Richard Morton's study of "The Benevolent Boss: Roger C. Sullivan and the Rise of the Chicago Democratic Organization, 1861-1920," sets forth in detail the remarkable political career of Roger C. Sullivan. Sullivan was the principal founder and the first boss of the Chicago Democratic organization, or "machine," which he and his partner, John P. Hopkins, led for some twenty years.
This collection includes both a typescript and a disc of Morton's 740-page manuscript on Sullivan.
Within the context of national political trends, "The Benevolent Boss" provides an account of political events in Chicago and Illinois between 1881 and 1920, most of which have previously gone unrecorded. Included is a full record of mayoral elections and administrations, the impact the the gold/silver controversy, the power struggle between Sullivan and Carter H. Harrison II, the influenza epidemic in Chicago in 1918, and many other relevant developments and leaders of the period. In general, the study places Sullivan in the context of the evolving "corporate" practices of the day while jettisoning the stereotype of Sullivan as tainted by corruption and criminality, characteristics of the Chicago machine in the 1920s and 1930s, after Sullivan's death.
Morton is a professor of History at Clark Atlanta University and the author of Justice and Humanity: Edward F. Dunne, Illinois Progressive (Southern Illinois University Press, 1997; IHLC 977.30410924 D922m) and Roger C. Sullivan and the Making of the Chicago Democratic Machine, 1881-1908 (McFarland, 2016; IHLC 977.3092 M8461r).
Morton donated paper and digital copies of "The Benevolent Boss" manuscript to the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections in 2015.