Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 178
Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 178
  The government of the city was treated in the same way. In colonial times the freeholders elected their own aldermen, while the mayor and executive officers were appointed by the representatives of the Crown. The system was continued, the State governor and Council of Appointment being substituted for the royal governor and his council. The freeholders continued to elect their aldermen, and the constables, when constables were elected; but the mayor, the sheriff, and the other officers were appointed by the State authorities. James Duane was the first mayor thus appointed. There was thus in one respect far less local independence, far less right of local self-government granted the city then than now. The entire patronage or appointing power was centralized in the State authorities. On the other hand the city had greater liberty of action in certain directions than nowadays. The aldermen formed a real local legislature; and the city treasurer was actually accustomed to issue paper money on the credit of the municipality. On the whole, however, American cities have never possessed the absolute right to independent life and the exercise of local sovereignty that have been enjoyed by most European burghs. In America, both in colonial days and under the national government, the city has been treated merely as a geographical section of the State, and has been granted certain rights of



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