Mayor Fernando Wood of NYC, a Peace Democrat, recommended that New York City withdraw from the Union.

NYC was a Democratic bastion during the Civil War. It was the site of the Draft Riots of ’63, it voted against Lincoln – twice. NYC was the virtual capital of the Peace Democratic movement that wished to recognize the sovereignty of the CSA and continuation of slavery.

 

With our aggrieved brethren of the Slave States, we have friendly relations and a common sympathy. We have not participated in the warfare upon their constitutional rights or their domestic institutions. While other portions of our State have unfortunately been imbued with the fanatical spirit which actuates a portion of the people of New England, the city of New York has unfalteringly preserved the integrity of its principles of adherence to the compromises of the Constitution and the equal rights of the people of all the States. We have respected the local interests of every section, at no time oppressing, but all the while aiding in the development of the resources of the whole country. Our ships have penetrated to every clime, and so have New York capital, energy and enterprise found their way to every State, and, indeed, to almost every county and town of the American Union. If we have derived sustenance from the Union, so have we in return disseminated blessings for the common benefit of all. Therefore, New York has a right to expect, and should endeavor to preserve a continuance of uninterrupted intercourse with every section.

Much, no doubt, can be said in favor of the justice and policy of a separation. It may be said that secession or revolution in any of the United States would be subversive of all Federal authority, and, so far as the Central Government is concerned, the resolving of the community into its original elements – that, if part of the States form new combinations and Governments, other States may do the same. California and her sisters of the Pacific will no doubt set up an independent Republic and husband their own rich mineral resources. The Western States, equally rich in cereals and other agricultural products, will probably do the same. Then it may be said, why should not New York city, instead of supporting by her contributions in revenue two—thirds of the expenses of the United States, become also equally independent? As a free city, with but nominal duty on imports, her local Government could be supported without taxation upon her people. Thus we could live free from taxes, and have cheap goods nearly duty free. In this she would have the whole and united support of the Southern States, as well as all the other States to whose interests and rights under the Constitution she has always been true.

Why not?
“But I am not prepared to recommend the violence implied in these views.”
There were serious conflicts between the Pro-War Democrats, such as Tammany Hall, and the Peace Democrats, like Fernando Woods Mozart Hall. Tammany never took the secession recommendation seriously and did everything it could to tear down Mayor Woods.

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