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Boss Tweed's Last Swindle


Amazing to think how something beautiful can come from something corrupt.  The inspiring Jefferson Market Library (born a courthouse) had just such a beginning. You may have heard of Boss Tweed?  William Marcy "Boss" Tweed was a 19th century politician who swindled New York City out of millions of dollars.  By the 1860s, Tweed became head of Tammany Hall, a powerful group of Democratic politicians.  He organized his associates into the Tweed Ring, which sponsored schemes for city improvements.  Millions of dollars went into the pockets of Tweed  Ring members.

One of Tweed's last swindles was his proposal to build what would become the Jefferson Market Courthouse.  Tweed's gang took the city money but nothing was built.  In 1871, the ring was broken up.  Boss Tweed was jailed in 1873, and in 1876 the new, improved courthouse opened in Greenwich Village.  You can visit Tweed at his final resting place in Green-Wood Cemetery (pictured) and please visit the Jefferson Market Courthouse Library to learn more about its fascinating history!

Sources:  World Book Online Reference Center and Greenwich Village and How It Got That Way by Terry Miller.


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Thanks Boss!

I love learning stuff like this! Have you seen this beautiful photo of Jefferson Market from 1905? Check out the high-res shot, and look at the people - so cool! And the el running by - and the streetcar on 10th Street (!). - Robert Locke


Just saw this comment, thanks Robert! And we posted that great picture on our Facebook page!

looks great, Frank!

will read more when I'm not working!

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