Was Fernando Wood serious?

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#1
If you know who Fernando Wood (mayor of NYC during first half of the war) was, you likely know he suggested NYC become an independent city-state to preserve the city's profitable trade with the South. My question is - how serious was Wood? Did he expect that the majority of his city's citizens would support breaking away, or that the Union navy would not immediately blockade the port and try to recapture the city?
 

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#2
If you know who Fernando Wood (mayor of NYC during first half of the war) was, you likely know he suggested NYC become an independent city-state to preserve the city's profitable trade with the South. My question is - how serious was Wood? Did he expect that the majority of his city's citizens would support breaking away, or that the Union navy would not immediately blockade the port and try to recapture the city?
Paging @Pat Young .
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#3
If you know who Fernando Wood (mayor of NYC during first half of the war) was, you likely know he suggested NYC become an independent city-state to preserve the city's profitable trade with the South. My question is - how serious was Wood? Did he expect that the majority of his city's citizens would support breaking away, or that the Union navy would not immediately blockade the port and try to recapture the city?
Good point. Exactly what military forces did NCY possess to fight the United States military? It does seem a bridge to far. It's not like the Confederacy had a huge seaborne Marine Task Force just itching to reinforce a secessionist movement in NYC.
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#5
I have just come from an 11 page thread on cotton exports and led there by @jgoodguy as he just bumped the cart (so to speak).
Fernando Wood was mentioned and so was Aspinwall. What the connection I made was the adverse circumstance of Davis's passing the Letters of Marque Law, and threatening an eye for an eye if prisoners are treated as pirates. This was before the inauguration, I think, and Aspinwall had started a profitable mercantile business based on moving gold and materials and supplies (in the proper directions of course) via Panama and building a railroad across the Isthmus. These valuable shipments had to be protected. The Union Navy could cover some, but if you look into the Navy records that year, 1861, it was an enormous task. Presented with the problem of loss, I am willing to speculate early on his motivation for neutrality stemmed from the desire to save investors and insurers the losses due to capture; how does a 'hands-off' approach sound; Far-fetched for buying time? Battles have diversions, remember.
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Bruce Vail

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#6
Not serious in the sense that he had a long-term plan to defend the city as an independent political entity into the future. But yes, serious, as as an expression by northern Democrats that they were opposed to a war with the South under any circumstances.
 

USS ALASKA

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#7
or that the Union navy would not immediately blockade the port and try to recapture the city?
Sirs, you wouldn't even have to do that to bring a 'break-away' NYC to her economic knees quickly...simply cut off all land and intra-water ways access to the Union. With no more access to the raw materials from the rest of America, (food, iron, wood, fuel), her economy fails.
70

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#9
I think the man was ready to take any advantage, ride any political wave that would sweep him into a favorable political situation/position.
That could very well be the mercantile underwriters. He seems to be putting himself out there on a limb, but the whole business world sees risk from a higher perspective.
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#10
He said he'd secede from the Union, if he could figure out how to do it.

Bottom line, cotton (ignored as an economic driver in these forums) was an enormously important part of New York City's economy in 1860.

This is what made New York's mayor a virtual Confederate at the time.
 

unionblue

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#11
He said he'd secede from the Union, if he could figure out how to do it.

You mean without being imprisoned or hanged for treason.


Bottom line, cotton (ignored as an economic driver in these forums) was an enormously important part of New York City's economy in 1860.

Other bottom line, slaves who picked that cotton (that in truth was an important part of New York City's economy in 1860, along with other exported items/products) were of enormous interest of those who owned them.

This is what made New York's mayor a virtual Confederate at the time.
As Lincoln is supposed to have said, he wasn't about to have the front door (New York) dictate to the rest of the house, hence the reason it wasn't a Confederate anything.

Unionblue
 
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#12
As Lincoln is supposed to have said, he wasn't about to have the front door (New York) dictate to the rest of the house, hence the reason it wasn't a Confederate anything.

Unionblue
True, but I simply try to take into account we are looking at men reacting to their hopes and dreams being shattered. A stock market crash drives some to suicide. A glimpse of what could be total ruin makes their reactions a complement to the pressure. I agree sometimes excuses are flimsy, but like in battle, you have mercy on your fallen foe, and Lincoln did so; same as he did with Hicks in Maryland.
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#13
As Lincoln is supposed to have said, he wasn't about to have the front door (New York) dictate to the rest of the house, hence the reason it wasn't a Confederate anything.

Unionblue
The thread title is, "Was Fernando Wood Serious?"

The answer is, "no." He was expressing New York City's dependence on the cotton economy, a real thing in 1860.

Mr. Wood was subsequently elected to Congress, where he advocated for Southern planter interests, due his hometown's dependence on their product.

I don't imagine CWT posters would expect members of Congress from Michigan to rally against the automobile industry, but hey, you never know.
 

unionblue

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#14
The thread title is, "Was Fernando Wood Serious?"

For himself, he was serious.

The answer is, "no."

Debatable.

He was expressing New York City's dependence on the cotton economy, a real thing in 1860.

New York City went broke during the Civil War due to cotton shortages?

Mr. Wood was subsequently elected to Congress, where he advocated for Southern planter interests, due his hometown's dependence on their product.

Still think the man was more concerned with number one vice his hometown, but hey, "I must find out where my people are going so I can get in front and lead them" scenario comes to mind.


I don't imagine CWT posters would expect members of Congress from Michigan to rally against the automobile industry, but hey, you never know.
Nope, you don't, do you?
 

jgoodguy

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#16
He said he'd secede from the Union, if he could figure out how to do it.

Bottom line, cotton (ignored as an economic driver in these forums) was an enormously important part of New York City's economy in 1860.

This is what made New York's mayor a virtual Confederate at the time.
We don't ignore cotton anymore than New York real estate.
 

jgoodguy

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#17
The thread title is, "Was Fernando Wood Serious?"

The answer is, "no." He was expressing New York City's dependence on the cotton economy, a real thing in 1860.

Mr. Wood was subsequently elected to Congress, where he advocated for Southern planter interests, due his hometown's dependence on their product.

I don't imagine CWT posters would expect members of Congress from Michigan to rally against the automobile industry, but hey, you never know.
Let's stick to Civil War era history, please.
 
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#18
Let's stick to Civil War era history, please.
The busiest port and harbor possibly in the world, or a strong competitor, and just when all those long voyages with English Shipping Lines are after Oriental Spices, and Immigration is coming and of course all the bullion and wealth from the Pacific. The crux of cotton hinges on the fact the south placed so much belief in foreign dependency of it. Period?
Lubliner.
 

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