14th New York State Legislature

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14th New York State Legislature
13th 15th
Federal Hall-Archibald Robertson.jpg
The Old New York City Hall, where the Legislature met in 1784. From January 1785 to August 1790, the Congress of the Confederation and the 1st United States Congress met here, and the building was renamed Federal Hall. From 1791 to 1793, the State Legislature met again here, and the building was demolished in 1812. (1798)
Overview
Jurisdiction New York, United States
Term July 1, 1790 – June 30, 1791
Senate
Members 24
President Lt. Gov. Pierre Van Cortlandt
Party control Federalist
Assembly
Members 65
Speaker John Watts (Fed.)
Party control Federalist
Sessions
1st January 5, 1791 – March 24, 1791

The 14th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 5 to March 24, 1791, during the fourteenth year of George Clinton's governorship, in New York City.

Background[edit]

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.

On January 27, 1790, the 13th New York State Legislature resolved that it was incompatible to hold a federal office at the same time as a seat in the Legislature, and declared the seats of James Duane, John Laurance, John Hathorn, Philip Schuyler and Rufus King vacant. Besides, Anthony Hoffman died early in 1790, leaving a total of four vacancies (Hathorn's term was expiring anyway) in the State Senate, to be filled by special elections.

In August 1790, the 1st United States Congress adjourned at Federal Hall and reconvened in December at Congress Hall in Philadelphia. In January 1791, the State Legislature returned to the vacated Federal Hall for the next three sessions before the State capital was permanently established at Albany in 1794.

On October 7, 1790, the "New Hampshire Grants Controversy" was settled when the State of New York recognized the status quo, and ceded formally the Counties of Cumberland and Gloucester to the Vermont Republic of which both counties de facto had been part since 1777.

At this time the politicians were divided into two opposing political parties: the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans.[1] However, at this early time party lines were not yet as distinctly drawn as they became in the 19th century. Many politicians changed sides, and voted according to their personal opinions on issues and people, what can be seen especially at the U.S. Senate election, in which Philip Schuyler, one of the leading Federalists, was voted down by a nominal Federalist majority of the Legislature.

Philip Schuyler had been elected to the U.S. Senate in 1789, and drew the Class 1 lot, so his seat came up for election by the Legislature.

Elections[edit]

The State election was held from April 27 to 29, 1790. Senators John Williams (Eastern D.) and Peter Schuyler (Western D.) were re-elected; and David Gelston (Southern D.), David Pye (Middle D.), and Assemblymen Philip Van Cortlandt (Southern D.) and Stephen Van Renssealaer (Western D.) were also elected to full terms in the Senate. Peter Lefferts (Southern D.), Leonard Gansevoort (Western D.) and Assemblymen Samuel Jones (Southern D.) and Thomas Tillotson (Middle D.) were elected to fill vacancies in the Senate.

Sessions[edit]

The Legislature was to meet for the regular session on January 4, 1791, at Federal Hall in New York City; both Houses assembled a quorum on the next day; and adjourned on March 24.

The Legislature elected NY Attorney General Aaron Burr a U.S. Senator from New York, to succeed Philip Schuyler. Schuyler was the Federalist candidate to succeed himself, Burr was the Democratic-Republican challenger. Although both Houses had a nominal Federalist majority, Burr won in the Senate by a vote of 12 to 4, and in the Assembly with a majority of 5 votes. Many of the Federalists took the opportunity to show their disapproval of both Schuyler's haughtiness and the financial policies of Schuyler's son-in-law Alexander Hamilton, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. Besides, the Livingston faction of the Federalist Party felt betrayed after the election of Rufus King over their candidate James Duane in 1789, and now allied themselves with Clinton and later became Democratic-Republicans.

On February 7, 1791, the Legislature re-apportioned the Senate and Assembly districts. The area of Columbia and Rensselaer counties were transferred from the Western to the Eastern District; and the Southern and the Western districts lost one senator each, which were added to the Eastern District. The total number of assemblymen was again set at 70; but several new counties were established: Herkimer (1), Ontario (1), Otsego (1), Rensselaer (5), Saratoga (4) and Tioga (1); Kings, Orange, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk, Ulster and Westchester lost 1 seat, and Montgomery and New York lost 2; and Columbia won 3 seats.

State Senate[edit]

Districts[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.

Members[edit]

The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued in office as members of this Legislature. Samuel Jones, Philip Van Cortlandt and Thomas Tillotson changed from the Assembly to the Senate.

District Senators Term left Party Notes
Southern Samuel Jones* 1 year Dem.-Rep. elected to fill vacancy, in place of John Laurance;
also Recorder of New York City
Peter Lefferts 1 year elected to fill vacancy, in place of James Duane
(Samuel Townsend)* 1 year Dem.-Rep. died on November 24, 1790,[3] before the Legislature met
Ezra L'Hommedieu* 2 years Fed./Dem.-Rep.
Paul Micheau* 2 years Federalist
Isaac Roosevelt* 2 years Federalist elected to the Council of Appointment
Philip Livingston*[4] 3 years Federalist
David Gelston 4 years also Surrogate of New York County
Philip Van Cortlandt* 4 years Federalist
Middle Thomas Tillotson* 1 year Federalist elected to fill vacancy; in place of Anthony Hoffman;
elected to the Council of Appointment
Jacobus Swartwout* 1 year Dem.-Rep.
James Clinton* 2 years Dem.-Rep.
John Cantine* 3 years Dem.-Rep.
James Carpenter 3 years
David Pye 4 years Federalist
Eastern Edward Savage* 2 years Dem.-Rep.
Alexander Webster* 3 years Dem.-Rep. elected to the Council of Appointment
John Williams* 4 years Dem.-Rep.
Western Jellis Fonda* 1 year
Peter Van Ness* 2 years Dem.-Rep.
Volkert P. Douw* 3 years
Leonard Gansevoort 3 years Federalist elected to fill vacancy, in place of Philip Schuyler
Peter Schuyler*[5] 4 years Federalist elected to the Council of Appointment
Stephen Van Rensselaer* 4 years Federalist

Employees[edit]

State Assembly[edit]

Districts[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.

Assemblymen[edit]

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

County Assemblymen Party Notes
Albany Sidney Berry
Leonard Bronck*
Jonathan Brown
John W. Schermerhorn Federalist
Richard Sill* Federalist
Jacobus Van Schoonhoven
Cornelius A. Van Slyck
Columbia Matthew Adgate Dem.-Rep.
Stephen Hogeboom
James Savage* Federalist
Dutchess Jonathan Akins Dem.-Rep.
Samuel A. Barker*
Isaac Bloom*
James Kent
Henry Schenck
James Tallmadge
David Van Ness
Kings Aquila Giles*
Peter Vandervoort* Federalist
Montgomery Abraham Arndt*
Josiah Crane* Federalist
John Frey Dem.-Rep.
James Livingston* Federalist
Michael Myers*
John T. Visscher
New York Cornelius J. Bogert
Nicholas Cruger
William W. Gilbert
Josiah Ogden Hoffman Federalist
Alexander Macomb
John Pintard
James Watson Federalist
John Watts* Federalist elected Speaker
Henry Will*
Orange John Carpenter* Dem.-Rep.
John D. Coe* Federalist
Seth Marvin* Federalist
John Smith
Queens Samuel Clowes
Nathaniel Lawrence Dem.-Rep.
Samuel L. Mitchill Dem.-Rep.
John Schenck Dem.-Rep.
Richmond Gozen Ryerss Federalist
Peter Winant* Federalist
Suffolk John Gelston
Jonathan N. Havens* Dem.-Rep.
John Smith* Dem.-Rep.
Philetus Smith
Thomas Wickham
Ulster John De Lametter
Matthew Dubois
John G. Graham
Joseph Hasbrouck
James Hunter
Johannis Snyder Dem.-Rep.
Washington
and Clinton
Thomas Converse*
Daniel Curtis
Zina Hitchcock*
John Rowan*
Westchester Peter Fleming
Abijah Gilbert Dem.-Rep.
Samuel Haight*
Jonathan Horton* Federalist
Ebenezer Purdy
Jonathan G. Tompkins Dem.-Rep.

Employees[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Anti-Federalists 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 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.
  3. ^ Death notice in Queens County in Olden Times by Henry Onderdonk Jr. (1865; page 75)
  4. ^ Philip Livingston, son of Peter Van Brugh Livingston
  5. ^ Peter Schuyler, of Canajoharie (now Danube, New York), nephew of Philip Schuyler

Sources[edit]