Kenneth BaileyResearcher, 2003–Present

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Kenneth Bailey has concentrated his research on William Steinway’s involvement in politics.

For the benefit of other members of the Steinway Diary team, he wrote and distributed a brief paper entitled “A Background to William Steinway’s Politics,” which examined national, New York State and New York City politics in the post-Civil War era. William lived and worked in two cities before the consolidation of the five boroughs in 1898 created an enlarged New York City. He lived and voted in Manhattan, while his factory was located in Long Island City, which was an independent municipality. Tammany Hall, the headquarters of the Democratic Party’s political machine, dominated New York City politics for decades, starting in the 1850s. The party’s organization was divided into ethnic constituencies. William was one of the leaders of the German-American wing of Tammany and was often consulted by Tammany bosses. Although he was not active in Long Island City politics, he followed events there closely, protecting his business interests by managing to stay on good terms with Long Island City’s notoriously corrupt mayor. It was a lucky coincidence that in 1869, William was involved in settling an estate in Buffalo, New York, and hired a local young attorney named Grover Cleveland. The two became friends, and when Cleveland was President, he invited William to the White House to consult on German-American appointments.

Bailey has a bachelor’s degree in foreign affairs from George Washington University and a master’s degree from Georgetown University in economics. He is a retired Foreign Service Officer who, over the course of a 24-year career, was assigned to embassies in Latin America, Africa and Europe, and the US mission to the United Nations in New York. After retirement from the State Department, he worked for ten years with Litton and EG&G corporations. Upon his retirement from corporate life, he returned to George Washington University and earned an MA in American history. He became a Smithsonian volunteer researcher with the Diary Project shortly after obtaining this degree.