Sunday, June 22, 2008

What the Tweed Ring Cost New York


In the summer of 1871 proof was published of vast frauds by leading New York city officials, prominent among them "Boss" William M. Tweed, superintendent of the street department. Having made themselves supreme, these men so worked the city elections as to control the city government, placing themselves in 1866 each in the office he wished. A new charter, of which they secured the adoption, gave them absolute charge of the city's purse.

Exorbitant claims for work and material had been paid, raising the city's debt from $50,000,000 to $113,000,000, with bills to an unknown amount not adjusted. Thus the courthouse, building at this time, ostensibly cost $12,000,000. The ring's robberies cheated the city's taxpayers, first and last, out of no less than $160,000,000, "or four times the fine levied on Paris by the German army." — Scribner's Magazine.

She Investigated

Some Kansas girls are businesslike. One of them with four married sisters received a proposal of a marriage last week and asked a week to think it over. She went to see all of her married sisters. One, who used to be a belle, had three children, did all her own work and hadn't been to the theater or out riding since she was married. Another, whose husband was a promising young man at the time she married, was supporting him. A third didn't dare say her life was her own when her husband was around, and the fourth was divorced. After visiting them and hearing their woes the heroine of this narrative went home, got pen, ink and paper and wrote an answer to the young man. It would only be natural to suppose that it was a refusal, but it wasn't. She accepted the young man and said she could be ready for the ceremony within a month. — Boston Herald.

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