Encyclopedia of New York City

George Opdyke

(b Kingwood Township, near Frenchtown, N.J., 7 Dec 1805; d New York City, 12 June 1880). Merchant and mayor. He became a prosperous clothing manufacturer and moved to New York City in 1832 to open the first large clothing factory there. In 1846 he truned the business over to his brother-in-law and became an importer of wholesale dry goods. A millionaire b y 1853, he later organized a bank and was elected to the state assembly, where he advocated various reforms. As mayor during the draft riots of 1863 he refused to compromise with rioters and abandoned City Hall for the St. Nicholas Hotel. Opdyke was also known for his work on colonial economics.

-James E. Mooney

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