Lets back up a bit and return to June when the Municipals and Metropolitans were at each other’s throats. Mayor Wood resisted an order to disband and the Metropolitan Police Board ordered his arrest. He was hold up in City Hall the day he was to be arrested. On officer came there to serve the warrant but was beaten off. A force of 50 Metropolitan Police returned later that day to enforce the warrant and arrest Mayor Wood. His 300 Municipals, in the building, protected him and assaulted the Metropolitans. This was the account and aftermath.
From Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, June 27, 1857.
GREAT RIOTS IN NEW YORK – SCENES IN THE CITY HALL – STRUGGLES FOR POWER BETWEEN THE MUNICIPAL AND METROPOLITAN POLICE.
WHY THEY ARE FIGHTING IN NEW YORK
To those of our distant readers who, far removed from the influences of our great city, take but little interest in its internal quarrels, and who hearing of wars and rumors of wars,
The recent Legislature adopted a new charter for the city of New York, many of the provisions of which interfered with the existing rights of officers and were conflicting with the charter already in force. Still the Legislature adopted the charter and the new officers were appointed by the Governor, and not by the will of the citizens and armed with what they deemed sufficient authority, proceeded to fulfill the duties appertaining to their offices. The Police Commissioners commenced to organize their new forces, and to discharge all the old police officers who did not acknowledge their right to act.
But on Tuesday, the 16th inst., the difficulty was brought to a climax under the following circumstances. By the death of Joseph S. Taylor, the Street Commissioner, a
WARRANT TO ARREST THE MAYOR
On Tuesday, the 16th, Mr. Conover again presented himself at the Department of the Street Commissioner, and being refused admittance, applied to Judge Hoffman of the Superior Court for warrants against Fernando Wood, James C. Willet and John W. Bennett for assault and battery. He commenced two suits, one criminal and the other civil, laying his damages at $10,000. The warrants were granted and placed in the hands of certain officers to serve, the bail in each case being $5,000.
ATTEMPT TO ARREST THE MAYOR.
One warrant was placed in the hands of Capt. Walling of the Metropolitan force, who gained access to the Mayor and displayed his authority. The Mayor could not without receding from the position has taken throughout the difficulty, recognize the authority under which Capt. Walling held his office, and said to him that he was no officer and that the warrant must be presented by some one else, at the same time ordering Walling to leave the room, which he refusing to do, was summarily ejected.
THE MAYOR REQUESTS THE AID OF THE MILITARY.
Fearing that some extreme action would be taken, which might lead to disturbance and perhaps blood shed, the Mayor addressed the following note to the General in command:
MAYOR’S OFFICE, NEW YORK,
June 16, 1857
SIR, - You will please hold the militia under your command in readiness to protect the city in case of riot, subject to my orders.
FERNANDO WOOD, Mayor
Gen. C. W. Sandford.