ing through. There is also speculationrnabout a desire to avoid the draft—highlyrnunlikely, since late 1861 predates therndraft by a couple of years.rnDocumentation of Town Line historyrnis very limited —five men reportedlyrnmade their way south to fight for thernConfederacy, and ten eventually foughtrnfor the Union, ft also seems that many ofrnthe secessionists fled to Canada duringrnthe last two years of the war, as a result ofrnincreasing hostility in the area as casualtyrnlists grew ever longer.rnEven more remarkable than TownrnLine’s secession is the fact that the samerndesk was used to count the votes to rejoinrnthe Union —on January 24, 1946!rnApparently, no one ever thought tornforce Town Line back into the Unionrnduring those 84 years. This raises a numberrnof interesting questions. During thatrntime, were Town Line residents legallyrnsubject to federal income taxes? Werernthey legally subject to the military draftrnduring the two world wars? Were residentsrnlegally eligible for Social Securityrnor any of the other New Deal programs?rnNewspaper articles indicate that residentsrndid pay taxes and vote —”mostlyrnRepublican” —all those years. Nevertheless,rnI’ve seen no reference to anyrnSupreme Court rulings on secession.rnThe Confederate states were conquered,rnoccupied, and returned to the Union,rnbut beyond this display of force, wherernare the legal issues of secession addressed?rnSince Town Line was not conqueredrnor occupied, the legal status of itsrnsecession seems to be in limbo.rnThe sign on the desk doesn’t explainrnwhy Town Line decided to rejoin thernUnion. Based on copies of newspaperrnclippings from 1945-46 that Mom kindlyrnprovided from the Alden Historical Societyrnfiles, it appears that it was largely arnpublicity stunt. There was some publicityrnin mid-1945 when Vicksburg, Mississippi,rnand Dade County, Georgia, officiallyrnrejoined the Union, apparentiy thernlast official holdouts in the occupiedrnSouth. This spurred memories in TownrnLine, and someone saw an opportunity torngenerate publicity. The result was worthyrnof today’s political media circus —rneven Hollywood got involved.rnFirst came a letter to President Truman,rnseeking advice on how to rejoin.rnFollowing his advice, in October 1945,rnTown Liners killed the fatted calf for arnveal barbecue at which a small group votedrnto suspend the ordinance of secessionrnuntil a full vote could be arranged. Theyrnthen appealed to Gov. Thomas F, Deweyrnfor protection until such a vote couldrnbe taken, promising to behave in the interim.rn(There is a mysterious referencernin one of these newspaper articles to anrnearlier 23 to 1 vote not to rejoin, but norndetails are given as to how much earlierrnor who was voting and under what circumstances.)rnThe vote was scheduled for Januaryrn24, 1946. Meanwhile, the old schoolrnbuilding (long since converted to a blaeksmitiirnshop) where the original secessionrnvote was cast flew the Confederate battlernflag. (It seems, again from the newspaperrnarticles, that the town was unable to findrnanyone who could even give a descriptionrnof the official Confederate colors —rnthe “Stars and Bars.”)rnJanuary 24 began with Hollywood propaganda,rn1946-style. The world premierrnoi Colonel Effingham’s Raid was held —rnfree of c h a r g e – i n the Town Line firernhall for the residents, ostensibly to encouragernthem to “do the right thing”rnwhen they voted later. The premier wasrngraced by the presence of flie star, CesarrnRomero, and his leading lady, MartharnStewart (an earlier celebrity by thatrnname). This moment in the limelightrnhad no lasting effect on Town Line,rnwhich has been ignored by Hollywoodrnever since. If it had any effect on thernmovie, it must have been to banish it tornan obscurity which has kept it from evenrnthe early morning hours of the most esotericrnold movie channels on cable.rnThe final vote was 90 to 23 in favor ofrnannulling the order of secession, and thern23 “nay” votes were reportedly a furtherrnpublicity gesture. The battle flag camerndown, the Stars and Stripes went up, thernintersection was renamed “TrumanrnSquare,” and in 1947 the blacksmithrnshop was demolished to allow for thernwidening of Townline Road. So endedrn—at last—the War Between the States.rnIt’s hard to believe that Town Line’srn1861 secession was unique in the North,rnthough it is possible that this was indeedrnthe case. The myth of national unity is arnstrong one, but the newspaper clippingsrnindicate that all of Erie County (whichrnincludes Buffalo as well as Town Line)rngave Abraham Lincoln only the slightestrnof majorities in I860. Northern “Copperheads”rn(or “Peace Democrats”) aren’trncompletely forgotten—they did, after all,rnrun George McClellan for president inrn1864—but their story is very much deemphasizedrnin a eoimtry where proponentsrnof a New World Order assumerngreat futures for a unified world, wherernTown Lines of any size, be they in Ireland,rnYugoslavia, Turkey, the former SovietrnUnion, or scores of other placesrnaround the world, have little or no abilityrnto determine their own futures. If once-rnConfederate Arkansas succeeds in imposingrncarpetbagger Hillary Clinton on nowoccupiedrnTown Line and the rest of NewrnYork, the South will, I suppose, in onernway have come full circle, but it will be arnpointless circle and a tragic blow to thernkind of local independence that led thernSouth —and Town Line —to try to gorntheir own ways in 1861 —and that led 13rnBritish colonies to do so in 1776.rnRichard Davis is a dentist from Hurlock,rnMaryland.rnLetter From Venicernby Andrei NavrozovrnThe Leporello AspectrnA couple of months ago, I was in Milanrnfor an “Homage to Giorgio Strehler” atrnthe Teatro alia Scala. This was Mozart’srnDon Giovanni, conducted by RiceardornMuti and wifli a cast that, at least to myrnunspoiled ears, represented the sort ofrnperfection that one only reads about, ruefully,rnin yellowed reviews of the operarnseasons one’s parents attended. Duringrnthe intermission, as I leafed through thernsouvenir program, I realized I had a modestrncontribution to make to the literaryrnstudy of Da Route’s libretto, and that isrnthe observation that while the cavalierernspeaks plainly, Leporello, his servo, slipsrninto the more fanciful conditional or subjunctivernmood every time he feels he hasrna captive audience. I’he overall effect isrnthat of hilariously coquettish temporizing.rnAt the start of the second act, as thernnobleman loses patience with his servant,rnhe turns choleric and shouts the buffoonrndown: “Non soffro opposizionil”rnNow back to Venice, where I had tornsign the lease on the apartinent I am renting.rnThe owner is a young girl in herrn20’s, recently orphaned. (“No father, nornmother,” says Walter Matthau in ElainernMay’s A New Leaf, “no sisters, no brothers.rnShe’s perfect.”) In everything thatrn38/CHRONICLESrnrnrn