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Gideon John Tucker (February 10, 1826 New York City - July 1899 New York City) was an American lawyer, newspaper editor and politician. He is still quoted today as saying in 1866: "No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session."[1]


He was born on Laight Street, near Canal Street in Lower Manhattan as the son of Alderman John C. Tucker, a leader of the Locofocos. In 1844, he became a lawyer's clerk and subsequently wrote for newspapers. In 1847, he was admitted to the bar. On March 15, 1848, he married Clara L. Livingston (b. 1828). In 1852, he became a tax clerk in the office of the New York State Comptroller at Albany, New York. In 1853, he bought an interest in the Albany Argus from Edwin Croswell, but in 1855 sold his part and founded the New York Daily News, but withdrew from the editorship in September 1857.

He was a delegate to the 1856 Democratic National Convention at Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1857, he was elected a Sachem of the Tammany Society, and later the same year he was elected Secretary of State of New York, the youngest person ever to be elected to the office.[2] In 1862, he was elected Surrogate of New York City. He was a delegate to the 1864 Democratic National Convention. In 1865, he was a member from New York's 18th District of the New York State Assembly. Here he drafted the first Eight-Hour Work Bill, which was ultimately defeated, but carried through the law for the prevention of cruelty to animals. In 1866, he was again elected Surrogate. At the end of this term, he resumed his law practice.

In 1875, he left Tammany Hall, and was among the founders of the opposing Irving Hall faction of the Democratic Party.

In 1878, he ran on the National Greenback and Labor Party ticket for associate judge of the New York Court of Appeals, but was defeated. Afterwards he went to Arizona for his health and edited the Daily Democrat at Prescott, then the capital of the Arizona Territory. He returned in the 1880s to New York.

He died at his home at 162, West Eighty-Fourth Street in New York City.


  1. ^ This is a parody on "No man shall be deprived of the free enjoyment of his life, liberty, or property, unless declared to be forfeited by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land." from the Magna Carta.
  2. ^ Lewis Allaire Scott was appointed in 1784 at age 25.


  • [1] Political Graveyard
  • [2] The Greenback convention with Short bio of Tucker, in NYT on July 25, 1878
  • [3] His nomination by the Greenbacks, in NYT on August 9, 1878
  • [4] His golden wedding, in NYT on March 16, 1898
  • [5] His obit, in NYT on July 26, 1899
  • [6] Biographical Sketches of the State Officers and Members of the Legislature in the State of New York in 1859 by Wm. D. Murphy (pages 12ff; C. Van Benthuysen, Albany NY, 1859)
Political offices
Preceded by
Joel T. Headley
New York Secretary of State
1858 - 1859
Succeeded by
David R. Floyd-Jones


Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Gideon Tucker article)

From Wikiquote

Gideon J. Tucker (1826-02-10July 1899) was a lawyer, newspaper editor and politician.


  • No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session.
    • Final accounting in the Estate of A.B. (1866) [1]

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