New York Mayor John T. Hoffman


This Site:

Civil War

Civil War Overview

Civil War 1861

Civil War 1862

Civil War 1863

Civil War 1864

Civil War 1865

Civil War Battles

Confederate Generals

Union Generals

Confederate History

Robert E. Lee

Civil War Medicine

Lincoln Assassination


Site Search

Civil War Links


Revolutionary War

Mexican War

Republic of Texas


Winslow Homer

Thomas Nast

Mathew Brady

Western Art

Civil War Gifts

Robert E. Lee Portrait

Civil War Harper's Weekly, December 23, 1865

We acquired this leaf for the purpose of digitally preserving it for your research and enjoyment.  If you would like to acquire the original 140+ year old Harper's Weekly leaf we used to create this page, it is available for a price of $165.  Your purchase allows us to continue to archive more original material. For more information, contact




VOL. IX.—No. 469.]




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the Year 1865, by Harper & Brothers, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.



IT is many years since the city of New York has chosen for her Chief Magistrate a man of the position and reputation of JOHN T. HOFFMAN. He is not only a gentleman of high social position, but a lawyer of distinction, a judge of eminent probity, a representative by descent of some of the oldest New York families, a citizen of unblemished reputation, and (as will appear by our sketch) one of the few New Yorkers who have received the unanimous vote of the city for high and responsible office.

JOHN T. HOFFMAN was born at Sing Sing, in Westchester County, January 10, 1828, and is now

not quite thirty-eight years of age. His father, ADRIAN KISSAM HOFFMAN, M. D., is a distinguished physician, long resident and universally respected and beloved in his county, and was the son of PHILIP L. HOFFMAN and HELENA KISSAM, his wife, whose names are remembered with affection by our oldest citizens as among the most valuable members of early society in New York, and the founders of many public charities and benevolent works.

The other sons of PHILIP L. HOFFMAN were Dr. RICHARD K. HOFFMAN, whose lamented death occurred only four years ago, and CHARLES O. HOFFMAN, of the firm of FELLOWS, HOFFMAN, & CO., well-known merchants of New York.

The Mayor-Elect entered Union College, in the junior class, in 1813, but was obliged to leave for a time on account of ill health. He graduated in 1846; studied law at Sing Sing with General AARON WARD and Judge ALBERT LOCKWOOD, and was admitted to the bar January 10, 1849, shortly after which he removed to New York City and commenced the practice of law at 63 Wall Street. His industrious habits, united with eminent ability in his profession insured his success at the bar.   His law partner, HON. W. H. LEONARD, was

called    to the bench of the Supreme Court, and HOFFMAN

soon assumed the ermine also.

In 1860 he was nominated for the Recordship by Tammany Hall, and elected by about 17,000 over the Mozart candidate, and about 4000 over the Republican. On the bench the high order of his ability became at once manifest, and his unflinching devotion to justice won him the respect and esteem of all parties. In the trial of the celebrated riot cases in 1863 the firm and noble conduct of the Recorder was the subject of universal approbation, and so highly was he regarded that in 1863 he was nominated by all parties, except a small Democratic faction, and received 60,000 out of 64,000 votes—a tribute of respect unparalleled in the modern history of this faction-cursed city.

There was a general regret that Judge HOFFMAN should leave the bench he adorned; but his nomination for the Mayoralty was made with the avowed object of defeating a notorious "ring" politician, and to do this no man so upright, unimpeachable, and universally popular was to be found. Against his on own wishes he was placed in nomination, and he boasts with good reason of his election, accomplished without the expenditure of any money, against three candidates, each of whom

was backed by large and very liberally-scattered means.

Judge HOFFMAN married, in 1854, a daughter of HENRY STARKWEATHER, of this city, and resides in Fourth Avenue. His career has been brilliant and successful, and he owes his honors, not to political favoritism, but to a popularity earned by steadfast labor and untarnished honesty, united to 1 abilities of the highest order. He is a man of striking personal appearance, with a fine face, keen piercing eye, and an erect, commanding carriage. He is an accomplished literary scholar, a thorough gentleman, has traveled extensively in this country and Europe, and his election may well be esteemed an honor to the city.


FOR several years the children of the Five Points Industrial School have had a Thanksgiving Dinner provided for them by the Mission. The city presented no merrier scene on this year's Thanksgiving Day than was afforded at this establishment.

Four hundred children, prettily and tastefully dressed, went through their calisthenic exercises, under the adroit leadership of a little German girl, with surprising grace of manner and movement. One who was there thus describes the various exercises of the occasion:

The discipline of the children, from the youngest to the more advanced in years, the oldest not exceeding ten

or twelve, was perfect in every way. Their little songs and hymns were sung in admirable concert, and some of their imitations, as that of a thunder-storm, their only instruments being their hands and voices, were quite an agreeable surprise to the visitors, who applauded them warmly. There was quite a number of colored children who partook with equal zest in all the exercises, seeming to excel in the fortissimo, as they displayed their glistening teeth and shook their little woolly heads excitedly. The enlivening little melody, u A Farmer I shall be," the chorus of which was whistled jovially by the boys, received much applause, as it deserved to do, and not less so that a little fellow of a couple of years, who had his fingers in his ears, for a new effect, forgot to stop in time, and sing out lustily when all the rest had finished, "And a farner I shall be." On being questioned where he would have his farm, he modestly proposed the "Bowery." Another little one about one year older proclaimed himself as "Slaving Jim," whose father was killed at "Bully's Run." When

the Principal asked the children who of them had lost a father or a brother in the war, two-thirds at least held up their hands. The grand finale in the singing way was the song of the Blacksmith, a real live Smith, of four years old, in scarlet jacket and rolled up sleeves, doing the accompaniment on an anvil with his hammer, keeping most accurate time, and eliciting sparks innumerable and unbounded applause. These exercises over, the children marched down to dinner in the basement, led on by two manikin drummers and a colored brigadier. At dinner Mr. HALLADAY, the Superintendent, presided, and the children were waited upon by the officers of the house and friends who had left their own tables to kindly volunteer at those of the little ones. At four o'clock the table was again relaid for the indigent Italian children and their friends or parents, and after these the doors were thrown open to all who hungered, irrespective of age or sex. Over two thousand received a good Thanksgiving dinner."

The Five Points Mission, organized by a band of nobleminded Christian ladies in the year 1850, and still under their efficient management, has become one of the leading charities of the city. The average daily attendance of poor children during the year was past two hundred and seventy-three. There is also a large Sunday-school connected with the Mission which holds two sessions every Sabbath. Seventeen hundred children have been taught in the schools of this institution during the year. There are nineteen families living in the Mission buildings, who, by the observance of the rules, form a community of singular order in the midst of their evil surroundings.


WHAT is civilization ? and in particular what is British civilization? The full report of the doings of the British authorities in Jamaica furnish a humiliating answer. How humiliating, will be understood when it is known that Englishmen themselves express their shame. " Deeds have been done," say they, "both by the insurgents and by the authorities, the bare recital of which makes the blood tingle in our veins." The English authorities in Jamaica have put themselves upon a level with the savage atrocities which they undertook to avenge by the summary massacre of two thousand negroes.

We have waited, before thus speaking on this subject, for a full disclosure of the affair on both sides. What we give now to our readers is in connection with our illustration of MORANT BAY, On page 805, and is given on authority which is purely English.

MORANT BAY, at the South-eastern corner of Jamaica, washes a poor district not much more than twelve miles square, within which there are negro settlements, stricken


Mayor John Hoffman




Site Copyright 2003-2018 Son of the South.  For Questions or comments about this collection, contact

Privacy Policy

Are you Scared and Confused? Read My Snake Story, a story of hope and encouragement, to help you face your fears.