The New International Encyclopædia/Albany Regency, The
ALBANY RE'GENCY, The. A name popularly given to a group of New York Democrats living at Albany, who, from 1820 to about 1850, controlled the nominating conventions and patronage of their party within the State, and by dictating its general policy, exerted a powerful influence in national as well as State politics. They derived their power largely from their great personal influence and remarkable political sagacity, and were, for the most part, earnest opponents of political corruption, though they uniformly acted upon the principle, first formulated in 1833 by one of their number (Marcy), that “to the victors belong the spoils.” Among those who at various times were members of this unofficial body were: Martin Van Buren, William L. Marcy, Silas Wright, John A. Dix, Edwin Croswell, Benjamin F. Butler, A. C. Flagg, Dean Richmond, and Samuel A. Talcott, several of whom “graduated” from it into high offices under the national government. The Regency's loss of prestige dated from about 1848, when their opponents adopted methods similar to their own, and the Democratic party in the State split into irreconcilable factions. (See Barnburners.) Consult: J. D. Hammond, History of Political Parties in the State of New York (Cooperstown, 1846); Morgan Dix, Memoirs of John A. Dix (New York, 1883).