Fernando Wood

Daguerreotype by [[Mathew Brady]], {{circa|1855}} Fernando Wood (February 14, 1812 – February 13, 1881) was an American Democratic Party politician, merchant, and real estate investor who served as the 73rd and 75th Mayor of New York City. He also represented the city for several terms in the United States House of Representatives.

After rapidly rising through Tammany Hall, Wood served a single term in the U.S. House before returning to private life and building a fortune in real estate speculation and maritime shipping.

He was elected mayor for the first time in 1854 and served three non-consecutive terms. His mayoralty was marked by an almost dictatorial vision of the office and political corruption in the city's appointed offices, including the New York City police force. His political appointments and his advocacy for unilateral reform of the city charter to strengthen his power and grant the city home rule brought him into direct conflict with the Republican state legislature, leading to a charter revision that prematurely ended his second term in office and resulted in his arrest. He returned to the mayor's office for a final term in 1860.

After leaving the mayor's office, Wood was elected to several more terms in the House of Representatives, where he served for sixteen years. In his final two terms in that office, he served as Chairman of the powerful House Committee on Ways and Means.

Throughout his career, Wood expressed political sympathies for the Southern United States, including during the American Civil War. He once suggested to the New York City Council that the city should declare itself an independent city-state in order to continue its profitable cotton trade with the Confederate States of America. In the House, he was a vocal opponent of President Abraham Lincoln and one of the main opponents of the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States. Provided by Wikipedia
  1. 1
  2. 2
    Author: Wood, Fernando, 1812-1881
    Published 1860
    In collection: Published Materials
  3. 3
  4. 4