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THE WIG AND THE JIMMY




OR,



A LEAF IJ^ THE



POLITICAL HLSTOR Y OF NEW YORK.



'^AUtur viiium viviique tegendo.



PRICE, TWENTY-FIVE CENTS.




NEW YORK:

PUBr.TSHED BY THJE AUTHOR.

18(30.



THE WIG AND THE JIMMY



OE,



A LEAF I]^ THE



OLITICAL HISTORY OE X£ W YORK.



'^A/ilur viHu7n vivitque I eg en do.''



Entered according to Actol (Jongress in the year ISIiW, by

EUGENE J. POST,

la the Cleik's office of the District Court of tlie Umted States for liie District of New Jersey.



:XEW YOEK:
PUBJLISHSi:) BY THE AUTMOK.

1869.!



V



,v«



P E E F A C E






At the instance of the Union League Club of New York the House ol
Repicsentatires, on the 14th day of December, 1868, appointed a Committee ot
sevew to investigate alleged frauds in the Presidential Election ot 1868 in the State
of New York. Such Committee entered at once upon the discharge ol its onerous
duties and held sessions in New York City, Peckskill, Kingston, Rondout,Troy,
Rochester, Middletown, Port Jervis, Montgomery, Hamptonburg, Newburg and
Goshen in the State of New York, and Washington, D. C. The testimony taken
by it while very voluminaus in extent, covering nearly nine hundred printed pages,
was of a directness and importance rarely obtained in similar investigations and
necessitated a report of great length and explicitness. Owing to these and other
causes it was not until about a week prior to the expiration of the term ot the
Fortieth Congress that the Committee was able to submit the result of its labors to
the House, which at so late a period in the session could take no action upon the
hills reported or recommendations made. The large expense attending the printing
and binding of the report and testimony led the Hoirse Committee on Printing to
deem it unwise to publish more than two thousand copies, a number so small as to
allow each Member of Congress but four volumes. Unfortunately, the press was
anable, ov/ing to the length of the report, to give little more than a hastily pre-
pared telegraphic abstract ©f the Committee's conclusions. Thus, from causes
inherent in the very nature and extent of the work, the circulation and publicity
which its importance demanded were estopped, and the legislation which the neces-
sities of the case required was delayed. Knowing that no correct, true or intelli-
gent idea of the facts is prevalent, and believing that only through a general and
wide spread knowledge of the illegal and partially successful attempt of the
Democracy of New York to thrust minority candidates — both State and
National — into places ol power and trust, can the American peopl become
acquainted with the dangers through which they have passed, or be prepared to
protect themselves in the future against the machinations of evil and designing
men, the followmg pages, narrating in a brief and comprehensive form the more
important facts sworn to before the Committee, have been prepared.

Without malice, with no motive other than a desire to see perpetuated the
institutions of our country, and in the full realization of Bacon's charge that
"men's reputations are tender things and ought to be like Christ's coat, without
^am," has this pamphlet been written, in good faith, believing the statements
contained therein to be true. Confident that the interests of society, good
order and puregovernment will beadvanced by its publication, it is respectfully
submitted for the earnest consideration of a thoughtful public in every portion
of our national domain. •• .^ '

.••'• THE AUTHOR.



Mr '06



CHAPTER I.



rNTRODUiTOIlY,



An incident wliicli ti'annpire*! dariiii^ the Spring of ISG-i in one of
the Sontliern cities convinced the writer, who was an eye witne»v% that
the fear of expoenre and the droaa*ganizcd system
was perfected and carried into effect by members of the Democratic
party to register nnmy thousands of names, fictitious or assumed, and
then to vote on thoia by hundreds of persons voting from two to forty
times each day for the JJemocratic candidates."

The instances given below, while convincing the reader of the accura-
cy of these opinions, will illustrate the manner in which the work was
carried on and the character of the men and means employed therein.

William 11. Greene, a patrolman, attached to the Seventh Precinct
Police, was one '>f the ofhccrs on duty at the place of registry of the
Sixth District of the Seventh AVard during the first two days of re-
gistration. On one of those days he observed a gang of men, severrd of
whom were known to him by name, and all of whom he knew had no
residence in the district, register themselves from the houses of Wm. M.
Tweed (Grand Sachem of Tammaiiy Hall, State Senator, Deputy
Street Commissioner and Supervisor), Patrick II. Keenan Coroner of
the City and County of ]S[ew York), and Edward J. Shandley (Police
Justice). Most of them were registered without objection on the part of
any one, but some few being cliallenged promptly took the statutory
oaths and compelled the registration of their names. The character of
these repeaters may be learned from Greene, who has stated under oath
that most of them were "thieves who have several aliases," while '•• the
leader of the gang who registei'ed from Coroner Keenan's house, as
Henry J. Lawrence, is an Englishman, known by the name of Charles
Wilson, alias 'Nibbs' or ' Nibbsey,' a celebrated pickpocket who has
stolen fortunes, but somehow or other always slips through and is never
pi*osecuted." On the opposite page may be seen a copy of the likeness
of this favorite of the judicial and political ring as it appears in the
Kogues' Gallery at Police Headquarters. An unwillingness to leave his
counterpart exhibited itself to such an extent when sitting tor his pho-
tograph, that two stalwart members of the force were compelled to
steady his head and c 'Utrol his facial expression.

Another of this gang, by n^me Patsey Nolan, alias John Reilly,
was a notorious thief, since arrested f(.)r stealing a diamond pin. For-
tunately wo are able to trace these worthy Democrats still fm-ther.
Late at night on Friday the 30th of October, when but a day of registry
remained, Inspector George W. Walling, one ot the most earnest and




( ' n AS. A\' I LSOy, ALIA. HENRY .1 . LA W IIEN( ^E, ALiAs,-Xri] I *.SE V
Pickpocket and Uepeater.



faitlifnl officers of the Metropolitan forco, loivncd that a siang of repeat-
ers under the leadership of William Varlcy, alias " Roddy the Black-
smith" (so called from the color of his hair and his former occupation),
■\velhknown as the proprietor of a low drinking saloon on Chatliam
Street, the headquarters of one of the worst gangs of thieve.? and cut
throats known to the police, had been engaged in registering from a
liouse on Catherine Street, and proposed the following day changing
its rende;cvous to 'No. 29 East Broadway, and resuming operations.
For the pnrpose of verifying his information, Walling, early < !i S-'tur-
day morning, tlie 31st, accom])anied by six officers in citizens dress, pro-
ceeded to the locality named and spent several hours i'l j^atiently
watching the suspected house. Shortly before two o'clock, P M., signs
of activity were manifest and the detectives observed a numoer of men
leave the house and proceed to the place of registry of the First district
of the Seventh "Ward. From there they returned to East Broadway,
and shortly reappearing proceeded to another place of registry in an
adjoining district. Satisfied now of the work these men were engaged
in, "VY ailing allowed them to return to their rendezvous, Avhen he at
once made a descent, drove in and captured a posted watcher before he
eould give an alarm, arrested the entire gang — eight in all — and s(»ized
their book. The men were taken at once to Police Headquarters and
incarcerated, and the book turned over to the Superintendent.

An examination and comparison of this book with the origii^.al regis-
ters for the 1st, 3d, 4th, 6th and 7th districts of the Seventh AYard,
established the startling fact that these eight men had registered one
hundred and sixty-one fictitious or assumed names, assigning as resi-
dences fifty-five different houses in East Broadwa^^, Henry, Market,
Monroe and Division Streets, and that they were a part of the same
gang of repeaters observed by Officer Greene on the fir-t or second
day of registration, registering from tlie houses of Tweed, Keenan
and Shandley. Convinced that "Beddy the Blacksmith," altlioughnot
with these repeaters when arrested, was one of their number, Walling
went at once to his saloon. Not finding him in, he searched the place
and seized another book similar in size and appearance to the one pre-
viously obtained, containing some sixty additional names with the
number of a house and street opposite each, which names were sub-
sequently ascertained to be mainly registered in the 8th District of the
Sixth and 4tli District of the Seventh Wards. The similarity existing
in the assumed names found in the two books thus obtained, and other
strong circumstantial evidence renders it quite certain that the
latter book was also the property of the arrested eight, thus making two
hundred and twenty fraudulent and illegal registrations accomplished
by this gang.

Of tlie character of these repeatei'S, Walling confirmed Officer Greene,
in tliat one of them he " knew very well by reputation as a pickpocket,"
while Detective Irving stated that another was a deputy of Sheriff
O'Brien, from whom was taken at headquarters " his shield, and also
some orders of arrest found on his person.

And now reader, mark well how faithfully Tammany protects its
supj)orters and adherents at the expense of law, justice and good order.
Betn-. en six nnd seven o'clock in the evening of the day ot arrest, Wm.
F. Howe, welidcnown as a ciiminal lawyer and Democrat, appeared at



8

Headquarters and 8erv^^'l upon Detective Irving, the officer in charge,
a writ oi habeas corjncs ('irecting the bodies of the eight to be brought
" before the Honorable (ieorge G. Barnard, Justice of our Supreme
Court, at the office of sai I J ustice Barnard, No. 23 "West Twenty-first
Street, in the City of Kcnv York, this 31st day of October, 1868, at 7
o'clock in the evening."

In compliance with tlie requirements of the writ, no time being
allowed for a retiu-n thereto a7id nons heing mad^, the men were forth-
with taken by Detectives Irving and Coyle to Judge Barnard's resi-
Heuce. Aii-iving there at about 9 o'clock, Coyle remained on the side-
walk witli lio prisoners, while Irving went into the house where he
found Mr. ilowe, who took from liim the writ, endorsed thereon "The
prisoners being charged with no offence on the annexed return^ I order
them discharged, October 31st, 1868," and handed it to a servant girl
who took it up stairs to Judge Barnard's room, and soon came down
with the Judge's signature attached to it, obtained as she stated from
the Judge, loho had ^ gone to led. Thereupon the prisoners were dis-
charged.

It is worthy of note that no notice of the issue or hearing of the writ
was served upon the District Attorney as the representative of the
people, which notice so distinguished a Democrat as Judge McCunn
has testified he thought a Judge " bound by law to give to the District
Attorney of his county ; the statute requires it," and v/hich the then
District Attorney, A. Oakey Hall, has sworn, " should be preUmina/ry
to the hearing, and it is a mudemeanor for a judge to hear a writ with-
out notice to the party interested."

The arrest of these repeaters was serviceable in that . it prevented
them from continuing operations during the afternoon and evening,
while the discharge was instructive in affording definite information as
to the precise locality of " the office of said Justice Barnard, ]S'o. 23 West
Twenty-first Street," where as we are informed in " The Ermine in
the Ring," the judicial robes of this eminent and high minded magis-
trate are at times " endued for the occasion when at his utmost alti-
tudes." The prisoners in the custody of an officer were on the sidewalk^
their counsel and the officer served with the writ, were in the hallway^
the writ itself with no return thereon was in the liand^ of a servant girly
and the Chief "Justice of our Supreme Court" was transacting chamber
business in his hed.

The result was. First : Discharge of the prisoners and some svady
fraudulent and illegal votes polled on the names by them registered.
Second'. A feeling of security on tlie part of thousands of employed re-
peaters whereby, to obtain for themselves the promised peclmiary or
other reward, their exertions were redoubled to illegally swell the De-
mocratic majority in the City.

But lest it be charged that an extreme case has been instanced, let ns
examine another.

During the sittings of the Congressional Committee in New York, in
Januaiy last, an Attorney of the Supreme Court, who at the time of
election was an Inspector in the 5th District of the 18th Ward, testified
before it, that very late in the evenings of the days for registration,
there came to the Board of which he was a member, in groups of four




WILLIAM VAKLEY, ALIAS -F.EDDV TLIE BJ.Ai KsMITII.

Pick]H»ek('t.Tliief and Deinocfatic " Reii'iilatdi"'" (Sec A[)[>(';i!lix.)



9

"Or fiv3, as applicants for registration, a large nnmber of .yonng men of
from 21 to 25 years of age, Tliese groups were usually led by one
Florence Scannell, an ex-member of tlie Common Council, and a
somewhat notorious character. Eacli of these men being challenged,
«worn and examined, stated that he resided at the Compton House, a
•combination of rum hole, restaurant and cheap lodging house on the
'Corner of Third Avenue and Twenty-fourth Street, of which Fagin and
Scannell, both of whom were Deputy Sheriffs, and the latter a brother
of Florence, were the proprietors. Further questioning elicited from
■several the information that " they slept there (the Compton House)
two or three nights out of the week, and the rest of the time slept
with tlieir mistresses." Deeming this matter worthy of investigation,
Florence Scannell was brought before the Committee and sworn.

Being examined, he admitted having employed some thirty men to
register names, but stated that he could not tell where they registered
for the reason that they had registered/Vom 150 to 200 naines^ and from
'" almost every house i7i the district.''^ That on the day of election he


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Online LibraryEugene J.] [PostThe wig and the jimmy: (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 5)