[New York: The Democracy of Thomas Jefferson of the City of New York], . First edition. A scarce surviving broadside (9 ½” x 15”) printing the proposed platform, constitution and resolution of the Democracy of Thomas Jefferson (officially, The Democracy of Thomas Jefferson of the City of New York), a political party organized to oppose the Tammany Hall Democrats - and their candidate, Justice Robert A. Van Wyck - in the 1897 mayoral election in New York City. The Party nominated the single tax prophet, Henry George, who gave his acceptance speech on October 5 at Cooper Union Hall. George, who was furiously trying to finish what he believed would be his magnum opus, “The Science of Political Economy,” through himself into the campaign. He had long considered himself a Jeffersonian Democrat as exemplified in his 1894 “Peace By Standing Army” speech in which he protested President Grover Cleveland’s order to send Federal troops to Chicago during the Great Railroad Strike:
"The Democracy that I am talking about, the Democracy to which I belong and as a representative of which I stand here, is… the Democracy of Thomas Jefferson ! It is not the false Democracy of to-day, but it is the true Democracy; the Democracy that believes in equal rights to all and special privilege to none; the Democracy that would crush monopolies under its foot. It is not the Democracy which now rules, but the Democracy that I trust soon will."
The Party adopted the rooster as their emblem and emphasized their desire not be thought of as an independent party, but one established to “reclaim the mantle of the Democratic Party” (England, 147). Unfortunately George’s health was poor and he died suddenly on October 29, 1897, four days before the election. His son was quickly nominated in his place, but the Party’s chances died with the senior George and George, Jr. polled last out of four candidates with Van Wyck winning the election.
The sheet has been folded in thirds both horizontally and vertically resulting in nine panels with a few small holes at folds. Otherwise an exceptionally well-preserved copy of a document not found by title in WorldCat, the Henry George Family Papers at The Henry George Birthplace, Archive and Historical Research Center, or the Henry George Papers at NYPL. Item #06462