The Nuttall Encyclopedia
A powerful political organi sation of New York City, whose ostensible objects, on its formation in 1805, were charity and reform of the franchise; its growth was rapid, and from the first it exercised, under a central committee and chairman, known as the "Boss," remarkable political influence on the Democratic side. Since the gigantic frauds practised in 1870-1871 on the municipal revenues by the then "Boss," William M. Tweed, and his "ring," the society has remained under public suspicion as "a party machine" not too scrupulous about its ways and means. The name is derived from a celebrated Indian chief who lived in Penn's day, and who has become the centre of a cycle of legendary tales.
Wood, James, ed. Entry for 'Tammany Society'. The Nuttall Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/nut/t/tammany-society.html. Frederick Warne & Co Ltd. London. 1900.