“THE BEST ABUSED MAN IN AMERICA”
(KELLY, John) MCLAUGHLIN, James Fairfax. The Life and Times of John Kelly, Tribune of the People. New York: American News Company, 1885. Octavo, original brown cloth. $300.
First edition of this biography of “one of the few remarkable men the present political generation has produced,” with three portraits of New York politician John Kelly.
Kelly was a native New Yorker of humble beginnings who “began his political career as a champion of Catholic and immigrant causes in response to the virulent nativism that infected New York City during the 1840s. He served seven profitable years as Sheriff of New York County. In 1872, following the expulsion of the Tweed Ring from Tammany Hall, Kelly was called upon to “reorganize and consolidate Tammany Hall and the Tammany Society along hierarchical lines, and lay the foundations for Irish control of local politics, which lasted for nearly 60 years… As adept at making enemies as he was at winning friends, he angered other Tammanyites because of his dictatorial methods, alienated reformers by assessing officeholders, and fought with state leaders over patronage” (ANB). Because of Kelly’s controversial politics, the author rightfully predicts that his activities “will form an interesting chapter in the history of the present times.”
Interior fine, light foxing to fore-edge, a few small rubs to original cloth. A near-fine copy.