8th New York State Legislature

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8th New York State Legislature
Federal Hall-Archibald Robertson.jpg
The Old New York City Hall, where the Legislature met in 1784. From January 1785 on, the Congress of the Confederation met here, and later it was the venue of the first two sessions of the 1st United States Congress. The building was then renamed Federal Hall and demolished in 1812. (1798)

Duration: July 1, 1784 – June 30, 1785

President of the State Senate: Lt. Gov. Pierre Van Cortlandt
Temporary President of the State Senate:
Speaker of the State Assembly: David Gelston
Members: 24 Senators
70 (de facto 65) Assemblymen
Senate Majority:
Assembly Majority:

Sessions
1st: October 12, 1784 – November 29, 1784
2nd: January 24, 1785 – April 27, 1785
<7th 9th>

The 8th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from October 12, 1784, to April 27, 1785, during the eighth year of George Clinton's governorship, at 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.

Elections[edit]

The State election was held from April 27 to 29, 1784. Senators William Floyd, Ezra L'Hommedieu, Alexander McDougall (all Southern D.), and Arthur Parks (Middle D.) were re-elected; and Assemblyman Peter Van Ness (Western D.) was elected to the Senate.

Sessions[edit]

The Old Royal Exchange, in New York City, where the Legislature met in 1785.

The State Legislature first met at the Old City Hall in New York City, the Assembly on October 12, the Senate on October 18, 1784; and both Houses adjourned on November 29. In January 1785, the Congress of the Confederation met at the Old City Hall, New York City thus becoming the federal capital of the United States. When the Legislature met again, it moved to the Exchange[1] on the corner of Broad and Water streets in New York City; the Senate met on January 24, the Assembly on January 27, 1785; and both Houses adjourned on April 27.

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. Ebenezer Russell and Peter Van Ness changed from the Assembly to the Senate.

District Senators Term left Notes
Southern James Duane* 1 year also Mayor of New York City
Lewis Morris* 2 years
Isaac Roosevelt* 2 years elected to the Council of Appointment
Isaac Stoutenburgh* 3 years
Samuel Townsend* 3 years
Stephen Ward* 3 years
William Floyd* 4 years
Ezra L'Hommedieu* 4 years
Alexander McDougall* 4 years
Middle John Haring* 1 year
Ephraim Paine* 1 year
William Allison* 2 years
Joseph Gasherie* 3 years elected to the Council of Appointment
Jacobus Swartwout* 3 years
Arthur Parks* 4 years
Eastern Alexander Webster* 1 year
John Williams* 2 years
Ebenezer Russell* 4 years elected to the Council of Appointment
Western (Henry Oothoudt)* 1 year did not attend
William B. Whiting* 1 years elected to the Council of Appointment
Jacob G. Klock* 2 years
Abraham Yates Jr.* 2 years
Andrew Finck* 3 years
(Peter Van Ness)* 4 years did not attend

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 Notes
Albany Matthew Adgate*
Abraham Becker*
Jacob Ford*
Walter Livingston
Dirck Swart*
Israel Thompson
Matthew Visscher
Christopher Yates*
Peter W. Yates
John Younglove
Cumberland none No election returns from these counties[2]
Gloucester
Dutchess Abraham Brinckerhoff
Dirck Brinckerhoff*
Ebenezer Cary
Cornelius Humfrey*
Brinton Paine
Matthew Patterson*
James Tallmadge
Kings Charles Doughty
John Vanderbilt
Montgomery Frederick C. Fox
William Harper*
James Livingston*
Isaac Paris*
Volkert Veeder*
Christopher P. Yates*
New York Aaron Burr
William Denning
Daniel Dunscomb
William Goforth
John Laurance previously a member from Westchester Co.
Peter Van Brugh Livingston
Thomas Randall
Henry Remsen
Comfort Sands
Orange Jeremiah Clark*
Gilbert Cooper*
John Hathorn*
William Sickles*
Queens Joseph Lawrence
John Sands
Abraham Skinner
James Townsend*
Richmond Cornelius Corsen
Joshua Mersereau
Suffolk David Gelston* elected Speaker[3]
Ebenezer Platt*
Jeffrey Smith*
John Smith
Thomas Youngs*
Ulster John Cantine*
Charles DeWitt*
Johannes G. Hardenbergh
John Nicholson*
Cornelius C. Schoonmaker*
Nathan Smith*
Washington Albert Baker
David Hopkins*
Edward Savage*
Abiel Sherwood
Westchester Ebenezer S. Burling
Abijah Gilbert*
Ebenezer Lockwood
Philip Pell Jr.*
Ebenezer Purdy*
Thomas Thomas*

Employees[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Annual Report of the Regents (USNY, 1870; page 712)
  2. ^ 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 1784.
  3. ^ The Civil List of 1858 lists erroneously John Hathorn as Speaker for this Assembly, this was corrected in all subsequent editions of the Civil List, see The New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough, Stephen C. Hutchins and Edgar Albert Werner (1867; page 135)

Sources[edit]

  • The New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough (Weed, Parsons and Co., 1858) [see pg. 108 for Senate districts; pg. 112f for senators; pg. 148f for Assembly districts; pg. 162 for assemblymen]