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N presenting this first volume of the History of the Society of

Tammany, or Columbian Order, to our readers, we desire to assure them that this is but the beginning of our work.

The records of this great Society, numbering as it does among its members the most illustrious men in the Demo

cratic party, are of the greatest importance, and the work of completing and perpetuating them will be continued until they are as near perfect as may be.

Particular credit for this work is due to E. Vale Blake, who has gatirred and compiled the material for the work and arranged the historical story of this the First Volume.

We desire to recognize the efforts of our friends in contributing to the success of this volume, notably, the Hon. Richard Croker, Grand Sachem Thomas L. Feitner, Hon. Asa Bird Gardiner, Hon. William Sulzer, Mr. James Anderson Russell, Mr. Jon Templeton, as well as Mr. George G. Feigl, who has had charge of the arrangement of the biographical sketches of the members of the Society who are living at the present day.

Our thanks are specially due for documents, to the late Col. Thomas Dunlap and also to the Adjutant General of the State for statistical and other information regarding the Tammany troops in the War of Secession.


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HEN a Society or Institution has been in active operation

for over a century it is pertinent to inquire wherein lies its vitality.

More particularly is this the case when it exists in

a great city and is essentially a political organizationand is found to have survived all other early political organizations.

During the existence of the Society of Tammany, or the Columbian Order, a large number of these associations have sought the favor of the people, with varying success, most of them being but short-lived.

From its original antagonist, the old Federal party, down to the present day, the wrecks of defunct political organizations are scattered along the highway of history. Not only is this true of the large national parties which have opposed the Democracy, of which the Tammany Society is still the most prominent organization, such as the Federalist, the National-Republican, the Whig, the Native American and the present Republican ; but in addition to these, which might be called its natural enemies, the Tammany Society has had constantly to contend with foes springing up in its own locality. There have been seasons of eclipse, too, when the star of Tammany was obscured ; but, after a time, the clouds rolled by, and the old Wigwam again came


prominently into view, in full possession of apparently indestructible vitality:

In the course of these pages it will be demonstrated wherein lies the strength of this redoubtable organization.

It is true there are many persons so greatly under the influence of opposing partisan affiliation that they can scarcely be brought to believe that there is, or ever was any good thing in this powerful and most persistent of political organizations; a little reflection, however, will convince any candid mind that so considerable a body of citizens as the members of the Tammany organization could not be held under the fascinations of an altogether evil power for the space of a hundred years.


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