Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 196
Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 196
to act on any such theory; if half of the offices are taken as spoils, the other half must follow suit. Most of the national appointees in New York were speedily changed; and the remainder were temporarily saved only because Jefferson had in his cabinet one man, Albert Gallatin, who abhorred a general partisan proscription. The wielders of power in the State government were not so moderate. Stout old Governor Clinton protested against the meanness of making purely political removals; but he was overruled by the Council of Appointment, which was led by his nephew, De Witt Clinton. The latter had adapted Jefferson’s theory to New York conditions, and declared that all heads of cities, of counties, of big offices and the like, ought to be political adherents of the administration, while all minor office-holders should be apportioned between the parties according to their numbers. Of course this meant in practice that all Federalists were to be removed and Democrats appointed in their places. In other words, the victors promptly proceeded to make a clean sweep of all the State, and therefore all the local, offices.
  The city had been the stronghold of Federalism, and its officers were among the first to feel the axe. Richard Varick had made a most admirable mayor for twelve years. He was now summarily removed and Edward Livingston appointed in his place. Livingston at the same time was also



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