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William Marcy Tweed
Date: 1823 - 1878
Remarks: As a bookkeeper and volunteer fireman, Tweed gained influence in New York City; he was an alderman and sat in Congress; by 1857, he was a power in Tammany Hall; Chairman of the Tammany general committee and grand sachem; Called "Boss Tweed," he gained absolute power over the democratic party in the city, controlling party nominations and patronage; engaged in various business deals and became leader of the Erie R.R.; the Tweed ring controlled NYC, buying votes and positions, defrauding taxpayers, buying judges; liked because of his charity to the poor, Boss Tweed stayed in power until cartoonist Thomas Nast aroused the public's indignation; Samuel J. Tilden indicted Tweed, who later went to prison for a year of a fourteen year sentence and then was arrested again later on different charges; he died in prison.