42nd New York State Legislature

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42nd New York State Legislature
Old State Capitol at Albany NY.jpg
The Old State Capitol (1879)

Duration: July 1, 1818 – June 30, 1819

President of the State Senate: Lt. Gov. John Tayler (Dem.-Rep.)
Temporary President of the State Senate:
Speaker of the State Assembly: Obadiah German (Clint.)
Members: 32 Senators
126 Assemblymen
Senate Majority: Bucktail plurality
Assembly Majority: Clintonian plurality

Sessions
1st: January 5 – April 13, 1819
<41st 43rd>

The 42nd New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 5 to April 13, 1819, during the second year of DeWitt Clinton's governorship, in Albany.

Background[edit]

Under the provisions of the New York Constitution of 1777, amended by the Constitutional Convention of 1801, 32 Senators were elected on general tickets in the four senatorial districts for four-year terms. They were divided into four classes, and every year eight Senate seats came up for election. Assemblymen were elected countywide on general tickets to a one-year term, the whole Assembly being renewed annually.

In 1797, Albany was declared the State capital, and all subsequent Legislatures have been meeting there ever since. In 1818, the Legislature enacted that future Legislatures meet on the first Tuesday of January of each year unless called earlier by the governor.[1]

In 1816, Hamilton County was split from Montgomery County, but both remained together in one Assembly district. Also in 1816, Oswego County was formed from parts of Oneida and Onondaga counties, and Oswego and Oneida remained together in one Assembly district.

In 1818, Joseph Ellicott resigned from the Erie Canal Commission, due to ill health. On June 18, during the recess of the Legislature, Gov. DeWitt Clinton appointed State Senator Ephraim Hart to fill the vacancy temporarily.

At this time the politicians were divided into two opposing political parties: the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans.[2] The Democratic-Republican Party was split into two factions: the Clintonians (supporters of Gov. DeWitt Clinton and his Erie Canal project) and the Bucktails (led by Att. Gen. Martin Van Buren, and including the Tammany Hall organization in New York City).

Elections[edit]

The State election was held from April 28 to 30, 1818. Senators Darius Crosby (Southern D.) and William Ross (Middle D.) were re-elected. Moses Austin (Middle D.), Levi Adams (Eastern D.), Perry G. Childs, David E. Evans (both Western D.), and Assemblymen George Rosecrantz (Eastern D.) and Gamaliel H. Barstow (Western D.) were also elected to the Senate.

Sessions[edit]

The Legislature met at the Old State Capitol in Albany on January 5, 1819, and adjourned on April 13.

On January 4, a Democratic-Republican Assembly caucus met to nominate a candidate for Speaker. 75 members attended, including almost all Bucktails elected, but 10 to 15 Clintonians had not arrived yet. William Thompson (Bucktail) received 42 votes, Obadiah German (Clintonian) 33. The Clintonians refused to "make the nomination unanimous", and refused to support Thompson in the Assembly on the next day.

On January 5, the Assembly met and took four ballots for Speaker without anybody receiving a majority, and adjourned.

On January 6, the vote on the fifth ballot stood: German 55, Thompson 38, William A. Duer (Fed.) 20. Then Erastus Root offered a resolution that Thompson be appointed Speaker which was lost with a vote of 41 to 73. Then a resolution was offered that Duer be appointed Speaker which was lost too, with a vote of 31 to 84. Then a resolution was offered that German be appointed Speaker which was adopted with a vote of 67 to 48.

The refusal of the Clintonians to support the caucus nominee for Speaker led to the permanent split of the New York Democratic-Republicans into Clintonians and Bucktails. The last time both factions caucused together was when a candidate for U.S. Senator was to be nominated, and the meeting broke up after much mutual verbal abuse without having had any ballot.[3] At the same time, the Federalists were split into a Pro-Clinton majority (led by Thomas J. Oakley) and an Anti-Clinton minority (led by William A. Duer).

On February 7, the Legislature failed to elect a successor for U.S. Senator Rufus King (Fed.) and the seat became vacant on March 4. The vote stood: in the Senate, State Senator Samuel Young (Buckt.) 13, Congressman John C. Spencer (Clint.) 10 and the incumbent King 4; in the Assembly, Spencer 51, Young 43 and King 28.

On February 8, Erastus Root (Buckt.) offered a resolution for the call of a State "Convention with unlimited powers to revise, alter or modify the Constitution." After much debate, this resolution was rejected, like a similar one during the previous session, but the issue was pursued further by the Bucktails, and led to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1821, and a new Constitution.

On March 24, the Legislature rejected the recess appointment of Ephraim Hart (Clint.) as Erie Canal Commissioner, and elected State Senator Henry Seymour (Buckt.) to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Joseph Ellicott. Seymour was chosen by joint ballot of the Legislature with a majority of a single vote. This gave the Bucktails a majority of 3 to 2 in the Commission, and instead of opposing the Canal project itself, the Bucktails now—the construction being well under way—supported it, for both political and financial reasons.

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. George Rosecrantz and Gamaliel H. Barstow changed from the Assembly to the Senate.

District Senators Term left Party Notes
Southern Peter R. Livingston* 1 year Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Walter Bowne* 2 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
John D. Ditmis* 2 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Stephen Barnum* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail elected to the Council of Appointment
Jonathan Dayton* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
(Darius Crosby*) 4 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail died November 18, 1818, before the Legislature met
Middle Isaac Ogden* 1 year Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Abraham Van Vechten* 1 year Federalist
John Noyes* 2 years Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Peter Swart* 2 years Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Martin Van Buren* 2 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail also New York Attorney General
Jabez D. Hammond* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
John Lounsbery* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Moses Austin 4 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
William Ross* 4 years Dem.-Rep./Clintonian elected to the Council of Appointment
Eastern David Allen* 1 year Federalist
Henry J. Frey* 1 year Federalist
Ralph Hascall* 1 year Federalist also D.A. of Essex Co.
Roger Skinner* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail also U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York
Henry Yates Jr.* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Samuel Young* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail also an Erie Canal Commissioner
Levi Adams 4 years Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
George Rosecrantz* 4 years Dem.-Rep./Clintonian elected to the Council of Appointment
Western Stephen Bates* 1 year Dem.-Rep./Clintonian elected to the Council of Appointment
Henry Seymour* 1 year Dem.-Rep./Bucktail from March 24, 1819, also an Erie Canal Commissioner
Ephraim Hart* 2 years Dem.-Rep./Clintonian until March 24, 1819, also an Erie Canal Commissioner
John Knox* 2 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
William Mallery* 2 years Dem.-Rep.
Isaac Wilson* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Gamaliel H. Barstow* 4 years Dem.-Rep./Clintonian also First Judge of the Tioga County Court
Perry G. Childs 4 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail[4]
David E. Evans 4 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail

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.

District Assemblymen Party Notes
Albany William A. Duer* Federalist leader of the Anti-Clintonian Federalists
William D. Houghtaling Federalist
Cornelius H. Waldron Federalist
John Van Ness Yates Dem.-Rep. also Secretary of State of New York
Allegany
and Steuben
John Dow Federalist
James McCall* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Broome Chester Patterson Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Cattaraugus,
Chautauqua
and Niagara
Philo Orton
Isaac Phelps*
Cayuga William Allen
Elijah Devoe
Henry Polhemus
Chenango Obadiah German Dem.-Rep./Clintonian elected Speaker
Thomas Humphrey Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Ebenezer Wakley Dem.-Rep.
Clinton and
Franklin
Ebenezer Brownson
Columbia Henry Livingston Federalist
Jonathan Lapham Federalist
Barent Van Buren Federalist
Jacob R. Van Rensselaer Federalist
Cortland Joseph Reynolds Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Delaware James Ells Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Erastus Root* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Dutchess John Beadle Federalist
James Ketchum Federalist
Thomas J. Oakley* Federalist leader of the Pro-Clintonian Federalists
Jesse Thompson Federalist
David Tomlinson Federalist
Essex John Hoffnagle* Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Genesee Gilbert Howell* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Abraham Matteson*
Isaac Sutherland*
Greene James G. Foster Dem.-Rep./Bucktail contested by Platt Adams (Fed.) who withdrew his claim
Isaac Van Loon Federalist
Hamilton and
Montgomery
Robert Hall
Jacob Hees Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Aaron Haring Dem.-Rep.
Samuel Jackson* Dem.-Rep.
Duncan McMartin Jr. Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Herkimer Jonas Cleland Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Nicoll Fosdick* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Henry Gros Dem.-Rep.
Jefferson George Brown Jr.
John Cowles
Kings Teunis Schenck Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Lewis Levi Robbins
Madison Solomon Beebe Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Thomas Greenly*
Dennis Palmer
New York Clarkson Crolius* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Alexander Hamilton Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Richard Hatfield Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Cornelius Heeney* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Robert R. Hunter* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
John T. Irving Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
John J. Morgan Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Samuel B. Romaine Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Peter Sharpe* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Michael Ulshoeffer* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Samuel Watkins Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Oneida and
Oswego
Ezekiel Bacon Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Luther Guiteau
David P. Hoyt
George Huntington Federalist
Theor Woodruffe*
Onondaga Henry Case Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Elisha Litchfield Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
David Munro* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Nathan Williams[5] Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Ontario William Billinghurst
Byram Green
Eli Hill Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
William McCartney
Elijah Spencer Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
John A. Stevens
Asahel Warner Dem.-Rep.
Orange John Blake Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Nathaniel P. Hill Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Hezekiah Moffat Dem.-Rep.
Andrew Wilson Dem.-Rep.
Otsego John Blakeley Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Seth Chase
Caleb Eldred Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Thomas Howes Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
William Nichols Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Putnam Hart Weed Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Queens Stephen Carman* Federalist
John A. King Federalist
Daniel Kissam* Federalist
Rensselaer George R. Davis Federalist
Andrew Finch* Federalist
Henry Platt Federalist
Daniel Simmons Federalist
Stephen Warren Federalist
Richmond Harmanus Guyon Federalist
Rockland Abraham Gurnee* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
St. Lawrence Joseph York Dem.-Rep.
Saratoga Abner Carpenter
William Hamilton Federalist
Joel Keeler
John Rogers Jr.
Schenectady James Frost Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Simon A. Groot Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Schoharie Aaron Hubbard
Jedediah Miller Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Peter Swart Jr. Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Seneca William Thompson* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Ananias Wells Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Suffolk Isaac Conklin Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
John P. Osborn* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Daniel Youngs Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Sullivan
and Ulster
Daniel Clark Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
John Crispell
Joseph Deyo Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Elisha Ostrander
Tioga Henry Wells
Tompkins Samuel Crittenden*
John Sutton*
Warren and
Washington
William K. Adams
John Doty
Norman Fox Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
John Gale Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
William McFarland
Westchester William Barker* Federalist
James Guyon Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
William Requa* Federalist

Employees[edit]

  • Clerk: Aaron Clark
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Caleb Benjamin
  • Doorkeeper: Benjamin Whipple

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Laws of the State of New York (41st Session, 1818; pg. 237
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ see Hammond, pg. 484ff
  4. ^ Childs and Evans had been elected as Clintonians, but changed sides soon after taking their seats.
  5. ^ Nathan Williams, sometime Postmaster of Manlius

Sources[edit]