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to gather assuredly before the end of this article. Making all due allowance for partisanship, the Tribune' will tell us something about them; and, at the same time, give us an insight into the real responsibility for the political rottenness.' article refers to the trial of the Sheriff on a charge of obtaining, by conspiracy, a divorce from his wife after forty years of marriage, in order to enable him to marry his mistress.
'In any other community than this the trial of a high official upon the charge of having tricked and corrupted a Court of Record would probably cause a good deal of thinking. New York, however, rarely thinks about anything else than how to get rich as soon as possible. If it occasionally thought of its public duties, it would probably secure high officials who would not commit crimes. The list of officials of this city and county who have been indicted during the past twenty years is shockingly long. It includes judges, sheriffs, commissioners of public works, and aldermen. The list of those who ought to have been indicted would come dangerously near to being a majority of the whole. It is a deplorable comment on the spirit of New York. It is a dreadful arraignment of our municipal system.' (March 16, 1890.)
The New York Times' has also something to say on the subject:
From the highest statesman of Tammany to the lowest heeler this is the animating purpose. Good administration is spasmodic and secondary-the main thing is to get at the tax fund, to make the public bleed at every pore for Tammany's enrichment. The Tammany men rule the city. It is because they rule it that it is such an uncomfortable place for decent persons to live in.' (March 24, 1890.)
Several members of Tammany Hall have been indicted, while we are writing, for scandals in connection with the administration of the Sheriff's office. According to the presentment of the Grand Jury which indicted them: The entire history of this case shows one black record of violated law, tardy justice, forced settlements, and of corruption and bribery.' It declares that during the past five years the Sheriffs have received, in the way of fees and compensations,' 49,1077., at the lowest estimate.
... But greater abuses than these exist, and have existed uninterruptedly for many years past. For twenty years, over which period the evidence taken by the Grand Jury spreads, the affairs of the Sheriff's office in this county have been administered with an entire disregard of the obligations imposed by law upon the Sheriff. Of its general management there is nothing to commend and much to denounce. Deputy-sheriffs and their subordinates have been
appointed without regard to their qualifications for that office, and have habitually practised the grossest corruption with no apparent objection by the Sheriff. The logical and actual results of these abuses have been that the Deputy-sheriffs and other attachés of the Sheriff's office have accepted bribes and demanded gratuities as a matter of course for many years past as a consideration for the discharge of their duties. . . . The Sheriff's office at the present time, and for a long time past, is and has been tainted and corrupt. The administration of its affairs during the past twenty years has been characterized by an utter subversion of the public interests to personal gain, and the employment of men of ignorance and cupidity to discharge its ordinary duties. . . . The management of the office has been and is at the present time mercenary, slovenly, and wholly indecent, so that no confidence whatever attaches to its acts.'
This is only the gist of the presentment; the whole document forms highly instructive reading.
But who are these creatures that govern New York? to what nationality do they principally belong? Let us trace them step by step, from the immigrant landing-place to the Board of Aldermen. In this foreign-born population,' says Mr. Bryce, referring to the domination of the Tweed Ring, 'the most numerous and the most manageable were the Irish. The Democratic party has always held the bulk of the Irish vote.' Elsewhere he says of them that the Irish come to the United States with a suspicion of all government.' In 1888, Mayor Hewitt caused certain statistics to be prepared, which showed that 33.66 per cent. of the population of New York were either Irish or of Irish descent. Mr. Hewitt's statistics did not include any reference to Irish saloon-keepers; but, as a general distinction, we may say that whiskey saloons are kept, and as a rule frequented, by Irish, and lager-beer saloons by Germans. The police force contains, according to Mr. Hewitt, 28.10 per cent. of Irish born; not counting the American offspring of an Irish parent or parents. Out of thirteen police-justices, six at least are of Irish birth or descent, five of whom are briefly and significantly described by the Democratic New York World,' as 'no lawyer politicians.' Tweed's principal henchmen, twenty years ago, were Irishmen; to-day, the ex-Sheriff's lieutenants and deputies are of the same race. Of the present Board of Aldermen, twelve at least out of twenty-six are Irish.
The proportion of Irish who, by their misdeeds, are brought under the direct control of the authorities, is even greater. 16.15 per cent. of the population of New York are, according
'New York World,' March 2, 1890.
to Mayor Hewitt, of Irish birth; yet these 16.15 per cent. furnish 36 8 per cent. of those admitted to public institutions, prisons, almshouses, and reformatories. It is surely no unwarrantable inference that the 17.20 per cent, of American-born Irish furnished a proportionate number. The total number of convicts from the city was 2,135, or in round numbers about 15 per cent. of its population.
Mr. Bryce, as we have seen, links the Democrats and the Irish very closely together. If the Democrats rule New York by means of the Irish vote; if one-third or more of the population are of Irish birth or descent; if nearly 50 per cent. of the Aldermen and of the police-justices are of the same race, and 28 per cent. of the police force are actually Irishmen, it is hardly an exaggeration to say that the real rulers of New York are the Irish. They have,' says 'Judge,' a Republican comic paper, office and places of trust in every department of local and general politics. . . . Ireland cannot be a nation, because its people are needed to do the fighting and the ruling of the more important portions of the globe.' (March 22nd, 1890.)
New York City,' said Mr. Chauncey Depew, at a recent Holland Dinner, is ruled by the Irish'; and the 'World,' of March 17th, 1890-printed on green paper-puts it in another form: This is St. Patrick's Day. But it is Patrick's Day the whole year round in New York City.'
What sort of men are these who rule New York? The Aldermen, so the New York Times' tells us, belong, as a rule, to the ignorant and dangerous classes;' and concerning the politicians the New York Times' (March 28th, 1890), referring to the frauds in the Sheriff's office, says: The moral tone of Tammany is derived from the Irish Catholics, who have always been its mainstay. This moral tone is, in some respects, deplorably low, as when the question is of robbing the public Treasury, or shooting an unpopular landlord.' It is added, however: 'Doubtless this ignorant and corrupt vote is a great source of strength to the Democratic party in this State, but we do not believe it to represent a majority in that party. What is needed to defeat it within the Democratic party is, that it shall be ascertained and exposed.'
Nor are the Irish-American politicians of to-day very different from their predecessors. The recent Clan-na-Gael trials in Chicago, and the Parnell Commission in London, have rendered English readers, to some degree, familiar with their methods. That they are perfectly unscrupulous partisans is evident; the destruction of the missing Land League books is very characteristic. Some light is thrown upon the matter in a letter from Michael
Corcoran, which appeared in the Chicago Inter-Ocean,' on March 8th, 1890; in which he asserts, that on January 18th, 1883, Patrick Egan entrusted to him at the Hibernian Bank, Sackville Street, Dublin, a large parcel of Land League books, as he did not wish to give the Castle people the satisfaction of inspecting them; and that, at a later date, after supplying Egan on his departure with 3007. in gold in exchange for banknotes, he directed the cheques of the League, which were in his keeping as manager of the Bank, to be burnt. He does not, however, tell us what became of the books.
Nor is the Clan-na-Gael the only Irish society in America implicated in matters of a more than doubtful nature. On the 18th of December, 1889, John Rusk, a sober and industrious young Irish Protestant, was shot, for a foolish joke, in Westchester, a village near New York. His murderer was a burly Irishman, who had been a bar-tender and a detective, and who was elected town-constable by the votes of the 'Ancient Order of Hibernians.' The members of this society appeared to be in league with the saloon element of the village, and to control the local elections. The murderer's friends managed to 'fix' the coroner, his jury, and a physician, so as to obtain a verdict which exonerated him from all blame. The body, however, has been exhumed and a second autopsy made, with the view of bringing the offender to justice; the community being evidently determined to rid themselves of the brutal rule of a small but desperate gang of Irishmen.
Referring to a not uncommon type of those who enjoy the privilege of voting, a Catholic priest in New Jersey said, in a sermon preached the Sunday preceding the local elections in March of this year :
"It was a customary thing for men and women to be sold at auction to the highest bidder thirty years or more ago; and they brought $500, $1000, or less, according to their presumed ability to work for their masters. They had no choice in the matter, but were sold against their wills. Now on Tuesday next you will find at the polls men-no, I won't call them anything but miserable wreckshanging about, waiting to sell themselves voluntarily to the highest bidder. They don't ask $1000, but will sell and deliver themselves for a quarter (one shilling). Just think of it! selling their manhood and their right as citizens for a miserable twenty-five cents! Isn't it shameful? And these men, I am ashamed to say, call themselves Irishmen and Catholics. They will sell out for a quarter, go to the nearest saloon, drink up the quarter, and then sit on a beer-keg and prate about liberty. . . . If I find out a member of this parish that dares to commit such a crime, I will prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law, send him to State Prison, and see that he gets there.'
Irishmen and Catholics! That is to say, Catholics in name, by tradition, from motives of policy. The Democrats have frequently made large grants in money or in land to the different Catholic institutions, contrary to the policy of the United States, where Church and State are kept absolutely separate. In 1884 their political bosses are said to have defeated Mr. Blaine in New York State-the State on which the Presidential election generally turns-by an appeal to the religious prejudices of the Catholic Irish. A certain Baptist minister, the Rev. Dr. Burchard, a Republican, while calling with others upon Mr. Blaine, on the latter's visiting New York the Saturday before the election, expressed to him that he had to contend against 'Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion'; meaning the liquor party, the Catholics, and the Democrats. The Democratic politicians had the expression printed, and distributed by hundreds at the doors of the Catholic Churches on the Sunday morning; and it is considered by many that sufficient Irish votes were thereby drawn from Mr. Blaine to cause him to lose the election, which he did by less than twelve hundred votes. The Democratic party, as Mr. Bryce has told us, has always the bulk of the Irish vote. Yet both parties, as 'Puck' says, do their share of truckling to the Irish vote.' 'Puck' is Democratic, but German; and between the Teuton and the Celt, even when of the same political party, there is no love lost. Possibly the fact that the German element, though entitled on the basis of population in 1880 to 13.55 per cent., has actually only 4.14 per cent. of the municipal appointments, may have something to do with this.
Puck,' some months ago, had a cartoon representing a typical Irish-American political boss seated on his throne, with prominent members of both parties in humble and obsequious attendance. It was no very exaggerated notion; for at the last St. Patrick's dinner in New York, Judges, Senators, Governors, of both parties, were proud to honour the toast of 'The day we celebrate.' Surely, nobal des victimes,' described in 'La France Juive,' could outvie this; and were the same author to write of the United States, and especially of New York, he would call them 'Les États-Unis Irlandais.' Nor has 'Life,' the Punch' of New York, much love for the Irish. 'Life' laughs at 'Anglomania' good-naturedly; but 'Celtomania ' it cannot endure. The comic papers of a city are often a trustworthy index of existing currents of opinion; hardly a week passes in New York without some caricature of the typical 'Paddy,' some gibe, often more personal than polite. Paddy' sits sublimely indifferent. Beati possidentes' is evidently his motto; if Jonathan grumbles, he