John Thompson Hoffman (January 10, 1828 – March 24, 1888) was born in Ossining in Westchester County, New York. He was governor of New York (1869 -1873). He was also a judge (elected 1860) and Mayor of New York City (1866 - 1868). Connections to the Tweed Ring ruined his political career, in spite of the absence of evidence to show personal involvement in corrupt activities.
Hoffman entered politics early in his life, and at the age of twenty became a member of the state central committee for the Democratic Party. After being admitted to the state bar on his twenty-first birthday, he moved to New York City to establish the law firm of Woodruff, Leonard, and Hoffman. In 1860, Hoffman was elected the youngest recorder (judge) in the city’s history and presided over the Draft Riot trials in 1863. His reputation was so high that he was endorsed for reelection by the Republican party as well as both factions of the Democratic party (Tammany and Mozart), and received nearly 95 percent of the vote total.
In 1865, Hoffman defeated three other candidates to become mayor of New York City. In 1866, while still serving his first mayoral term, he ran unsuccessfully for governor as the Democratic challenger to Republican incumbent Reuben Fenton. After being reelected mayor in 1867, he again ran for governor in 1868, this time defeating his Republican opponent, John Griswold, by a comfortable majority. Hoffman was reelected governor in 1870, but thereafter his reputation became tainted by his association with the corrupt Tweed Ring. At the end of his second term, Hoffman retired from active politics and returned to the practice of law. We are currently offering the following pieces signed by John Hoffman: