Secession? Nothing New to the Hudson Valley

The concept of splintering off from a larger government has a history in Westchester and Rockland.

Lower Hudson Valley residents may be viewing the latest national hubbub with one eyebrow raised.

A spate of petitions on the official White House website have residents from all 50 states calling for secession on the heels of President Obama's re-election.

The forms have accrued approximately 500,000 signatures, but few seem to think the petitions are anything more than posturing, or sour grapes—a slew of state governors have publicly dismissed the appeals, including Texan Rick Perry.

But Westchester and Rockland residents can't quite thumb their noses—secession on a smaller scale sliced up the two counties into what we know today.

West of the Hudson, the sheer number of Nyacks—West, Central, South and Upper—hint at a divisive past.

South Nyack seceeded from Nyack in 1878, just six years after the village incorporated. The reason? Unfair tax distribution, residents said. And in 2011, Upper Nyack residents explored the possibility of pulling away from the Town of Clarkstown and asserting independence as a village-town.

Why? Again, taxes.

Secession had a more recent, but less successful, run in Westchester. An ongoing melee over excessive corporate building brought Purchase residents to a boiling point in the 1960s. A group of about 200 vied to incorporate the hamlet as a village and pull away from the Town of Harrison.

In turn, Harrison attempted to become a city—which would have squashed the the secessionists' foray.

All said, neither came to be—and Purchase remains a hamlet of Harrison.


So: Patch wants to know what you think of states' petitions—tell us in the comments.


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