Contemporary public opinion of Boss Tweed is scattered and ambiguous at best, but the political cartoons confirm several of Steffens' affirmations about questions of honesty and the relationship between Tammany and New York voters.
These cartoons demonstrate public consciousness of both
Tweed and Tammany's corruption, but the humorous treatment
and offhanded style suggest a comic tolerance, especially
by the lower classes, who found little harm or gain in political
struggles. Each cartoon can be read as both dismissive and
concerned, an interesting contrat that again suggests the
irrelevence of politics and corruption in the everyday lives
Nevertheless, the cartoons provide an additional dimension
of texture to an understanding of New York's contemporary
political situation. Consistently portraying Tweed and Tammany
as corrupt and exploitative, the cartoons address the same
problems Steffens finds in Tammany politics, as well as
the overt and public nature of their "honest dishonesty"