As leader of the Tammany Hall political consortium at the turn of the twentieth century, Richard Croker (1843-1922) was once the most powerful man in New York City. He received bribes from numerous brothels, saloons and other businesses during an era of enormous growth for the city due to European immigration, and he oversaw criminal activity in the Lower East Side during the rise of modern organized crime.
This topic/time period is well outside my ken as an historian, but I happened across this amazing image of Croker and thought I would share it. Its worth viewing full-size – at over 7 megabytes, the image is detailed enough that you can make out the writing on the newspaper’s clutched by Croker’s satellites! (Who, by the way, are clearly caricutures of real people, though I’m far too ignorant to identify them. Perhaps someone who reads this will know more?)
|“New York’s New Solar System” [Caricature showing politicians and people representing
different professions revolving around head of Richard ‘Boss’ Croker as the Sun.] Puck, 30 March
1898. Udo J. Keppler (artist), J. Ottman Lithographic Company .
Croker resigned in 1901 and retired to Ireland, where he bred racehorses and won fame for paying $5,000 for a prize bulldog, one ‘Champion Rodney Stone.’ The May 5, 1922 Times of London reported that he was buried covered in “natural violets and evergreen.” The man, not the dog.