Date of Award

Spring 1961

Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Very few monographs on the Copperheads during the Civil War have been written. While the general subject of the Copperheads has been seldom dealt with, the Copperhead Movement in New York State and New York as even been less extensively studied. There have been only two published works, dealing exclusively with the New York Copperhead Movement, Sydney Brummer, The Political History of New York State During the Period of the Civil War, and Samuel Pleasants, Fernando Wood of New York, both of which were doctoral dissertations at Columbia University. The purpose of this essay is to explore the life of one of New York City's leading Copperheads, Fernando Wood- a man who had considerable influence on New York State and the Nation during his lifetime. One of the main objectives of this paper is to search for the reasons behind his Copperhead attitude. As this paper progresses, there will be shown many environmental influences which made Wood a Copperhead. Finally, this essay will illustrate the essence of the Copperhead doctrine; its beliefs, fears, and aspirations, and its almost complete devotion to the South and Southern viewpoint, who received the Copperheads treasonable praise.