Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 239
Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 239
by the bribery of the Common Council. This proved the final touch; and it is from this year that the hopeless corruption of the local municipal legislature dates. In 1857 the State Legislature at Albany began a long and active course of dabbling in our municipal matters—sometimes wisely and sometimes foolishly—by passing a charter which divided responsibility and power among the different local officers, and needlessly multiplied the latter by keeping up the fiction of separate governments for the county and city, which had really become identical. They also created local boards and commissions which were appointed by the State, not the city, authorities. This last act aroused intense hostility among the city politicians; especially was this the case in regard to the new Police Board. The city authorities wished at all costs to retain the power of appointing and ruling the police in their own hands; and they resisted by force of arms the introduction of the new system. Fernando Wood’s old “municipal” police and the new State, or so-called “metropolitan” police fought for a couple of days in the streets, with considerable bloodshed. But the courts declared in favor of the constitutionality of the acts of the legislature, and the municipal authorities were forced to abandon their opposition.
  Throughout this period New York’s public and



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