I couldn't resist uploading these wonderful old photos that tell a history of a long-suffering country in its heroic struggle against an occupying empire. Thanks to the staff of the National Library of Ireland for its treasure trove of photographs and history. The laconic captions are reproduced as they appeared on its official website.
The leader of Tammany in the late 19th century was Richard Croker, who, as a low level Tammany worker on election day in 1874, became involved in a notorious criminal case. A street fight broke out near a polling place and a man named McKenna was shot and killed.
Croker was charged with the murder. Yet all who knew him said that Croker, who was a former boxer, would never use a pistol as he relied solely on his fists.
At a celebrated trial, Croker was acquitted of McKenna’s murder. And Croker went on to rise in the Tammany hierarchy, eventually becoming Grand Sachem. In the 1890s, Croker exerted enormous influence over the government of New York City, though he held no government post himself.
Perhaps mindful of Tweed’s fate, Croker eventually retired and returned to his native Ireland, where he bought an estate and raised race horses. He died a free and very wealthy man.