A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

Recent entries:
Entry in progress—BP (9/30)
Entry in progress—BP (9/30)
Entry in progress—BP (9/30)
Entry in progress—BP (9/30)
Entry in progress—BP (9/30)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from October 23, 2021
Satan’s Seat

New York City has sometimes been called “Satan’s Seat.”

“The late sensation in New York (where Satan’s seat is) has roused us to a fresh conception of his terrific reign there” was printed in the book The Foot-prints of Satan, Or, The Devil in History (1874) by Rev. Hollis Read.

“Satan’s Seat” was more famously applied during Prohibition by Methodist Bishop James Cannon Jr. (1864-1944), who supported the “drys” against the “wets” of New York City. Speaking before Congress in 1924, Cannon said:

“I travel frequently from my home in Washington through the South and Southwest to Los Angeles, Calif., and I often go to New York, with its un-American foreign-born population, much of which resents prohibition law—to New York, where satan’s seat is, although some saints are found there.”

Cannon was quoted by the Associated Press in newspapers on June 9, 1932:

“Mr. Rockefeller’s attitude is doubtless sincere, but it is not surprising to those who know the influences which surround him. living as he does where literally Satan’s seat is, in the home city of Alfred E. Smith, of Jimmy Walker and of the Tammany Tiger.”


Wikipedia: James Cannon Jr.
James Cannon Jr. (November 13, 1864 – September 6, 1944) was an American bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, elected in 1918. He was a prominent leader in the temperance movement in the United States in the 1920s, until derailed by scandal. H. L. Mencken said in 1934: “Six years ago he was the undisputed boss of the United States. Congress was his troop of Boy Scouts, and Presidents trembled whenever his name was mentioned.... But since that time there has been a violent revolution, and his whole world is in collapse.”
(...)
When the 1928 Democratic Convention chose wet leader Alfred E. Smith for president, Cannon was outraged at this “betrayal” of the dry cause, and helped organize the Anti-Smith Democratic movement in the South. Cannon strongly criticized Smith, calling him “the Cocktail President”, who lived in the “sneering, ridiculing, nullifying...foreign-populated city of New York.”

Google Books
The Foot-prints of Satan, Or, The Devil in History
By Rev. Hollis Read
New York, NY: E. B. Treat
1874
Pg. 504:
The late sensation in New York (where Satan’s seat is) has roused us to a fresh conception of his terrific reign there.

Google Books
Proposed Modification of the Prohibition Law To Permit the Manufacture, Sale and Use of 2.75 Per Cent Beverages
APRIL 21, 22, 30, MAY 8, 14 AND 21, 1924
By United States. Congress. House. Committee on the Judiciary
Washington, DC: Government Printing Office
1924
Pg. 441:
STATEMENT OF REV. JAMES CANNON, JR., BISHOP METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH
Pg. 446 (Bishop CANNON—ed.):
I travel frequently from my home in Washington through the South and Southwest to Los Angeles, Calif., and I often go to New York,
Pg. 447:
with its un-American foreign-born population, much of which resents prohibition law—to New York, where satan’s seat is, although some saints are found there.

9 June 1932, New York (NY) Times, pg. 2, col. 6:
HITS ROCKEFELLER CHANGE.
Cannon Holds His Attitude Has Been
“Warped” by “Satan’s City.”

FAIRFIELD, Iowa, June 8 (AP).—Bishop James Cannon Jr. of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, in an address tonight expressed his regret at what he called the “city-warped” point of view of John D. Rockefeller Jr. as set forth in his recent letter on prohibition repeal.

“Mr. Rockefeller’s attitude is doubtless sincere, but it is not surprising to those who know the influences which surround him,” Bishop Cannon said, “living as he does where literally Satan’s seat is, in the home city of Alfred E. Smith, of Jimmy Walker and of the Tammany tiger.”

Newspapers.com
9 June 1932, Tampa (FL) Daily Times, “Prohibition Holds Main Gate Ticket” by The Associated Press, pg.1B, col. 2:
Bishop James Cannon, jr., speaking at Fairfield, Ia., criticized “the influences that surround Mr. Rockefeller.”

“Living as he does where literally Satan’s seat is, in the home city of Alfred E. Smith, of Jimmy Walker and of the Tammany Tiger,” was the way the bishop described it.

Newspapers.com
12 June 1932, Sunday News (New York, NY), “It Won’t Be Long Now” (editorial), pg. 29C, col. 1:
New York—“Satan’s Seat”
(...)
Bishop James Cannon Jr., for instance (he was Herbert Hoover’s best friend in the 1928 campaign, and Heaven help Hoover if Cannon is his best friend in 1932) blows off this piece of sulphuretted steam in reply to Mr. Rockefeller:

Mr. Rockefeller’s attitude is doubtless sincere, but it is not surprising to those who know the influences which surround him. living as he does where literally Satan’s seat is, in the home city of Alfred E. Smith, of Jimmy Walker and of the Tammany Tiger.

Google Books
Dry Manhattan:
Prohibition in New York City

By Michael A. Lerner
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press
2007
Bishop James Cannon, Jr., of the Anti-Saloon League damned the city as “Satan’s Seat,” while “wets” in return mockingly called Gotham “the city on a still.”

Facebook
Big Onion Walking Tours
September 6, 2011 at 2:26 PM ·
New partnership & new tour.  Coming in October:
“Satan’s Seat”: New York during Prohibition
Created in conjunction with WNET New York Public Media, a walking tour based on the 2011 Ken Burn’s documentary “Prohibition”. We will discuss and explore the history, politics, culture and speakeasies of New York in the Roaring ‘20s - one of the most volatile eras in American history. 
See website (http://www.bigonion.com) for details!!

PBS
PROHIBITION
Satan’s Seat (NYC)
Clip: Season 1 | 1m 50s
Video has closed captioning.
New York was the city with the most illegal speakeasies, and the toughest city to crack down on drinking.
Aired: 10/02/11
Rating: NR
(At about 1:18.—ed.)
“Methodist Bishop James Cannon Jr., one of the most ardent drys in the country, called the city “Satan’s Seat.”

Google Books
Arkansas Godfather:
The Story of Owney Madden and How He Hijacked Middle America

By Graham Nown
Little Rock, AR: Butler Center Books
2013
Pp. 95-96:
Bishop James Cannon Jr. of Virginia denounced New York as “Satan’s seat” when it was revealed that the city’s 15,000 pre-Prohibition bars had been replaced by 32,000 “speakeasies”—the slang term for secret places where people could buy alcoholic beverages.

Google Books
Bootleggers and Beer Barons of the Prohibition Era
By J. Anne Funderburg
Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc.
2014
Pg. 63:
Dry leaders called New York City “Satan’s Seat.” They had great disdain for the evil metropolis where unrepentant sinners frolicked with the devil.

Twitter
Ilona Magyar
@IloMagyar
“‘Satan’s Seat’ was actually the temperance nickname for New York“
https://thirteen.org/metrofocus/2011/09/walk-into-the-satans-seat-prohibition-tour-on-your-feet-leave-on-your-back/amp/
NY group reveals designs for Satan statue intended to offer ‘inspiration’ at Oklahoma Capitol
https://syracuse.com/news/2014/01/ny_group_reveals_designs_for_satan_statue_to_give_inspiration_at_oklahoma_capito.html
https://amazon.ca/Obamas-Ring-Satan-Will-Clark/dp/1483946355
8:00 PM · Oct 24, 2021·Twitter for iPhone

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNicknames/Slogans • Saturday, October 23, 2021 • Permalink