Harper’s Weekly – January 14, 1871

Tweed also had a reputation for generosity, although its sources were totally tainted. He did do some good with his ever-increasing tax levies by supporting parochial schools, orphan asylums, hospitals, homes for the friendless and dispensaries, and personally giving random gifts of food and coal.

In 1870, he publicized a $50,000 Tammany Christmas contribution for the poor. Nast capitalized on that with Sweeny emptying the public treasury with one hand, while Tweed doled out cash with the other.