George Opdyke

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George Opdyke
George Opdyke - Brady-Handy.jpg
John Opdyke[citation needed]

DiedJune 12, 1880
New York
Resting placeMount Pleasant Cemetery, Newark New Jersey
TitleMayor of New York
Political partyRepublican

George Opdyke (December 7, 1805 – June 12, 1880) as an entrepreneur and the 76th Mayor of New York City (1862 to 1864) during the American Civil War. The New York City draft riots occurred during his tenure. After his term as mayor expired, Opdyke attempted to forbid blacks from participating in President Abraham Lincoln's funeral processional.

Early life[edit]

Opdyke, the son of George & Mary E. (Stout) Opdyke, was born December 7, 1805 in Kingwood Township in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.[1] During the 1820s he lived in Cleveland, Ohio and New Orleans, Louisiana.


Opdyke's tomb

Opdyke was a member of the Republican Party on its anti-slavery platform. He was a delegate to the Buffalo Free Soil Party convention in 1848, and served on its committee on resolutions, as well as standing as a candidate for the U.S. Congress on the Free Soil ticket in New Jersey.

In 1859, he was a member of the New York State Assembly (New York Co., 14th D.), and was a delegate to the 1860 Republican National Convention, where he played a role in the nomination of Abraham Lincoln.

With John Adams Dix and Richard Milford Blatchford, he formed the Union Defense Committee, empowered by President Abraham Lincoln to spend public money during the initial raising and equipping of the Union Army.[2][3]

As mayor of New York, Opdyke recruited and equipped troops for the war and responded to draft riots. His company was the largest clothing manufacturing and merchandiser in the area.

Opdyke died in New York in 1880 and was buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Newark, New Jersey.


  1. ^ Mooney, James E. George Opdyke, Encyclopedia of New York City. Accessed May 29, 2013. "(b Kingwood Township, near Frenchtown, N.J., 7 Dec 1805; d New York City, 12 June 1880)."
  2. ^ Hannan, Caryn (2008). Connecticut Biographical Dictionary. 1, A-G. Hamburg, MI: State History Publications, LLC. pp. 124–125. ISBN 978-1-878592-72-9.
  3. ^ McAdam, David; et al. (1897). History of the Bench and Bar of New York. I. New York, NY: New York History Company. p. 262.

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Dunham J. Crain
New York State Assembly
New York County, 14th District

Succeeded by
Theodore B. Voorhees
Political offices
Preceded by
Fernando Wood
Mayor of New York City
Succeeded by
Charles Godfrey Gunther