Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 202
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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 202
 
innocent-looking provision allowing them to organize “for other purposes” as well. The charter once granted, the company went into no other enterprise save banking, and let the water-supply take care of itself.
  At the beginning of the century, New York was a town of sixty thousand inhabitants. The social life was still aristocratic. The great families yet retained their prestige. Indeed, the Livingstons were at the zenith of their power in the State, and possessed enormous influence, socially and politically. They were very wealthy, and lived in much state, with crowds of liveried negro servants, free and slave. Their city houses were large and handsome, and their great country-seats dotted the beautiful banks of the Hudson.
  The divisions between the upper, middle, and lower classes were sharply marked. The old families formed a rather exclusive circle, and among them the large landowners still claimed the lead, though the rich merchants, who were of similar ancestry, much outnumbered them, and stood practically on the same plane. But the days of this social and political aristocracy were numbered. They lost their political power first, being swamped in the rising democratic tide; and their social primacy—mere emptiness when thus left unsupported—followed suit a generation or so later, when their descendants were gradually

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