13th New York State Legislature

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13th New York State Legislature
12th 14th
Old Albany City Hall.png
The Old Albany City Hall, where the Legislature met for the special session in July 1789 (undated)
Jurisdiction New York, United States
Term July 1, 1789 – June 30, 1790
Members 24
President Lt. Gov. Pierre Van Cortlandt
Party control Federalist
Members 70 (de facto 65)
Speaker Gulian Verplanck (Fed.)
Party control Federalist
1st July 6, 1789 – July 16, 1789
2nd January 12, 1790 – April 6, 1790

The 13th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from July 6, 1789, to April 6, 1790, during the thirteenth year of George Clinton's governorship, first in Albany, then in New York City.


Under the provisions of the New York Constitution of 1777, the State Senators were elected on general tickets in the senatorial districts, and were then divided into four classes. Six senators each drew lots for a term of 1, 2, 3 or 4 years and, beginning at the election in April 1778, every year six Senate seats came up for election to a four-year term. Assemblymen were elected countywide on general tickets to a one-year term, the whole assembly being renewed annually.

In March 1786, the Legislature enacted that future Legislatures meet on the first Tuesday of January of each year unless called earlier by the governor. No general meeting place was determined, leaving it to each Legislature to name the place where to reconvene, and if no place could be agreed upon, the Legislature should meet again where it adjourned.

A Convention met from June 17 to July 26, 1788, at Poughkeepsie, and ratified the U.S. Constitution by a vote of 30 to 27. This was the first time that the politicians were divided into two opposing political parties: those who advocated the creation of a stronger federal government and the adoption of the US Constitution, as drafted, were henceforth known as Federalists, those who advocated stronger State governments and demanded many changes to the proposed Constitution as Anti-Federalists, or Democratic-Republicans.[1]

On January 27, 1789, the Legislature divided the State of New York into six congressional districts, and the first congressional elections in New York were held on March 3 and 4, 1789. But after a lengthy debate of "An act for prescribing the times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators of the United States of America, to be chosen in this State", the Legislature adjourned without having elected U.S. Senators. The Anti-Federalist Assembly majority and the Federalist Senate majority agreed to adjourn earlier than usual, leaving it to the new members to find a way out of the deadlock. On June 6, Gov. George Clinton called for a special session of the Legislature to meet on July 6, only a few days after the new members' term would begin.


The State election was held from April 28 to 30, 1789. Gov. George Clinton and Lt. Gov. Pierre Van Cortlandt were re-elected to a fifth term. Senators Volkert P. Douw and Philip Schuyler (both Western D.) were re-elected; and James Carpenter (Middle D.), and Assemblymen Philip Livingston (Southern D.), John Cantine (Middle D.) and Alexander Webster were also elected to the Senate.


The Old Royal Exchange, in New York City, where the Legislature met for the regular session in 1790.

The State Legislature met from July 6 to 16, 1789, at the Old City Hall in Albany, to resume the election of U.S. Senators, and elected State Senator Philip Schuyler and Assemblyman Rufus King, both Federalists, who took their seats in the U.S. Senate of the 1st United States Congress a few days later at Federal Hall in New York City, where Congress met until September 29, 1789, and again from January 4, 1790.

The Legislature was to meet for the regular session on January 5, 1790, at the Old Royal Exchange in New York City; the State Senate assembled a quorum first on January 12, the Assembly on the next day; and both Houses adjourned on April 6.

State Senators Philip Schuyler, John Hathorn and John Laurance, and Assemblyman Rufus King retained their seats in the Legislature while serving concurrently in the 1st United States Congress. Schuyler was also elected on January 15 a member of the State's Council of Appointment which consisted of the Governor of New York, and four State Senators elected annually by the State Assembly. On January 27, the Legislature resolved that it was "incompatible with the U.S. Constitution for any person holding an office under the United States government at the same time to have a seat in the Legislature of this State," and that if a member of the State Legislature was elected or appointed to a federal office, the seat should be declared vacant upon acceptance.[2] Thus Schuyler, King, Hathorn, Laurance and federal judge James Duane vacated their seats in the State Legislature. On April 3, John Cantine, a member of the Council of Appointment, raised the question if Schuyler, after vacating his State Senate seat, was still a member of the Council. Philip Livingston, another member, held that once elected, a member could not be expelled from the Council in any case.[3] On April 5, Gov. George Clinton asked the State Assembly for a decision, but the latter refused to do so, arguing that it was a question of law, which could be pursued in the courts. Schuyler thus kept his seat in the Council of Appointment until the end of the term.

State Senate[edit]


Note: There are now 62 counties in the State of New York. The counties which are not mentioned in this list had not yet been established, or sufficiently organized, the area being included in one or more of the abovementioned counties.


The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued in office as members of this Legislature. Philip Livingston, John Cantine, Edward Savage and Alexander Webster changed from the Assembly to the Senate.

District Senators Term left Party Notes
Southern Lewis Morris* 1 year Federalist
John Vanderbilt* 1 year Federalist
James Duane* 2 years Federalist appointed on September 25, 1789, to
the United States District Court for the District of New York;
seat declared vacant January 27, 1790
John Laurance* 2 years Federalist elected on March 3-4, 1789, to the 1st United States Congress:
seat declared vacant January 27, 1790
Samuel Townsend* 2 years Anti-Fed.
Ezra L'Hommedieu* 3 years Fed./Anti-Fed.
Paul Micheau* 3 years Federalist
Isaac Roosevelt* 3 years Federalist
Philip Livingston*[5] 4 years Federalist elected to the Council of Appointment
Middle John Hathorn* 1 year Anti-Fed. elected on March 3-4, 1789, to the 1st United States Congress;
seat declared vacant January 27, 1790
Anthony Hoffman* 2 years Federalist died 1790[6]
Jacobus Swartwout* 2 years Anti-Fed.
James Clinton* 3 years Anti-Fed.
John Cantine* 4 years Anti-Fed. elected to the Council of Appointment
James Carpenter 4 years
Eastern John Williams* 1 year Anti-Fed.
Edward Savage*[7] 3 years Anti-Fed. elected to the Council of Appointment
Alexander Webster* 4 years Anti-Fed.
Western Peter Schuyler*[8] 1 year Federalist
Abraham Yates Jr.* 1 year Anti-Fed.
Jellis Fonda* 2 years
Peter Van Ness* 3 years Anti-Fed.
Volkert P. Douw* 4 years
Philip Schuyler* 4 years Federalist elected on July 16 a U.S. Senator from New York;
elected to the Council of Appointment;
State Senate seat declared vacant January 27, 1790,
but remained in the Council of Appointment


State Assembly[edit]


Note: There are now 62 counties in the State of New York. The counties which are not mentioned in this list had not yet been established, or sufficiently organized, the area being included in one or more of the abovementioned counties.


The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued as members of this Legislature.

County Assemblymen Party Notes
Albany Leonard Bronck
James Gordon Federalist elected on April 26-28, 1790, to the 2nd United States Congress
Richard Sill Federalist
Henry K. Van Rensselaer* Anti-Fed.
Stephen Van Rensselaer Federalist
Cornelius Van Veghten
John Younglove*
Columbia Ezekiel Gilbert Federalist
John Livingston[9] Federalist
James Savage Federalist
Cumberland none No election returns from these counties[10]
Dutchess Samuel A. Barker*
Isaac Bloom*
Joseph Crane Jr. Federalist
Jacob Griffin* Anti-Fed.
Ebenezer Husted
Isaac I. Talman
Thomas Tillotson Federalist
Kings Aquila Giles*
Peter Vandervoort* Federalist
Montgomery Abraham Arndt
Josiah Crane Federalist
James Livingston Federalist
David McMasters
Michael Myers
Volkert Veeder* Anti-Fed.
New York Francis Childs Federalist
Matthew Clarkson Federalist
Rufus King Federalist seat declared vacant January 27, 1790
Morgan Lewis
Anthony Post
Robert R. Randall
Gulian Verplanck* Federalist elected Speaker
John Watts Jr.* Federalist
Henry Will
Orange John Carpenter* Anti-Fed.
John D. Coe Federalist
Seth Marvin Federalist
William Sickles
Queens Stephen Carman* Anti-Fed.
Samuel Clowes
Whitehead Cornwell* Anti-Fed.
Samuel Jones* Anti-Fed. from September 29, 1789, also Recorder of New York City
Richmond Abraham Bancker*[11] Federalist
Peter Winant Federalist
Suffolk Nathaniel Gardiner* Federalist
Jonathan N. Havens* Anti-Fed.
Jared Landon Anti-Fed.
Henry Scudder* Anti-Fed.
John Smith* Anti-Fed.
Ulster Severyn T. Bruyn
Ebenezer Clark* Anti-Fed.
Johannis G. Hardenbergh* Anti-Fed.
Cornelius C. Schoonmaker* Anti-Fed. elected on April 26-28, 1790, to the 2nd United States Congress
Nathan Smith* Anti-Fed.
Christopher Tappen*[12] Anti-Fed.
and Clinton
Thomas Converse
Zina Hitchcock
Nathan Morgan
John Rowan
Westchester Joseph Brown
Samuel Haight
Jonathan Horton* Federalist
Nathan Rockwell* Federalist
Walter Seaman* Federalist
Philip Van Cortlandt* Federalist



  1. ^ The Anti-Federalists soon called themselves "Republicans." However, at the same time, the Federalists called them "Democrats" which was meant to be pejorative. After some time both terms got more and more confused, and sometimes used together as "Democratic Republicans" which later historians have adopted (with a hyphen) to describe the party from the beginning, to avoid confusion with both the later established and still existing Democratic and Republican parties.
  2. ^ The History of Political Parties in the State of New-York, from the Ratification of the Federal Constition to 1840 by Jabez D. Hammond (4th ed., Vol. 1, H. & E. Phinney, Cooperstown, 1846)
  3. ^ There was a precedent contradicting Livingston: In March 1781, Ephraim Paine, then a member of the Council of Appointments, was expelled from the State Senate, and soon after State Senator Arthur Parks was elected by the Assembly to serve the remainder of Paine's term in the Council. All members, Parks included, protested formally, but Parks remained in the Council until the end of the term. However, this precedent was not mentioned during the proceedings in 1790.
  4. ^ The Civil List of 1858 places Columbia Co. in the Eastern D. but this is contradicted by Schechter (pg. 181). Columbia was partitioned from Albany, and no senatorial re-apportionment being made must have remained in the Western D., it was transferred to the Eastern D. only in 1791.
  5. ^ Philip Livingston, son of Peter Van Brugh Livingston
  6. ^ Anthony Hoffman (1739—1790), of Rhinebeck, brother-in-law of fellow senator Isaac Roosevelt. Hoffman must have died between February 24 (date of his will) and May 18 (date of probate of the will), 1790. It is certain that Hoffman did not attend the regular session of the Legislature, since he was the only Federalist from the Middle District, but the Federalist majority of the Assembly had to choose a Democratic-Republican for the Council of Appointment. see Genealogy of the Hoffman Family by Eugene Augustus Hoffman (1899; pg. 152)
  7. ^ Savage may have been elected at the same time to the State Senate (Eastern D.) and to the Assembly (Washington Co.) in 1788 but was seated in the Assembly of the 12th Legislature; the Senate seat vacated by the expiration of Ebenezer Russell's term at the end of the 11th Legislature remained vacant in the 12th Legislature, but Savage took his seat in the Senate at the beginning of the 13th Legislature for the remaining three years. see: The Reluctant Pillar: New York and the Adoption of the Federal Constitution by Stephen L. Schechter (page 203)
  8. ^ Peter Schuyler, of Canajoharie (now Danube, New York), nephew of fellow senator Philip Schuyler
  9. ^ John Livingston, fifth son of Robert Livingston (1708–1790), 3rd Lord of the Manor
  10. ^ Cumberland and Gloucester counties seceded from the Province of New York in January 1777, and became part of the Vermont Republic, while the Constitutional Convention was still debating the new Constitution. The New York Constitution was approved in April 1777, not recognizing the secession. Neither county did file any election returns with the Secretary of State of New York in 1789.
  11. ^ Abraham Bancker, nephew of Evert Bancker
  12. ^ Christopher Tappen, of Kingston, brother of Cornelia Tappen, the wife of Gov. George Clinton