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The Political Cartoonist Who Helped Lead to ‘Boss’ Tweed’s Downfall

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In Gilded Age New York City during the 1860s and 1870s, nobody wielded more political power than William Magear Tweed. Known by both his fans and fiercest critics as “Boss Tweed,” the former fireman rose through the ranks of New York’s Democratic party to pull the levers of the mighty political machine known as Tammany Hall.

Boss Tweed and his corrupt “Tweed Ring” of city officials siphoned millions of dollars from bloated public works projects like a lavish new courthouse that cost nearly $15 million to build, including $9 million in kickbacks going to Tweed and his cronies.

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