Hoffman, John T(hompson) (b Sing Sing [now Ossining,Westchester Co], 10 Jan 1828; dWiesbaden, Germany, 24 Mar 1888). Governor and New York City mayor.
A Union College graduate, Hoffman was admitted to the bar in 1849 and established a practice in New York City. A Tammany Hall Democrat, he was elected city recorder in 1860 and presided over the draft riot trials before becoming mayor of New York City (1865–68). He was picked by Tammany boss William M. Tweed to be the 1866 Democratic gubernatorial candidate as part of Tweed’s unsuccessful attempt to gain statewide political control.He won the governorship in 1868, again running with Tweed’s endorsement, through an election widely viewed as corrupt. As governor he ordered protection for marchers during New York City’s Orange Riots and signed legislation creating the American Museum of Natural History.
Reelected in 1870 and mentioned as a possible presidential candidate for the 1872 election, his political career was curtailed by Tweed’s downfall. Retired from politics in 1872, he resumed practicing law and traveled abroad.
Hoffman Island, located east of Staten Island, is named after him.
Stebbins,Homer Adolph. A Political History of the State
of New York, 1865–1869 (1913; repr New York: AMS
Peter Eisenstadt, ed., The Encyclopedia of New York State
(Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2005), [p. 724].
© Syracuse University Press. Reproduced with permission from the publisher.