Mayors Of Brooklyn From 1834 to 1873: #4



He was elected Mayor by the Whigs in 1849, commenced business in Brooklyn as a retail grocer. he was elected as one of the village Trustees in 1832, which position he filled for several years. In 1844 he was chosen as City Clerk, and occupied that office until elected Mayor. In the administration of that office he was careful, economical and dignified. He was at one time a municipal judge, and for many years a member of the Board of Education, in which latter position he aided powerfully to give character and efficiency to the system of public instruction. Mr. Copeland was highly esteemed in the community, and his death, which occurred after he had obtained a good old age, was deeply regretted. it was during his administration that the cholera prevailed badly, and finally numbered among its victims 652 persons in this city, being one in 155 of inhabitants.


He succeeded Mr. Copeland, in 1850, served as Mayor for nine months, the time of election for Mayor having been changed to Fall, and the term made two years thereafter. He was born at Huntington, May 26, 1788, and after learning the trade of a cooper, came to Brooklyn in 1806, and soon after went to farming. By industry and economy he acquired in course of years, 28 acres of land, since known as the Smith property, the centre of which was about the junction of Smith and Livingston streets. it cost him a total of $19,000 and its value has since grown into the millions. For many years he used to sell milk, carrying it around to customers in tin cans, suspended from a stick placed across his shoulders. During the war of 1812 he did service in the trenches at Fort Greene. At various times he filled the offices of Highway Commissioner, Assessor, Justice of the Peace, Supervisor, County Judge and Superintendent of the Poor. As Mayor he was a strict economist and faithful to duty. He was connected with several banks and insurance companies. His death took place last year, and his funeral was attended by many of the leading citizens. His portrait is that of an old time farmer.


He was elected Mayor for 1851-52, came to Brooklyn in 1827.He served as a village trustee and Alderman for several years before being elected Mayor of the Whigs. Being a thorough and successful mercantile man, his administration was marked by an executive ability and success which secured for him the confidence of the community, especially of large property owners. He also appreciated the growth and prosperity of the city, and encouraged local enterprise, and was one of the foremost to secure the water supply. He was connected with several moneyed institutions, and was President of the Mechanics' Bank for nearly twenty years. His death took place about three years ago. His portrait is that of a man of medium size, with large head and features, close set mouth, sharp but thoughtful eyes, and good, honest expression.


He was Mayor during 1853-54, having been elected by the Democrats, was son of a sea captain, who was lost at sea when Edward was 12 years old. He was born June 10, 1813. He was engaged as a clerk in an importing house until 1882, when he entered into the stationery business, which has made him wealthy. He was Alderman for two terms. During his term of office as Mayor, charters were granted to and contract made with the Brooklyn City Railroad Company, the ponds for a water supply were purchased, the Truant Home established, the Sunday law vigorously enforced, and several riots took place between the Know Nothings and foreign born citizens, but prompt measures on his part suppressed the riots. He was a strong Union man during the war, and was very active in promoting the success of the Sanitary Fair. At the present time he is engaged in organizing a new bank in this city, to be called the Kings County Bank. The picture of him in the Council Chamber is somewhat like him now, but age has made its marks on the ex-Mayor's face, although he is still the same active, nervous, shrewd, but upright man of business.


The present mayor, was elected for 1857-58, and re-elected for the two succeeding years. He was born in New York February 16, 1815, and came to Brooklyn in 1828, and was employed by a clothier and tailor, in which business he afterward engaged for himself, and carried it on until last year. Before being elected Mayor he was an Alderman. After having apparently retired from the political field he was nominated two years ago as the regular Democratic nominee, and defeated both ex-Mayors Booth and Kalbfleisch. His record as mayor is well known. He is well posted on municipal matters, quiet and unobtrusive in manner, upright and straightforward in his dealings. During his first term the Ridgewood water was introduced, and the second, which extended to May, 1861, when the war broke out, he was a war Democrat. His present term has been during various political changes, but they have been of such a nature as not to give the Mayor an opportunity to take a very active part. His portrait is like him as he now is, a tall, thin man, of pleasant manners and easy walk.


Brooklyn's ever memorably "honest Old Dutchman," was Mayor from May, 1861 to December 31, 1863, and from January, 1868, to December, 1871, in all over six years. He was born in Flushing, Holland, February 8, 1804. He came to this city in 1842, and engaged in the manufacture of chemicals, which business rendered him very wealthy. Previous to being chosen Mayor, he was Alderman and President of that Board. He always took an interest in public affairs, and an active part in politics, but ever held himself aloof from any transactions whereby it could be said that he profited personally. He was clear of purpose and strong of will, and stubborn to excess, but his eyes were always open for the public good, as that was his pride; he liked to be called "Honest Dutchman;" but his aggressive course often aroused opposition which defeated the measures he might have carried in milder ways. He undoubtedly became very popular with taxpayers of both parties, as indicated by the large vote he polled two years ago. His death took place last February. The portrait of him in the Council Chamber is a good one, and plainly depicts the strong will and hearty Dutch manner which were so well known to thousands of Brooklynites.


This gentleman, who was Mayor of Brooklyn during 1864 and 1865, is a native of this island, having been born at Hempstead, April 19, 1828. He rose to public attention by the rebellion, which first struck out in Baltimore, as the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment went through, April 19, 1861, the thirty-second anniversary of the Colonel's birth which was also the fifty-second anniversary of the battle of Lexington. Truly war has concurred with his times and seasons, and he must have been born under Mars. Col. Wood served as a dry goods clerk early in manhood. At the beginning of the war he commanded the Fourteenth. its and his record are well known. In 1863 he was elected Mayor, while a Collector of Internal Revenue. The vote was 28,312. He received 12,672, the rest being divided between Martin Kalbfleisch and Benjamin Prince. His administration was a moderate success, and since then he has interested himself in the custom house and real estate enterprises.


Succeeding Mayor Wood came Mayor Booth, who served through 1866 and 1867. His career is well and favorably known. He was born in England July 4, 1818,t he 42d anniversary of our Independence, and is consequently 55 years old. Both Wood and Booth were born on important American anniversaries, and although Mr. Booth was born out of the States, he didn't intend to be. Mr. Booth's school days were spent in New York, but he early moved to Brooklyn. He became a master builder, and a mighty good one, and at twenty-five set up for himself in Brooklyn. He served as Alderman and Supervisor of the Fourth Ward for four years, and virtually built the Penitentiary. He declined re-election but entered the Board of Education. In 1857 he became Supervisor of the fourth Ward, and virtually built the New Court House. He helped on volunteering and enlistments immensely, and made hosts of friends among the soldiers. His Mayoral duties were well performed. In 1869 he was made Post-master, and under him postal consolidation will be effected. he is about the strongest man before the people that the Republican party puts up in this county.


Website: The History
Article Name: Mayors of Brooklyn From 1834 to 1872: #4
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


Brooklyn Daily Eagle August 16, 1873
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