Yes, that’s Boss Tweed. He’s the one with the beard, sitting up front in the middle, a white hat in his lap, surrounded by his friends. Tweed had so, so very many friends back then, in 1870 — before they all abandoned him in the scandal.
But surprisingly, this is not New York City. By 1870, as Tweed sat at his very pinnacle of power as supreme leader of New York’s political and financial worlds, having made himself filthy rich from years of graft, Tweed had largely moved his summer headquarters away from his usual Manhattan haunts — his law office on Duane Street and his mansion on Fifth Avenue at 43rd — to Greenwich, Connecticut.
Tweed owned two steam-powered yachts (even though he got constantly sea-sick and hated being on the water) to make the quick trip from lower Manhattan across the Long Island Sound to Greenwich. In Greenwich, he owned a 40-acre estate with wide green lawns and gardens. And on a beautiful, sunny inlet called Indian Harbor, he founded his own playhouse– the Americus Club — where he served as president.
But look at Tweed on this pretty summer day in 1870. He looks as if he didn’t have a care in the world, surrounded by friends at his Greenwich summer retreat.
If only time could have stopped for him at that moment.
Thanks to our friend Alan Bennett for finding this photo on Greenwich Nostalgia group page on Facebook.