Monday, January 14, 2013

Mrs. Murphy and Mrs. Sulzer

This picture appeared in the Hudson Evening Register for January 14, 1913. It shows the wife of Tammany Hall leader Charles F. Murphy (left) and the wife of New York's new governor, William Sulzer (right), together in Albany on January 13, 1913.  


It's an interesting picture, especially in light of the challenge that Sulzer made to Murphy's leadership on his second day in office. The following is quoted from Matthew L. Lifflander's article "The Impeachment of Governor Sulzer":
During the late afternoon [on January 2], when Sulzer, intending to alert the press to his plans for instilling honesty, efficiency, and economy in his administration, met again with the reporters, a newspaperman asked, half in jest, "Have you received the O.K. of Charles F. Murphy, Tammany leader, on your plans?" Until that moment, Sulzer had been seated among the reporters, talking on an off-the-record basis--a clear understanding in exchange for candor. But suddenly he stood up. "I knew that question would come up sooner or later, and it's just as well that we have an understanding on this subject right now, and then we will never refer to it again," he said. The governor then asked that his remarks go on the record: "I am the Democratic leader of the state of New York. The people decreed it at the polls, and I stand on their verdict. I cannot succeed in doing what I want to do as Governor unless I am the leader. If any Democrat wants to challenge that, let him come out in the open and the people will decide."
Another reporter asked, "Does that mean that if Mr. Murphy wants to see you, he will  have to come to the Executive Chamber?"
"This is the place," the governor answered with a determined nod.
The picture of Mrs. Murphy and Mrs. Sulzer is evidence that, less than two weeks after Sulzer issued the invitation, Murphy was in Albany.

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