William Hitchman

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William Hitchman (November 18, 1830 – 1900) [1] was an American politician.



He was born on November 18, 1830, in Pearl Street in New York City, the son of a livery stable keeper. He was apprenticed to carriage painter James Flynn, in Eighty-sixth Street near Third Avenue. He joined the 45 Engine Company as a runner, and got his certificate when he was twenty-one years old. His comrades elected him secretary. Carriage painting injured his health and he abandoned this trade, to become a policeman instead. He became a lieutenant, and held this rank in the 19th Ward when the fight between the Municipal and Metropolitan Departments began. Resigning from the force, he entered United States Weigher Dennis McCarthy's office as clerk, and remained there about a year.

Pearl Street (Manhattan) street in Manhattan

Pearl Street is a street in the Financial District in Lower Manhattan, running northeast from Battery Park to the Brooklyn Bridge with an interruption at Fulton Street, where Pearl Street's alignment west of Fulton Street shifts one block south of its alignment east of Fulton Street, then turning west and terminating at Centre Street.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Carriage Generally horse-drawn means of transport

A carriage is a wheeled vehicle for people, usually horse-drawn; litters (palanquins) and sedan chairs are excluded, since they are wheelless vehicles. The carriage is especially designed for private passenger use, though some are also used to transport goods. A public passenger vehicle would not usually be called a carriage – terms for such include stagecoach, charabanc and omnibus. It may be light, smart and fast or heavy, large and comfortable or luxurious. Carriages normally have suspension using leaf springs, elliptical springs or leather strapping. Working vehicles such as the (four-wheeled) wagon and (two-wheeled) cart share important parts of the history of the carriage, as does too the fast (two-wheeled) chariot.

He was a friend of Boss William Tweed who launched him on his political career. From 1859 to 1867, he was engrossing clerk of the Board of Aldermen with a desk at the City Library. In 1860, he was elected a member of the Board of School Trustees of the 19th Ward, and served for two terms. At the close of his second term, he was chosen School Commissioner. In 1861, he was elected a member of the Tammany Hall General Committee, and in 1863 became its Secretary. In 1864 he was made a trustee of the Fire Department.

New York City Council city council

The New York City Council is the lawmaking body of the City of New York. It has 51 members from 51 council districts throughout the five boroughs.

Tammany Hall Political organization

Tammany Hall, also known as the Society of St. Tammany, the Sons of St. Tammany, or the Columbian Order, was a New York City political organization founded in 1786 and incorporated on May 12, 1789, as the Tammany Society. It was the Democratic Party political machine that played a major role in controlling New York City and New York State politics and helping immigrants, most notably the Irish, rise in American politics from the 1790s to the 1960s. It typically controlled Democratic Party nominations and political patronage in Manhattan from the mayoral victory of Fernando Wood in 1854 and used its patronage resources to build a loyal, well-rewarded core of district and precinct leaders; after 1850 the great majority were Irish Catholics.

He was a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1867–68.

He was a member of the New York State Assembly (New York Co., 21st D.) in 1868, 1869, 1870 and 1871; and was Speaker in 1868, 1870 and 1871.

New York State Assembly lower house of the New York State Legislature

The New York State Assembly is the lower house of the New York State Legislature, the New York State Senate being the upper house. There are 150 seats in the Assembly, with each of the 150 Assembly districts having an average population of 128,652. Assembly members serve two-year terms without term limits.

91st New York State Legislature

The 91st New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 7 to May 6, 1868, during the fourth year of Reuben E. Fenton's governorship, in Albany.

92nd New York State Legislature

The 92nd New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 5 to May 11, 1869, during the first year of John T. Hoffman's governorship, in Albany.

In 1870, when the "Tweed Charter" reorganized the Metropolitan Fire Department, he became President of the Board of Fire Commissioners.

New York City Fire Department fire department in New York City

The New York City Fire Department, officially the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), is a department of the government of New York City that provides fire protection, technical rescue, primary response to biological, chemical, and radioactive hazards, and emergency medical services to the five boroughs of New York City.

After Tweed's fall, he joined the County Democracy, a faction of the Democratic Party opposed to John Kelly.

In 1887, he was arrested as an insane person and taken to Bellevue Hospital.


Related Research Articles


  1. William Hitchman at findagrave.com (A year of death is given, though the bio states that "It is unclear when he actually died".)
Political offices
Preceded by
Edmund L. Pitts
Speaker of the New York State Assembly
Succeeded by
Truman G. Younglove
Preceded by
Truman G. Younglove
Speaker of the New York State Assembly
1870 - 1871
Succeeded by
Henry Smith
New York Assembly
Preceded by
Henry W. Genet
New York State Assembly
New York County, 21st District

Succeeded by
William A. Whitbeck