"THE ACORNS' HOLD AN ELECTION JUBILEE
Mark Twain Delivers a Mock Eulogy on Tammany.
Then They Parade Up Broadway to Forty-second Street and Burn Richard Croker in Effigy.
"The Acorns," whom Richard Croker designated as "The Popcorns," held a boisterous triumph yesterday, which extended from their headquarters in the old Jaffray Building, in Broadway, through many streets to Forty-second Street, in which not less than 5,000 people participated before it was all over. Mark Twain was the central figure, and delivered mock eulogies over those to whom he referred as the "dear departed" of Tammany Hall.
As the noisy parade passed the headquarters of that organization, having made a short detour for that special purpose, the Old Guard Band, which led them, played the melancholy music of "Go Waaa-y Back and Sit Down," before the almost deserted hall, through a window of which Secretary Thomas F. Smith of the Executive Committee was detected peering furtively. The plaintive melody was repeated before the late headquarters of Isaac Fromme and Henry W. Unger in the Rossmore Hotel, and the celebration closed immediately after with the cremation of an effigy of Mr. Croker borne aloft on a long pole, before the Metropolitan Opera House.
This proceeding the police vainly tried to prevent. A number of bluecoats made a rush with drawn clubs toward the flaming figure, but somebody at that moment created a diversion by calling for three cheers for Mark Twain, and when the effect of this had passed there was not enough left of the image of the ruler of Wantage to make it worth anybody's while to start the riot that seemed imminent.
The policemen threw the effigy on the pavement. Some of the newcomers who had been attracted by the show tried to attack the men who had held it, but the leaders of the Acorns averted the trouble by hustling these threatened men off into the main body of the paraders, and the policemen and Tammany sympathizers were free to stamp out the fire in the burning mass, which they did with vigor.
Brooms hung all about the Acorns' home and a line of them stretched across Broadway above the traffic before the door, and all the men on the platform wore little brooms on hats or coats. First the band crashed out the "Star-Spangled Banner," the crowd singing the words. Great Oak Johnson read a letter from Mayor-elect Low congratulating the organization upon its work, and then Mark Twain spoke, being frequently compelled to stop and wait until the laughter and jeers had subsided.
"The bad gang has been defeated all along the line," he said, "and I prophecy, because I was born a prophet, that the next time we go to the polls we go there 100,000 strong.
"I am not surprised at the superb majority we had. What surprises me is that Tammany got a single vote, with the entire pulpit and almost the entire press against it. But while a thirty thousand majority was not nearly large enough, we will not quarrel with Tammany about the result. Tammany is dead, and it is no use to quarrel with a corpse.
"We are not here to attend the funeral of Tammany. Tammany is dead, and there is wailing in the land. We shall miss so many familiar faces. Van Wyck, the gentle peddler of lifesaving ice at sixty cents per hundred, is gone. Ike Fromme - we shall never see Fromme again. He is gone. His name isn't German, but I suppose he took it from the Germans. We shall never see his gentle face again.
"And Unger. Yes, he is also gone. Unger is a German name also. In the original it had an 'H' in it. Yes, Unger is gone, with his great appetite unsatisfied.
"And Murphy, that shadow of a shadow: that political spectre. Farewell to Murphy. He is gone to the unsolidified space of which he has been so long a part.
"And Devery. That indescribable. He has gone to the realms of darkness. His character is so black that even Egyptian darkness would make white spots on it.
"And there is Asa Bird Gardiner, who said, 'To hell with reform.' Well, his reform has been started in the way indicated, and we do not care how soon he goes the same way.
"And last, but not least, there is Croker. Croker. He can now go back to England. We can spare him here. Yes, farewell to Croker forever, the Baron of Wantage, the last, and I dare say the least desirable, addition to English nobility."
Mark Twain then read a letter from Bishop Potter, in which he stated: "It is not merely Greater New York - it is Grander New York now!" Other speakers were President-elect Fornes of the Board of Aldermen, William H. Russell, and Otto Kempner.
Then the crowd swarmed out into the street, where Mark Twain and the officers of the Acorns entered a carriage and led the procession with the band and Chief Marshal Frederick Smith, who carried a huge horseshoe of oak leaves and acorns. The route was Broadway to Fourteenth Street, to Third Avenue, to Fifteenth Street, to Irving Place, to nineteenth Street, to Broadway, to Forty-second Street, where Mark Twin reviewed the parade, which by this time had grown to enormous proportions, and then to the scene of the burning of the Croker effigy, where the crowd slowly dispersed to the music of "Home, Sweet Home."
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