SACHEMS & SINNERS AN INFORMAL HISTORY OF TAMMANY HALL

From his unofficial throne atop the bootblack stand in the New York County Courthouse, Tammany Sachem George Washington Plunkitt (1842-1924) used to extol the virtues of Tammany Hall. He gloried in the durability of the city machine that went on "flourishin' forever, like fine old oaks. Say, that's the first poetry I ever worked off. Ain't it great?"

At that, Tammany's roots go deep, and digging among their intricacies has yielded pungent truffles to M. R. Werner (Tammany Hall) and other researchers. The story begins in May 1789, just a few weeks after the U.S. Constitution took effect, when New York...

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