told me all I had to say was that I knew nothing about it; I told her a false oath I would not give; what I saw with my eyes I would swear to; she told me I could do as I chose about it; that I might go against Mr. Haggerty if I chose; she said, 'It's foolish of you to think so; you ought to go to headquarters and consult Mr. Kelso about it;' I told her no, it was none of my business to go and consult him about Mr. Haggerty's robbery; then she and I came together to the Court-House; I got a couple of dresses and a night dress; I went down stairs; she went with me; I met a policeman at the door, and he asked me where I was going; I told him I was going to see my uncle's wife; she was sick; I then went down to Washington street; I came up for my clothes yesterday (Tuesday); the rooms were locked; I went down to the market to where Mrs. Haggerty does business, and the first thing she said to me was, 'By Christ Almighty, Mr. Haggerty will take your life!' I says to her, 'What for?' she said, 'What you told Mark;' I said, 'I've told him the truth about the robbery;' she says, 'Your life will be taken, by Christ Almighty!' I said, 'I want my clothes;' She said, 'You can get your clothes any time, what belongs to you;' she did not come up, and did not open the door; I left my trunk in the hall of the Court-House, that I brought to put my clothes in; they are over there yet; on that day, before I saw Mrs. Haggerty, Mr. Murphy came to me and asked me if I knowed anything about the robbery; if I did, please to tell the Comptroller; I kind of smiled, and said I knew nothing about it; 'Well,' said he, 'I know you know something about it;' I was making the bed in Mr. Haggerty's room when Mr. Murphy came up and asked me if I knew anything about it; I kind of smiled, and said 'No;' Mr. Murphy says, 'I know better, you do;' I says, 'Why?' says he, 'Suppose you should be arrested, then you'd have to prove about it whether you knew anything about it or not;' that was in the hall; said I, 'When I'm arrested, it's time enough to prove it then;' I then promised to see him on the stoop on Saturday night, but I did not; I came up on Sunday morning, and left word at the Hook and Ladder House to have Mr. Murphy come and see me on Sunday night at No. 95 Washington street; Murphy came to me, and I told him I would go up to the Comptroller's house with him and tell the Comptroller all I knew about it, and that I was not doing it for any reward or money; I was doing it to clear the Comptroller in the eyes of the people; I went on Tuesday morning with Murphy to the Comptroller's house, and made the above statement; this morning there was a policeman came into the house where I was staying at No. 95 Washington street; the woman in the house told me he would give me advice about the clothes I had left in the Court-House; he asked me if I had any charge against Haggerty; I told him no, no more than what happened there and what I saw on Sunday morning week, and I explained it to him; he asked me, 'Have you been speaking to Mr. Connolly?' I said, 'Yes, certainly;' the policeman went out of the house; the captain (as the woman called him) came to the door and knocked, and asked the woman about me; she said I had stepped out; he brought her out on the sidewalk, and was talking to her a little while, and as I was in the room I heard him speak Hank Smith's name to her once; when she came in she said he told her that he would like to see me and have a talk with me, because they would do as much for me as Mr. Connolly would in this business.

"MARY CONWAY.

"Sworn to before me, Sept. 20th, 1871.

"THOS. A. LEDWITH, Police Justice."

In consequence of this disclosure, Baulch and Haggerty were arrested on the charge of stealing the vouchers. Search was made in the Court-House, and the half-charred fragments of the vouchers were found in a room used for the storage of old lumber. Naturally, the Ring endeavored to treat this discovery as a trick of the Comptroller's, and they furnished the men charged with the theft with able counsel to defend them.

The citizens on their part endeavored to bring matters to a satisfactory termination and secure the punishment of the Ring; but the members of that body met them at every step with defiance and effrontery. They used every means in their power to prevent an investigation of the public accounts, and to defeat the efforts that were made to recover the money they had stolen from the city. Meanwhile the Citizens' Committee labored faithfully, and, through the efforts of Mr. Tilden, evidence was obtained sufficient to cause the arrest of Mr. Tweed. Garvey, Woodward, and Ingersoll sought safety in flight. Mayor Hall was arrested on the charge of sharing the plunder obtained by the Ring, but the examining magistrate declined to hold him on the charge for lack of evidence against him, and the Grand Jury refused to indict him, for the same reason. Mr. Tweed had been nominated for the State Senate by a constituency composed of the most worthless part of the population, and, in spite of the charges against him, he continued to present himself for the suffrages of these people, by whom he was elected at the November election. In due time the various committees appointed by the citizens made their reports, presenting the facts we have embodied in this chapter. The guilt of the members of the Ring was proven so clearly that no reasonable person could doubt it; but still grave fears were expressed that it would be impossible to bring these men to justice, in consequence of the arts of shrewd counsel and legal quibbles. The determination of the citizens grew with the approach of the elections. Their last great victory over the Ring was achieved at the polls on the 7th of November, when the entire Ring ticket in the city, with but one or two exceptions, was overwhelmingly defeated.

Whether the guilty parties will be punished as they deserve, or whether the citizens will allow the prosecutions they have instituted to flag, the future alone can decide. At the present there is reason to fear that the guilty will escape. Should this fear be realized, the citizens of New York will have abundant cause to regret it. The Ring is badly beaten, but it is not destroyed. Many of its members are still in office, and there are still numbers of its followers ready to do its bidding. Until the last man tainted with the infamy of an alliance with the Ring is removed from office, the people of New York may be sure that the danger is not at an end.



II. PERSONNEL OF THE RING.

Generally speaking, the Ring may be said to include every office-holder in the city, and it is very certain that of late every official has come in for a share of the suspicion with which the people regard the transactions of the Ring. It would be impossible to give an accurate and complete list of the members of that body, for many of them are not yet known to the public; but the recent investigations have shown that it is not composed exclusively of Democrats. A number of Republicans, while openly acting with their party, have been found to be allied with and in the pay of the Ring.

The men who are supposed to have played the most conspicuous parts in the doings of the Ring, and who are believed by the public to be chiefly responsible for its acts, are Mayor A. O. Hall, Richard B. Connolly, William M. Tweed, Peter B. Sweeny, J. H. Ingersoll, Andrew J. Garvey, and E. A. Woodward.

A. OAKEY HALL, Mayor of the city, was born in New York, is of American parentage, and is about forty-six years old. He received a good education, and at an early age began the study of the law. He removed to New Orleans soon after, and was for a while in the office of the Hon. John Slidell. He subsequently returned to New York, where he became associated with the late Mr. Nathaniel Blunt, as Assistant District-Attorney. Upon the death of Mr. Blunt, he was elected District-Attorney by the Whig party, and held that position for about twelve years. At the end of that time, he was elected Mayor of New York, to succeed John T. Hoffman, now Governor of the State. For some years he has been a member of the law firm of Brown, Hall & Vanderpoel, which firm enjoys a large and lucrative practice. He is said to be a lawyer of considerable ability, and has undoubtedly had great experience in criminal practice. As a politician, his experience has also been extensive and varied. He began life as a Whig, but became a prominent Know-Nothing in the palmy days of that party. Finding Know-Nothingism a failure, however, he became a Republican, from which party, about nine or ten years ago, he passed over to the Democrats.

A writer in Every Saturday thus speaks of him:

"His Honor has some facility as a writer, and for twenty years has maintained a quasi or direct connection with the press. He is not lacking in the culture of desultory reading, and when he chooses to do so can bear himself like a gentleman. Of such a thing as dignity of character, he appears to have but a faint conception. Pedantry is more to him than profundity, and to tickle the ear of the town with a cheap witticism, he deems a greater thing than to command it with a forcible presentation of grave issues. The essential type of the man was presented to public gaze about two years ago, when he stood on the City Hall steps dressed from head to foot in a suit of green to review a St. Patrick's procession. He is a harlequin with the literary ambition of a Richelieu. He affects an intimacy with the stage, and has done something in the way of producing plays. He can write clearly and concisely when he will, but prefers to provoke with odd quips and far-fetched conceits. He patronizes journalists and magazine writers with a sort of grotesque familiarity, and readily makes himself at home among the Bohemians of Literature."

Since his union with the Democracy, Mr. Hall has been the constant and intimate associate of the men who have brought disgrace and loss upon the city, and of late years he has been regarded as one of the leading members of the Ring. It is said openly in New York that he owes his election to the Mayoralty entirely to William M. Tweed. As Mayor of the city, he has been officially connected with many of the transactions by which the city has been defrauded of large sums of money. Some of the most prominent newspapers of the city have denounced him as a thief and a sharer of the stolen money. His friends, on the other hand, have declared their belief that his worst fault was his official approval of the fraudulent warrants. They state that he has never in his manner of living, or in any other way, given evidence of possessing large sums of money, and his legal partner made oath before the Grand Jury that Mr. Hall was not worth over $60,000 or $70,000. It is certain that when the proprietor of the New York Times, which journal had been loud in denouncing Hall as a thief, was called on by the Grand Jury to furnish them with the evidence upon which this charge was based, he was unable to do so, and the Grand Jury was unable to obtain any evidence criminating Mr. Hall personally. His friends declare that his signing the fraudulent warrants was a purely ministerial act, and that having many thousands of them to sign in a year, he was compelled to rely upon the endorsements of the Comptroller and auditing officers.

In the present state of affairs, there is no evidence showing that Mr. Hall derived any personal pecuniary benefit from the frauds upon the treasury. Public sentiment is divided respecting him; many persons believing that he is a sharer in the plunder of the Ring, and others holding the opposite opinion. The most serious charges that have been made against him, have been brought by Mr. John Foley, and Mr. Samuel J. Tilden. The former is the President of the Nineteenth Ward Citizens' Association, and the latter the leader of the Reform Democracy. Mr. Tilden, in his speech at the Cooper Institute, November 2d, 1871, thus spoke of Mayor Hall:

"These three Auditors met but once. They then passed a resolution which now stands on the records of the city in the handwriting of Mayor Hall. It was passed on his motion, and what was its effect? Did it audit anything? Did it perform the functions? Did it fulfil the trust committed to the Board? Not a bit of it. It provided that all claims certified by Mr. Tweed and Mr. Young, Secretary of the old Board of Supervisors, should be received, and, on sufficient evidence, paid. Mayor Hall is the responsible man for all this. He knew it was a fraudulent violation of duty on the part of every member of that Board of Audit to pass claims in the way they did.

* * * * *

"Fellow-citizens, let me call your attention for a moment to the after-piece of these transactions. Our friend, Mayor Hall, is a very distinguished dramatist, and he would consider it a very serious offence to the drama to have the after-piece left out. Now, what was that after-piece? When the statements were published in regard to these frauds, Mayor Hall published a card, wherein he said that these accounts were audited by the old Board of Supervisors, and that neither he nor Mr. Connolly was at all responsible for them. A little later—about August 16th—Mayor Hall said it was true they were audited by the Board of Audit, and, in doing so, they performed a ministerial function, and would have been compelled by mandamus to do it, if they hadn't done it willingly. I do not deem it necessary in the presence of an intelligent audience and the lawyers sitting around me on this stage, to present any observations upon the idea that 'to audit and to pay the amount found due' was a ministerial function. . . . . . .

"So we pass to Mr. Hall's fourth defence. On the burning of the vouchers he made a raid on Mr. Connolly. He wrote him a public letter, demanding his resignation in the name of the public because he had lost the public confidence; and at the same time he was writing to Mr. Tweed touching and tender epistles of sympathy and regret. You might at that time, if you were a member of the Club, have heard Mr. Hall in his jaunty and somewhat defiant manner; you might have seen Mr. Tweed, riding in the midnight hour, with countenance vacant and locks awry, and have heard dropping from his lips, 'The public demands a victim.' And so he proposed to charge upon Connolly, who had legal custody of the vouchers, the stealing and burning of them. He proposed to put some one else in the office of the Comptroller when Connolly should be crushed out of it, and so reconstruct the Ring and impose it a few years longer upon the people of this city. . . . . . .

"The sequel showed that the vouchers were taken by Haggerty, whom Mr. Connolly sought out and found, and prosecuted. Then, again, a little later, when it happened that Mr. Keyser swore that indorsements for $900,000 on warrants made in his name were forgeries, there was another raid made on the Comptroller's office. It was then filled by Mr. Green. The object was not to get rid of Mr. Connolly but of Mr. Green, and the men who caused the raid were Mayor Hall and Peter B. Sweeny. Now, what was the result of that? And I will say to this meeting that the sense of alarm that I had that morning lest the movement should mislead the public, was the motive that induced me to lay aside my business, go to the Broadway Bank and make a personal examination.

"What was the result of that? Why, that every one of these forged warrants were deposited, except one, to Woodward's account, and only one to Ingersoll, and that the proceeds were divided with Tweed.

"Now, gentlemen, these revelations throw a light upon what? Upon three false pretences in regard to these transactions, made by Mayor Hall under his own signature before the public, and two attempts to mislead the public judgment as to the real authors of the crime. I do not wish to do injustice to Mayor Hall. He is a man experienced in criminal law. (Laughter.) He is a man who is educated both in the drama and in the stirring scenes that are recorded in the actual crimes of mankind in this country and in England, for I understand this has composed the greatest part of his business. Now I say that there is nothing in the melo-dramatic history of crime more remarkable than these two successive attempts of his to lay the crime to innocent men, if the object was not to screen men whom he knew to be guilty. And while I would not do any wrong or the slightest injustice to Mayor Hall, I say to him, as I do to you, that the history of these transactions puts him on his explanation, and draws upon him a strong suspicion that he knew whereof he was acting. Did he mistake when he got the City Charter? Did he mistake when he acted in the Board of Audit? Did he mistake when he accused Connolly of burning the vouchers? Has he been subject to a misfortune of mistakes at all times? Why does he stand to-day endeavoring to preserve that power? I will only say that if he was mistaken on these occasions he is a very unfortunate man, and has not acquired by the six years of practice in the District-Attorney's office that amount of sagacity in the pursuit of crime which we would naturally ascribe to him."

RICHARD B. CONNOLLY was born in the county of Cork, in Ireland. His father was a village schoolmaster, and gave him a good common school education. He was brought over to this country by an elder brother who had been here for several years. He embarked in politics at an early day, and was elected County Clerk before he could legally cast his vote. He soon made himself noted for his facility in making and breaking political promises, in consequence of which he was popularly called "Slippery Dick." He gave considerable dissatisfaction to his party as County Clerk, and soon dropped out of politics. A few years later, taking advantage of the divisions of the Democratic party, he put himself forward as a candidate for the post of State Senator, and was elected, as is charged by the newspaper press, by the liberal use of bribery and ballot-box stuffing. He was charged with using his position to make money, and during his term at Albany was fiercely denounced for his course in this and other respects.

[Picture: RICHARD B. CONNOLLY.]

About three years ago, he was appointed Comptroller of the Finance Department of the City of New York. At that time the real heads of the Finance Department were Peter B. Sweeny, City Chamberlain, and the late County Auditor Watson, the latter of whom has been shown by the recent investigations to have been a wholesale plunderer of the public funds. The Comptroller was then a mere ornamental figure-head to the department. In a short while, however, Watson was accidentally killed; and Sweeny resigned, leaving Connolly master of the situation. He was suspected by Tweed, and in his turn distrusted the "Boss." It is said that he resolved, however, to imitate his colleagues, and enrich himself at the cost of the public. He did well. In the short period of three years, this man, who had entered upon his office poor, became a millionaire. He made his son Auditor in the City Bureau, and gave the positions of Surrogate and Deputy Receiver of Taxes to his two sons-in-law. All these three were men of the lowest intellectual capacity, and all three share in the suspicion which attaches to Connolly's administration of the office. The New York Tribune, of October 25th, 1871, stated that a short time before he became Comptroller, Connolly was sued for debt by Henry Felter, now a liquor merchant on Broadway, and swore in court that he owned no property at all. Under this statement the Tribune publishes a list of a part of Connolly's transactions in property since he became Comptroller, covering the sum of $2,300,691.

PETER B. SWEENY is the "modest man" of the Ring, and is popularly believed to carry the brains of that body in his head. He is regarded by the public as the real leader of the Ring, and the originator of, and prime, though secret mover in all its acts.

[Picture: PETER B. SWEENY.]

Mr. Sweeny is of Irish parentage, though born in New York. His father kept a drinking saloon in Park Row, near the old Park Theatre, and it was in this choice retreat that the youth of Sweeny was passed. He began his career as an errand boy in a law office. He subsequently studied law, and, in due time, was admitted to the bar.

A writer in Every Saturday thus sums up his career: "He never obtained, and perhaps never sought, much business in his profession; but very soon after reaching manhood turned his attention to politics. The first office he held was that of Counsel to the Corporation, to which position he was elected by a handsome majority. This station did not so much require in its occupant legal skill and legal ability, as an apt faculty for political manipulation; and in the work he had to do, Mr. Sweeny was eminently successful. From the Corporation office he went into the District Attorneyship, obtained leave of absence for some time, treated himself to a term of European travel, came home, and resigned the post to which he had been chosen, and soon became City Chamberlain by the Mayor's appointment.

"It was in this office that he did what gave him a national standing, and led many people into the notion that some good had come from the Tammany Nazareth. The Chamberlain was custodian, under the old charter, of all city moneys. Such portions of these funds as were not required for immediate use, this official deposited in some of the banks, and the banks allowed interest, as is customary, on the weekly or monthly balance to his credit. Previous to Sweeny's time the Chamberlain had put this interest money into his own pocket—and a very handsome thing Mr. Devlin and his predecessors made out of the transaction. But Sweeny startled the political world, and caused a great sensation, by announcing that he should turn these interest receipts into the City Treasury. Tammany made a notable parade of his honesty and public spirit, and the capital he gained in this way has been his chief stock-in-trade for the last two or three years.

"But in the light of recent developments, Mr. Sweeny's course does not seem so purely disinterested as it once did. He was in full control of the city funds on the memorable Black Friday of two years ago last summer, and sworn testimony taken by a committee of Congress shows that he had a share in the doings of that eventful day. To what extent the money in his official charge was put at the service of the Wall street Ring, the country probably never will know; but the common belief of New York is that Mr. Sweeny made a good deal of money out of his speculations on that occasion. That he has been more or less concerned with Fisk and Gould in various Erie Railway stock operations, is matter of general notoriety; as it is also that most of the lately-exposed fraudulent transactions in connection with the so-called new Court-House and other public buildings occurred during his incumbency of the Chamberlain's office. The greater part of those transactions yet brought into daylight refer to county affairs, it is true; but city and county are one except in name, and we have only just begun to get at what are designated the city accounts.

"As has been already stated, he values himself on his brains, and the Ring adherents take him at that valuation. They believe him capable of finding a way out of the closest corner, and we suppose it is not to be doubted that he is a man of considerable ability. He has not many of the qualities of a popular politician; years ago he cut loose from his early engine-company associations; he is reserved and reticent at all times, and rarely seeks contact with the Democratic masses; he covets seclusion and respectability; apparently he has sought to be Warwick rather than King, and his followers credit him with a masterly performance of the part. One of his earliest acts as President of the Park Commission was to oust Fred. Law Olmstead, and shelve Andrew H. Green, the actual creators of Central Park; but the whirligig of time has now put him into such a position that he cannot get a dollar of public money without the signature of Andrew H. Green."

Since the disastrous defeat of Tammany and the Ring in the November elections, Mr. Sweeny has resigned his Presidency of the Department of Public Parks, and has retired to private life. He is a man of considerable wealth, and, though there is no evidence to convict him of complicity with Tweed and Connolly in their frauds, the public suspect and distrust him, so that altogether, his retirement was a very wise and politic act.

The "head devil" of the Ring is WILLIAM M. TWEED, or, as he is commonly called, "Boss Tweed." He is of Irish descent, and was born in the City of New York. He was apprenticed to a chair-maker, to learn the trade, but never engaged legitimately in it after he became his own master. He finally became a member of Fire Company No. 6—known as "Big Six," and "Old Tiger"—the roughest and worst company in the city. He soon became its foreman. His attention was now turned to politics, and as he possessed considerable influence over the "roughs," he became a valuable man to the city politicians. As a compensation for his services, they allowed him to receive a small office, from which he pushed his way into the old Board of Supervisors, and eventually into the State Senate. Upon the inauguration of the New Charter, he became President of the Board of Public Works, and the most prominent leader of the Ring. He is a man of considerable executive ability, and has known how to use his gifts for his own gain. In March, 1870, the New York World spoke of him as follows:

"Mr. Tweed was worth less than nothing when he took to the trade of politics. Now he has great possessions, estimated all the way from $5,000,000 to twice as much. We are sorry not to be able to give his own estimate, but, unluckily, he returns no income. But at least he is rich enough to own a gorgeous house in town and a sumptuous seat in the country, a stud of horses, and a set of palatial stables. His native modesty shrinks from blazoning abroad the exact extent of his present wealth, or the exact means by which it was acquired. His sensitive soul revolts even at the partial publicity of the income list. We are tossed upon the boundless ocean of conjecture. But we do know from his own reluctant lips that this public servant, who entered the public service a bankrupt, has become, by an entire abandonment of himself to the public good, 'one of the largest tax-payers in New York.' His influence is co-extensive with his cash. The docile Legislature sits at his feet, as Saul at the feet of Gamaliel, and waits, in reverent inactivity, for his signal before proceeding to action. He thrives on percentages of pilfering, grows rich on the distributed dividends of rascality. His extortions are as boundless in their sum as in their ingenuity. Streets unopened profit him—streets opened put money in his purse. Paving an avenue with poultice enriches him—taking off the poultice increases his wealth. His rapacity, like the trunk of an elephant, with equal skill twists a fortune out of the Broadway widening, and picks up dishonest pennies in the Bowery."

In 1861, Mr. Tweed appeared in the courts of the city as a bankrupt. In 1871, his wealth is estimated at from $15,000,000, to $20,000,000. The manner in which he is popularly believed to have amassed this immense sum is thus described in a pamphlet recently issued in New York:

"While holding the position of State Senator he also held the position of Supervisor—was the leading spirit and President of the old Board of Supervisors, that has been denounced as the most scandalously corrupt body that ever disgraced a civilized community—and also the position of Deputy Street Commissioner. The first two be used to put money in his pocket, but the last was used mainly to enable him to keep a set of ruffians about him, who were paid out of the city treasury, and to afford lucrative positions to men who might be of service in promoting his political and pecuniary interests. By employing the same agencies that he had used to secure his own election, he gradually worked his particular friends into positions where he could use them, and then commenced a scheme for surrounding every department in the government of the city and county with a perfect network, which would enable himself and his confederates to appropriate to their own use the greater part of the city and county revenues. The new Court-House has been a mine of wealth to these thieves from its very inception. The quarry from which the marble was supplied was bought by the gang for a mere nominal price, and has since netted them millions of dollars. The old fire engine-houses were turned over to 'Andy' Garvey and other cronies of Tweed's at rents ranging from $50 to $150 a year, and some of them have been let by these fellows as high as $5000 a year. The public schools, the different departments of the government, and the public institutions under the control of the city authorities, all needed furniture, and Tweed started a furniture manufactory in connection with James H. Ingersoll, who has since achieved a notoriety as the most shameless thief among the fraternity of scoundrels whom we are now describing. Tweed's next step was to get control of a worthless little newspaper called The Transcript, and then to introduce a bill into the Legislature making this miserable little sheet the official organ of the City Government. This sheet receives over a $1,000,000 a year for printing the proceedings of the Common Council, but the proceedings of the corrupt Board of Supervisors are studiously concealed from the public.

"Tweed's next step was to establish 'The New York Printing Company.' This gives Tweed a pretext for rendering enormous bills for printing for the different departments of the City Government; and although the amount of work actually performed is only trifling, and consists mainly in printing blank forms and vouchers, still the amount annually paid out of the treasury to this company is something enormous—amounting during the year 1870 to over $2,800,000. Nor is this all. When this company was first started, a portion of a building on Centre street was found sufficient for its accommodation. Since then it has absorbed three of the largest printing establishments in the city, and also three or four smaller ones, and a lithographing establishment. Why have these extensive establishments been secured? Simply this: Insurance Companies, Steamboat Companies, Ferry Companies, and other corporations require an enormous amount of printing. Each of these associations may be subjected to serious loss and inconvenience, by the passage of legislative enactments abridging the privileges they now enjoy, or requiring them to submit to some vexatious and expensive regulation. Hence, when they receive notice that 'The New York Printing Company' is ready to do their printing, they know that they must consent, and pay the most exorbitant rate for the work done, or submit to Tweed's exactions during the next session of the Legislature.

"In addition to the Printing Company, Tweed has a 'Manufacturing Stationers' Company,' which furnishes all the stationery used in the public schools, the public institutions, and the several departments of the City Government. This concern receives not less than $3,000,000 a year out of the city treasury. As an illustration of the way they do things, we will cite one instance: During the month of April of the present year, an order was sent to this company for stationery for the County Bureau. In due time it was delivered, and consisted of about six reams of cap paper, and an equal quantity of letter paper, with a couple of reams of note paper. There were, also, about two dozen penholders, four small ink bottles, such as could be bought at retail for thirty-five or forty cents, a dozen small sponges for pen-wipers, half a dozen office rulers, and three dozen boxes of rubber bands of various sizes—the entire amount worth about fifty dollars at retail. For this stationery, a bill of ten thousand dollars was rendered soon after, and was duly paid; and similar claims are presented for stationery for every bureau and department of the government, almost every month throughout the year—and are always promptly paid, although persons having legitimate claims against the same appropriation could not obtain a dollar. But not content with the enormous amounts that are thus obtained under false pretences, Tweed even charges the city with the wages of the different persons employed in these several establishments, and makes a large percentage on the amounts thus drawn from the Treasury. For instance: Charles E. Wilbour is President of the Printing Company and also of the Stationers' Company, while Cornelius Corson is the Secretary of both companies. Wilbour receives $3000 a year as Stenographer to the Bureau of Elections, $2500 as Stenographer in the Superior Court, and $3500 a year for 'examining accounts' that he has never seen. These several sums are drawn out of the County Bureau alone, and he holds an equal number of sinecure positions in the City Bureau. Corson is Chief of the Bureau of Elections, for which he receives $6000 a year; and he also receives $3500 for 'examining' the same accounts, for which Wilbour receives a similar sum; while, like Wilbour, he has never seen the accounts."

In order to carry on his immense operations, Tweed has had to avail himself from time to time of the assistance of his partners. He has always found them willing accomplices. These were J. H. Ingersoll, Andrew J. Garvey, and E. A. Woodward, all of whom have sought safety in flight.

J. H. Ingersoll is the son of a chair-dealer in the Bowery, and was Tweed's principal tool in defrauding the citizens. He in his turn "operated" through sub-firms, and was paid in 1869 and 1870 the enormous sum of $5,691,144.26 for furniture and repairs to the new Court House and the militia armories of the city. Much of this work was never done. For the work actually done only the legitimate price was paid; the rest of the enormous sum was divided between Tweed and Ingersoll.

Andrew J. Garvey is a plasterer by trade, and had a shop in the Third avenue. He is also an Irishman, and was a "bunker" of the old fire department. During the years 1869 and 1870 he was paid $2,905,464.06 for repairing, plastering, painting and decorating the militia armories and the new Court-House. But a small part of this sum represents work honestly done. The rest is stolen money, of which Tweed received his share. At the very first discovery of the frauds, Garvey fled from the city, and it is believed sailed for Europe to escape the punishment he dreaded.

E. A. Woodward was a deputy clerk to the Board of Supervisors, and as such received a moderate salary. As far as is known, he had no other means of acquiring money. He was at the beginning of the investigations the owner of a magnificent estate near Norwalk, Connecticut, a partner in the firm of Vanderhoef & Beatty, to the extent of $75,000; and the owner of property variously estimated at from $500,000 to $1,000,000. It was charged by the New York papers that the endorsements of the name of Keyser & Co. on warrants amounting to over $817,000, and which endorsements Mr. Keyser pronounced forgeries, were mainly the work of Woodward. The money drawn on the fraudulent warrants was divided between Woodward and Tweed. Conclusive evidence of this was afforded by Mr. Samuel J. Tilden, who, by a happy inspiration, made a personal examination of Tweed's bank account at the Broadway Bank, and there discovered that Tweed, Garvey, Ingersoll, and Woodward had divided $6,095,319.17 of the public funds between them.

Commenting upon this discovery, the New York Tribune remarks: "Of the total amount of these warrants, $6,312,541.37, three dependents and tools of Mr. William M. Tweed deposited $5,710,913.38, and the New York Printing Company deposited $384,395.19, making $6,095,319.17. Further, $103,648.68 is believed to have been deposited by Ingersoll in a different bank, so that the whole amount of the audit, except $113,583.52, was really collected by persons in connection with or in collusion with Tweed. Ingersoll collected $3,501,584.50 of the warrants, and he received from Garvey, out of his collections, $47,744.68. Of that aggregate he paid over to Woodward $1,817,467.49, or a little more than half of his whole receipts.

"Garvey deposited warrants amounting to $1,177,413.72. He, Garvey, paid to Woodward $731,871.01, or over two-thirds of the whole amount of his receipts. Woodward deposited $1,032,715.76, and he received in checks from Ingersoll and Garvey enough of these collections to make a total of $3,582,054.26. Of this amount he paid over $923,858.50 to Tweed.

"Woodward was then, and is now, a deputy clerk to Young of the Board of Supervisors, on whose certification, according to Mayor Hall's resolution, as well as on that of Mr. Tweed, the bills were to be paid. It is unknown to whom Woodward made other payments, but those he made to Tweed are established beyond doubt. The tickets accompanying the deposits are in the handwriting of Woodward, and the teller in the Broadway Bank swore that they were generally made by Woodward in person.

"Including $104,333.64, Tweed received a handsome aggregate of $1,037,192.14.

"The manner in which the city warrants were identified is explained in the affidavit of Mr. Tilden. The first table is headed, 'County Liabilities.' That is made up from the records in the Comptroller's office and the warrants. The last contains all that there is (memoranda and endorsements) on the back of the warrants. Nearly all the vouchers of these bills were among those stolen on Sunday, September 10th, but the warrants were kept in a different place, and are now in the Comptroller's office. The next table headed, 'Identification of Parties who received the Proceeds of the Warrants,' is made up, as to the description of the warrants, from the books of the Comptroller's office, and from the warrants themselves, and the identification of the persons who deposited the warrants is made out from accounts of the entries, in the National Broadway Bank. The asterisks against the amounts of the warrants in the fifth column indicate those of the Keyser warrants on which John H. Keyser alleges the endorsements were forged.

"All those warrants which fell within the period of this account were collected by Woodward, except one, and that one by Ingersoll.

"Undoubtedly the transactions, taken together, were in the opinion of the Acting Attorney-General, a conspiracy to defraud the county by means of bills exaggerated many times, for work or services received, or for work and services already paid for, or for accounts that were fictitious.

"The result throws great light both on the stealing and burning of the vouchers by Haggerty, the janitor of the building, appointed by the Chamberlain, and also upon the Keyser forgeries."

Woodward did not wait for the accumulation of evidence against him. He followed the example of Ingersoll and Garvey, and took flight, and at present his whereabouts is unknown.

Mr. Tilden's affidavit relating the facts of his discovery furnished evidence sufficient to justify the arrest of Mr. Tweed. The Sheriff performed the farce of arresting the "Boss" in his office at the Department of Public Works. Bail was offered and accepted. The Sheriff treated the great defaulter with the utmost courtesy and deference, appearing before him, hat in hand, with a profusion of servile bows. No absolute monarch could have been treated with greater reverence. The moral sense of the community was outraged. On the same day a poor wretch who had stolen a loaf of bread to keep his sick wife from starving was sentenced for theft.

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