A Politician Who Abandoned an Opportunity to Earn Money to Prevent African Americans from Gaining Political Power

Although Mayor Wood supported the creation of Central Park for financial and political reasons, some politicians abandoned the opportunity to earn money in order to eradicate the growing political power of African Americans in New York. For example, Senator Beekman owned land close to Jones’s Wood, so he had a chance to earn an enormous amount of money if a park were to be created in Jones’s Wood. Thus, he once claimed that a public park should be created in Jones’s Woods. However, because he was a fervent advocate of removing African Americans from the United States, he began to believe that Seneca Village should be destroyed in order to weaken the growing political power of African Americans.

Senator Allen Munroe was one of the politicians who delivered and expressed Beekman’s belief that African Americans should not have power and should remain as slaves. In Congress in 1852, Munroe stated the following:

The honorable Senator from the 5th (Mr. Beekman) has become deeply interested in the Colonization Society. He tells us his whole heart is in it. He also stated that the people who supported the system of slavery thought and advocated the "incapacity, the unfitness of the colored man to our institutions."

Senator Munroe (1819–1884)

Senator Munroe also stated that the people who supported the system of slavery thought and advocated the "incapacity, the unfitness of the colored man to our institutions."

These politicians threatened African American communities, such as Seneca Village, and increased the uncertainty that African Americans could have a future in American society. Because of such beliefs, Beekman agreed with people who claimed that Seneca Village must be destroyed and replaced with a park. Furthermore, he did not actively claim that a public park must be created in Jones’s Wood even though creating a park in Jones’s Wood could contribute to his financial success.