74th New York State Legislature
|74th New York State Legislature|
The Old State Capitol (1879)
|Duration: January 1 – December 31, 1851|
|President of the State Senate:||Lt. Gov. Sanford E. Church (D)|
|Temporary President of the State Senate:||James M. Cook (W), from February 10;
Edwin D. Morgan (W), from March 29
|Speaker of the State Assembly:||Henry J. Raymond (W);
Joseph B. Varnum, Jr. (W) Acting, from June 10
|Senate Majority:||Whig (17-15)|
|Assembly Majority:||Whig (83-45)|
|1st: January 7 – April 17, 1851
1st: June 10 – July 11, 1851
The 74th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 7 to July 11, 1851, during the first year of Washington Hunt's governorship, in Albany.
Under the provisions of the New York Constitution of 1846, 32 Senators were elected in single-seat senatorial districts for a two-year term, the whole Senate being renewed biennially. The senatorial districts (except those in New York City) were made up of entire counties. 128 Assemblymen were elected in single-seat districts to a one-year term, the whole Assembly being renewed annually. The Assembly districts were made up of entire towns, or city wards, forming a contiguous area, all in the same county. The City and County of New York was divided into four senatorial districts, and 16 Assembly districts.
At this time there were two major political parties: the Democratic Party and the Whig Party. The Whigs were split into two opposing factions: the Seward/Weed faction (the majority, opposed to the Compromise of 1850) and the "Silver Grays" (supporters of President Millard Fillmore and his compromise legislation, led by Francis Granger whose silver gray hair originated the faction's nickname). The Anti-Rent Party mostly endorsed Whig or Democratic nominees. The radical abolitionists appeared as the Liberty Party.
The New York state election, 1850 was held on November 5.
82 Whigs, 44 Democrats and 2 Independents were elected to the State Assembly.
The Legislature met for the regular session at the Old State Capitol in Albany on January 7, 1851; and adjourned on April 17.
Henry J. Raymond (Whig) was elected Speaker with 80 votes against 42 for Noble S. Elderkin (Dem.). Richard U. Sherman (W) was elected Clerk of the Assembly with 81 votes against 44 for the incumbent James R. Rose (D).
On February 25, Joseph B. Varnum, Jr. was elected Speaker pro tempore, to preside over the Assembly during the absence of Speaker Raymond.
On March 3, Senator William A. Dart questioned the right of Marius Schoonmaker to keep his seat in the Senate. Schoonmaker had been elected to Congress at the last State election, but Congress would not actually meet until December. After some debate, the Senate decided on March 5 that Schoonmaker "is a member of the present Senate... and will remain so, until he accepts the office of member of Congress, or until he otherwise vacates his seat in the Senate."
On April 17, twelve Democratic state senators resigned, leaving the Senate without the necessary quorum of two-thirds to pass "An Act to provide for the completion of the Erie canal enlargement, and the Black River and Genesee Valley canals".
On May 27, a special election was held to fill the vacancies in the State Senate. Six of the resigned senators were re-elected; five vacancies were filled with men who later voted for the passage of the bill; and one election resulted in a tie.
The Legislature met for a special session on June 10, 1851; and adjourned on July 11.
Due to ill health, Speaker Raymond did not attend the special session, and Joseph B. Varnum Jr. was again elected Speaker pro tempore, to preside over the Assembly during the special session.
On June 24, the Canal Enlargement Bill was passed in the Senate by a vote of 22 to 8.
On July 2, the Whig majority admitted their party fellow Wiliam J. Gilbert to the vacant seat.
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. Caleb Lyon and Moses P. Hatch changed from the Assembly to the Senate between the regular and the special session.
|1st||William Horace Brown*||Democrat||resigned on April 17; re-elected on May 27;
died on July 4, 1851
|2nd||John A. Cross*||Whig|
|3rd||Richard S. Williams*||Whig|
|5th||James W. Beekman*||Whig|
|6th||Edwin D. Morgan*||Whig||on March 29, elected President pro tempore|
|8th||John Snyder*||Democrat||resigned on April 17|
|Joseph Halstead||Whig||on May 27, elected to fill vacancy, in place of Snyder|
|9th||James C. Curtis*||Democrat||resigned on April 17; re-elected on May 27|
|10th||Marius Schoonmaker*||Whig||on November 5, 1850, elected to the 32nd U.S. Congress;
resigned his seat in the State Senate on July 26, 1851
|11th||Stephen H. Johnson*||Whig|
|12th||Thomas B. Carroll*||Democrat|
|13th||James M. Cook*||Whig||on February 10, elected President pro tempore|
|15th||William A. Dart*||Democrat||resigned on April 17; re-elected on May 27|
|16th||George H. Fox*||Democrat||resigned on April 17|
|John Sanford||Democrat||on May 27, elected to fill vacancy, in place of Fox|
|17th||Sidney Tuttle*||Democrat||resigned on April 17; re-elected on May 27|
|18th||John Noyes*||Democrat||resigned on April 17; re-elected on May 27|
|19th||Charles A. Mann*||Democrat||resigned on April 17|
|Benjamin N. Huntington||Whig||on May 27, elected to fill vacancy, in place of Mann|
|20th||Asahel C. Stone*||Democrat||resigned on April 17|
|Moses P. Hatch||Democrat||on April 17, resigned his seat in the Assembly;
on May 27, elected to fill vacancy, in place of Stone
|21st||Alanson Skinner*||Democrat||resigned on April 17|
|Caleb Lyon||Ind.||on April 26, resigned his seat in the Assembly;
on May 27, elected to fill vacancy, in place of Skinner
|23rd||Levi Dimmick*||Whig||resigned on November 12, 1851|
|25th||Henry B. Stanton*||Democrat||resigned on April 17; re-elected on May 27|
|26th||George B. Guinnip*||Democrat||resigned on April 17|
|William J. Gilbert||Whig||on July 2, seated by resolution of the State Senate to fill vacancy, in place of Guinnip|
|28th||Alonzo S. Upham*||Whig|
|30th||Charles D. Robinson*||Whig|
|31st||George R. Babcock*||Whig|
|32nd||Robert Owen Jr.*||Whig|
- Clerk: William H. Bogart
- Sergeant-at-Arms: George W. Bull
- Doorkeeper: Ransom Van Valkenburgh
- Assistant Doorkeeper: George A. Loomis
The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued as members of this Legislature.
Party affiliations follow the vote on Speaker.
- Clerk: Richard U. Sherman
- Sergeant-at-Arms: Willett B. Goddard
- Doorkeeper: Samuel R. Tuell
- First Assistant Doorkeeper: John Parks
- Second Assistant Doorkeeper: Thomas E. Osborn
- see Senate Journal; pg. 235 and 240–246
- The session of March 18 was lengthy and continued until after midnight; Fish was elected between midnight and 2 a.m. on March 19.
- Journal of the Assembly (74th Session) (1851, Vol. II; pg. 1191)
- John Noyes (c. 1798–1852), son of State Senator John Noyes (c. 1769–1830); see History of Preston, NY
- At the special election on May 27, Gilbert (Whig) and Guinnip (Dem.) received 4,480 votes each. The State Canvass Committee determined "no choice", as was the rule in the case of a tie. Nevertheless the Whig majority in the Senate voted to admit party fellow Gilbert.
- see A Compilation of Cases of Contested Elections to Seats in the Assembly of the State of New York (1871; pg. 240–257)
- The New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough (Weed, Parsons and Co., 1858) [pg. 109 for Senate districts; pg. 136 for senators; pg. 148–157 for Assembly districts; pg. 240ff for assemblymen]
- Journal of the Senate (74th Session) (1851)
- Journal of the Assembly (74th Session) (1851, Vol. I)