Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Collapse of Boss Youngs

New York, 1895

A Republican View of His Failure as a Party Leader.

(Long Island City Herald, Republican.)

"The wheels of the gods grind slowly but they grind exceeding small." The Herald has always believed that if William J. Youngs was only given sufficient rope it would only be a question of time when he would hang himself, politically. The pernicious activity of Mr. Youngs, his scheming at Albany, his meddling interference in the county and at the State Capital have finally opened the eyes of the people, and to-day Mr. Youngs is the most unpopular politician in Queens County. The Long Island City Republicans are virtually a unit against him, the Republicans of Newtown are so tired of him that they have already declared that they shall vigorously oppose his return to the State Committee and his re-election as Chairman of the Republican County Committee.

In his own town, Oyster Bay, by his shabby and ungrateful treatment of George Downing he has raised a powerful faction against him, and in Hempstead and North Hempstead he has made himself quite as unpopular as he is in Long Island City and Newtown. In Jamaica the better class of Republicans have no use for him, and his only friends in that town are Assemblyman Vacheron, the editor of the Jamaica Standard and a few cheap politicians. Politically Vacheron is as dead as Youngs. The Standard is not "languishing" but is dying from paresis, the result of having too much Youngs on the brain, and the cheap politicians, who thought Youngs was really a little giant, are now deserting him.

The Herald has made it so hot for Mr. Youngs that on Saturday he announced that he was no longer an aspirant for any office and would leave for Europe on the 25th of May, to be absent "until the clouds roll by." When the situation in New York city became too hot for Gilroy and Croker they were suddenly seized with a desire to see London and Paris. Mr. Youngs has decided to follow their example. Though spring has scarcely begun he finds Queens County uncomfortably warm for him.

The fact of the matter is, that Mr. Youngs has come to grief because he is always making mischief and can not be trusted. He is the cause of his own downfall and has no right to cast blame upon anybody except himself.

—Reprinted in The Long Island Farmer, Jamaica, NY, May 17, 1895, p. 8.

Note: Boss Youngs, William J. Youngs, sometimes even called Billy, seemed to be a guy with a lot of power but apparently didn't always have the sense it took to use it. Other articles about him and what certainly sounds like crooked government shenanigans can be found at

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