Capital Stories… George B. McClellan, Jr

“Office Seekers at Bay”

With his election as Mayor of New York City in 1903, George B. McClellan, Jr. engaged the inevitable hordes of office-seekers, district leaders, and political donors that customarily assailed newly elected officials. Upon gaining an audience with the mayor, each petitioner retold all they had done to ensure McClellan’s election. Often prideful, and always with great expectation, these wheels of Democrat political machinery demanded their grease.

Son of Civil War General and former presidential candidate George B. McClellan, the younger George McClellan spent time as a newspaper reporter before entering politics. He served as a New City Alderman and in the United States Congress. Now as the city’s new chief executive, he was supposed to repay those who had helped him become the new chief executive.

One petitioner spoke of his own efforts on McClellan’s campaign, “’But I’ve spent a lot of money in this campaign,- a big pile of money.’” The man continued by reminding McClellan that he commanded more than just himself, “’I’ve got to get this money back, and I’ve got to make good with the boys’!” McClellan responded, “’That is your responsibility, not mine.’” Now frustrated the man cried, “’But your trying to cut out our chances. We elected you. You know what we’d [sic] expect. You’re not so young and inexperienced as not to know what your election signified.’” “’I know very well what it signified,’” McClellan replied “’but it seems that you did not.’”

McClellanJrGeorge B. McClellan, Jr.

Banks, Louis Albert. Capital Stories About Famous Americans (New York: 1905) The Christian Herald. pp. 390-91.

Author: historypresent

History Understood in Its Present

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