5. The Tammany Society Was Named for Tamanend, a Native American Leader

Tammany Hall, founded as Tammany Society, was originally a branch of a wider network of Tammany Societies, which originated back to Philadelphia in 1772. At its inception, the society was to serve as a club for “pure Americans”. The name “Tammany” stems from Tamanend, the Native American chief of the Lenape clan who was known as a lover of peace and friendship.

Also referred to as Tammany, Tamanend was a popular figure in 18th century America, acclaimed as the “Patron Saint of America.” There is a statue of him erected in Philadelphia, and an annual festival was also held in his honor in early 18th century Philadelphia. Thereafter, “Tammany” rose in prominence throughout the country, as did the Tammany Society. In fact, the society adopted many of the Native American tribe’s words and customs, calling their hall a wigwam, and even referring to their leader as “Grand Sachem”.