One hundred fifty years ago today the Charleston (SC) Mercury published part of New York City Mayor Fernando Wood’s speech that he gave during President-Elect Abraham Lincoln’s visit in late February 1861. Lincoln had left his home in Springfield, Illinois on February 11 for Washington DC. On the way he stopped at a number of cities, including Albany, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia. While Lincoln arrived in New York City with his wife on February 19, he did not meet with Mayor Wood until the afternoon of February 20. The Charleston (SC) Mercury described “Mayor Wood’s address of welcome to the Abolition President” as “too good to be lost.” As Lincoln entered “office with… a disconnected and hostile people to reconcile,” Wood told the President-Elect that “it will require a high patriotism and an elevated comprehension of the whole country and its varied interests, opinions and prejudices to so conduct public affairs as to bring it back again to its former harmonious, consolidated and prosperous condition.” In addition, Wood warned that “[New York’s] material interests are paralyzed” and “her commercial greatness is endangered.” Yet Wood also supported southern Democrats and he wanted the crisis to be resolved through compromise. Wood noted that he expected Lincoln to use “peaceful and conciliatory means” to ensure the “restoration of fraternal relations between the States.” Lincoln responded the same day to Wood’s remarks, noting that “there is nothing that can ever bring me willingly to consent to the destruction of this Union.” The following day Lincoln left for Trenton, New Jersey. You can read more about President-Elect Lincoln’s journey from Springfield to Washington, DC in Harold Holzer’s Lincoln: President-Elect (2008).