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William M. Tweed Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

WILLIAM M. TWEED
Born: April 03, 1823 in New York City, New York
Died: April 12, 1878 in New York City, New York
Biography | show moreshow less
William "Boss" Tweed (1823-1878) is remembered as one of the most notoriously corrupt politicians in American history. At the height of his power, Tweed held a number of different businesses across different sectors, huge swathes of land in New York City and throughout the state of New York, and served as a New York State Senator. The initial avenue of his power was Tammany Hall, a political organization in New York City that catapulted Irish-American immigrants into state politics. By 1868, Boss Tweed had gained absolute power over Tammany Hall, the Democratic Party of New York City, and the city itself. By gaining control of the New York City Board of Audit and ensuring that all members were his Tammany Hall "fellows", he overpaid contractors and then pocketed the money. The Tweed Ring swindled the city treasury of $30 million to $200 million through this method and many others in preceding years. He controlled all party nominations and patronage. In 1870, Tweed was exposed in Harper's Weekly with iconic cartoons by Thomas Nast. He was convicted in 1873 and imprisoned. Upon his release in 1875, Tweed was arrested in a civil action, but he escaped and fled to Spain. Extradited in 1876, Tweed was brought back to New York, where he died in jail in 1878.

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