in New York City, which culminated during the mayoralty of Oakey Hall, who was elected in 1869. The Democratic party had absolute control of the municipal government; and this meant that the city was at the mercy of the ring of utterly unscrupulous and brutal politicians who then controlled that party, and who in time of need had friends among some of their so-called Republican opponents on whom they could always rely. Repeating, ballot-box stuffing, fraudulent voting and counting of votes, and every kind of violence and intimidation at the polls turned the elections into criminal farces. The majorities by which the city was carried for the Democratic presidential candidate Seymour in 1868, represented the worst electoral frauds which the country ever witnessed,far surpassing even those by which Polk had been elected over Clay.
This was also the era of gigantic stock-swindling. The enormously rich stock-speculators of Wall Street in their wars with one another and against the general public, found ready tools and allies to be hired for money in the State and city politicians, and in judges who were acceptable alike to speculators, politicians, and mob. There were continual contests for the control of railway systems, and operations in stocks which barely missed being criminal, and which branded those who took part in them as infamous in the sight of