defiance of decent public opinion. Corruption and blackmail grew apace, and the dominant note in the Tammany organization was a cynical contempt of decent public opinion. This brought about its own punishment. The abuses in many of the departments, notably in the police force and among the city magistrates, became so gross as to shock even men of callous conscience. The public indignation was latent, but it existed, ready to take effective shape if only the right man arose to direct its manifestation.
The man was found in the person of a Presbyterian clergyman, the Rev. Charles W. Parkhurst. Single-handed, he began a crusade against the gross political corruption of the city government. He made his fight entirely outside of political lines, or perhaps it would be more fair to say that he made it without regard to national politics, attacking the city officials simply as malefactors, and urging a union of all decent men against them. At first he was rewarded merely by ridicule and abuse; but he never flinched for a moment, and decent sentiment began to crystallize in his support. Moreover, the blunders of the Democratic party in State and national affairs helped the reformers, precisely as the shortcomings of the Republicans had helped Tammany in 1890 and 1892. In 1893, the State Democracy, under the lead of Senator Hill, Tammanys stanch ally,