91st New York State Legislature

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91st New York State Legislature
Old State Capitol at Albany NY.jpg
The Old State Capitol (1879)

Duration: January 1 – December 31, 1868

President of the State Senate: Lt. Gov. Stewart L. Woodford (R)
Temporary President of the State Senate: Charles J. Folger (R), from January 15
Speaker of the State Assembly: William Hitchman (D)
Members: 32 Senators
128 Assemblymen
Senate Majority: Republican (17-15)
Assembly Majority: Democratic (74-54)

Sessions
1st: January 7 – May 6, 1868
<90th 92nd>

The 91st New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 7 to May 6, 1868, during the fourth year of Reuben E. Fenton's governorship, in Albany.

Background[edit]

Under the provisions of the New York Constitution of 1846, 32 Senators and 128 assemblymen were elected in single-seat districts; senators for a two-year term, assemblymen for a one-year term. The senatorial districts were made up of entire counties, except New York County (five districts) and Kings County (two districts). The Assembly districts were made up of entire towns, or city wards,[1] forming a contiguous area, all within the same county.

On April 25, 1866, the Legislature re-apportioned the Senate districts. The new apportionment was first used at the election of 1867.[2]

According to the Constitution of 1846, twenty years after its elaboration the electorate was asked if they wanted a Constitutional Convention to be held, which was answered at the New York state election, 1866, in the affirmative. On April 23, 1867, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention were elected, resulting in a Republican majority. On June 4, the Constitutional Convention met at Albany; adjourned on September 23; and met again on November 12.

At this time there were two major political parties: the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.

Elections[edit]

The New York state election, 1867 was held on November 5. All eight statewide elective offices up for election were carried by the Democrats. The approximate party strength at this election, as expressed by the vote for Secretary of State, was: Democrats 373,000 and Republicans 325,000.

Sessions[edit]

The Legislature met for the regular session at the Old State Capitol in Albany on January 7, 1868; and adjourned on May 6. At the same time, the Constitutional Convention continued in session.

William Hitchman (D) was elected Speaker.

On January 15, Charles J. Folger (R) was re-elected President pro tempore of the State Senate.

On February 12, the Legislature elected Matthew T. Brennan (D) to take office on March 1 as a Metropolitan Police Commissioner, for a term of eight years.[3]

On February 28, the Constitutional Convention adjourned sine die. How to put the proposed amendments before the electorate was then debated throughout this and the next Legislature, and all amendments, except the re-organization of the judicial system, were eventually rejected by the voters at the New York state election, 1869.

On March 31, the trial of Canal Commissioner Robert C. Dorn (R) opened before the New York Court for the Trial of Impeachments, consisting of the State Senate and the judges of the New York Court of Appeals. Assemblymen William S. Clark, John L. Flagg, John C. Jacobs, John F. Little, William Lounsbery, Alpheus Prince, William B. Quinn (all seven Dem.), Nicholas B. La Bau and Edmund L. Pitts (both Rep.) appeared as the Managers to prosecute the impeachment. Smith M. Weed (D) appeared as Counsel for the Managers. Henry Smith (R) and John H. Reynolds appeared for the defense.

On April 7, the Legislature elected Abram B. Weaver (D) to succeed Victor M. Rice (R) as Superintendent of Public Instruction for a term of three years.

On April 9, Assemblyman Elijah M. K. Glenn (R) accused Assemblyman Alexander Frear to have offered him on March 27 a bribe of $500.

On April 10, a select committee appointed to investigate concluded that "the evidence does not furnish any justification for the charges made by Mr. Glenn against Mr. Frear." Thereupon a resolution was passed to censure Glenn.[4]

On April 11, Glenn resigned his seat.

On June 12, the impeachment trial ended with the acquittal of Dorn on all articles.

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. Thomas J. Creamer and Henry W. Genet changed from the Assembly to the Senate.

Party affiliations follow the vote for Senate officers.

District Senator Party Notes
1st Lewis A. Edwards Democrat
2nd James F. Pierce Democrat
3rd Henry C. Murphy* Democrat re-elected; also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention
4th William M. Tweed Democrat
5th Michael Norton Democrat also an Alderman of New York City
6th Thomas J. Creamer* Democrat
7th John J. Bradley Democrat
8th Henry W. Genet* Democrat
9th William Cauldwell Democrat
10th William M. Graham Democrat
11th Abiah W. Palmer Republican
12th Francis S. Thayer Republican
13th A. Bleecker Banks Democrat
14th George Beach Democrat
15th Charles Stanford* Republican re-elected
16th Matthew Hale Republican also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention
17th Abraham X. Parker Republican
18th John O'Donnell* Republican re-elected
19th Samuel Campbell* Republican re-elected
20th John B. Van Petten Republican
21st Abner C. Mattoon Republican
22nd George N. Kennedy Republican
23rd John F. Hubbard Jr. Democrat
24th Orlow W. Chapman Republican
25th Stephen K. Williams* Republican re-elected
26th Charles J. Folger* Republican re-elected; also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention;
on January 15, elected President pro tempore
27th John I. Nicks* Republican re-elected
28th Lewis H. Morgan Republican
29th Richard Crowley* Republican re-elected
30th Wolcott J. Humphrey* Republican re-elected
31st Asher P. Nichols Democrat
32nd Lorenzo Morris Democrat

Employees[edit]

  • Clerk: James Terwilliger
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: John H. Kemper
  • Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms: George H. Knapp
  • Doorkeeper: Charles V. Schram
  • Assistant Doorkeeper: Nathaniel Saxton
  • Assistant Doorkeeper: David L. Shields
  • Assistant Doorkeeper: Elisha T. Burdick

State Assembly[edit]

Assemblymen[edit]

The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued as members of this Legislature. Nicholas B. La Bau changed from the Senate to the Assembly.

Party affiliations follow the listing in the Life Sketches.

District Assemblymen Party Notes
Albany 1st John C. Chism Democrat
2nd Francis H. Woods Democrat
3rd Jackson A. Sumner Democrat
4th Theodore Van Volkenburgh Democrat
Allegany Silas Richardson Republican
Broome Chauncey C. Bennett Republican
Cattaraugus 1st Jonas K. Button Democrat
2nd E. Curtis Topliff Republican
Cayuga 1st Charles H. Weed Republican
2nd Sanford Gifford Republican
Chautauqua 1st Matthew P. Bemus Republican
2nd Winfield S. Cameron Republican
Chemung Edmund Miller Democrat
Chenango Frederick Juliand* Republican
Clinton William F. Cook Republican
Columbia 1st Harper W. Rogers Democrat
2nd Stephen H. Wendover* Republican
Cortland Raymond P. Babcock Republican
Delaware 1st Albert E. Sullard Republican
2nd Edward I. Burhans Democrat
Dutchess 1st Augustus A. Brush* Republican
2nd Alfred T. Ackert Democrat
Erie 1st George J. Bamler Democrat
2nd Richard Flach Democrat
3rd Lewis P. Dayton Democrat
4th Alpheus Prince* Democrat also a Manager at the impeachment trial
5th James Rider Republican
Essex Samuel Root Republican
Franklin Edmund F. Sargent Republican
Fulton and Hamilton Samuel W. Buel Democrat
Genesee Henry F. Tarbox* Republican
Greene James Loughran Democrat
Herkimer Elisha W. Stannard Republican
Jefferson 1st LaFayette J. Bigelow* Republican
2nd Andrew Cornwall Democrat
Kings 1st Patrick Burns* Democrat
2nd William S. Andrews Democrat
3rd Patrick Keady* Democrat
4th Francis A. Mallison Democrat
5th William C. Jones Democrat
6th Jacob Worth Republican contested, seat vacated on March 13[5]
John Raber Democrat seated on March 13
7th Caleb L. Smith Democrat
8th DeWitt C. Tower Democrat
9th John C. Jacobs* Democrat also a Manager at the impeachment trial
Lewis John F. Mann Republican
Livingston Lewis E. Smith Republican
Madison 1st D. Gerry Wellington Republican
2nd Robert Stewart Republican
Monroe 1st John Martin Davis Republican
2nd Nehemiah C. Bradstreet Democrat
3rd Abner I. Wood* Republican
Montgomery Angell Matthewson Democrat
New York 1st Michael C. Murphy* Democrat
2nd Dennis Burns Democrat
3rd Daniel O'Reilly* Democrat
4th John Galvin Democrat
5th Christopher Johnson Democrat
6th Timothy J. Campbell Democrat
7th James Riley Democrat
8th James Reed* Democrat died in February 1868
9th William G. Bergen Democrat
10th Anthony Hartman Democrat
11th Peter Trainer Democrat
12th William B. Quinn Democrat also a Manager at the impeachment trial
13th James C. Moran Democrat
14th James McKiever Democrat
15th Alexander Frear* Democrat
16th James Irving* Democrat
17th Frederick H. Flagge Democrat
18th Lawrence D. Kiernan Democrat
19th William L. Wiley Democrat
20th George B. Van Brunt Republican contested; seat vacated on April 7[6]
Henry Clausen Jr. Democrat seated on April 7
21st William Hitchman Democrat elected Speaker:
also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention
Niagara 1st Ransom M. Skeels Democrat
2nd Benjamin Farley Republican
Oneida 1st William H. Chapman Democrat
2nd Alanson B. Cady Republican
3rd James Stevens Democrat
4th Ambrose Nicholson Republican
Onondaga 1st Augustus G. S. Allis Republican
2nd Luke Ranney Republican
3rd Hiram Eaton Republican
Ontario 1st Henry Ray Republican
2nd Samuel H. Torrey* Republican
Orange 1st William C. H. Sherman Democrat unsuccessfully contested by George K. Smith (R)[7]
2nd John H. Reeve Democrat
Orleans Edmund L. Pitts* Republican also a Manager at the impeachment trial
Oswego 1st John A. Place Republican
2nd James D. Lasher Republican
3rd Alvin Richardson Republican
Otsego 1st Myron J. Hubbard Democrat
2nd William C. Bentley Democrat
Putnam Samuel D. Humphrey Democrat
Queens 1st Francis Skillman* Democrat
2nd John B. Madden Democrat
Rensselaer 1st John L. Flagg Democrat also a Manager at the impeachment trial
2nd Jared A. Wells Republican
3rd Harris B. Howard Democrat
Richmond John Decker Democrat
Rockland Thomas Lawrence Democrat
St. Lawrence 1st George M. Gleason* Republican
2nd Julius M. Palmer Republican
3rd Alexander H. Andrews Republican
Saratoga 1st Truman G. Younglove* Republican
2nd Alembert Pond Republican also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention
Schenectady Robert Furman Democrat
Schoharie William S. Clark* Democrat also a Manager at the impeachment trial
Schuyler George Clark Republican
Seneca David D. Lefler Democrat
Steuben 1st John F. Little Democrat also a Manager at the impeachment trial
2nd Lyman Balcom Republican
Suffolk James M. Halsey Democrat
Sullivan David G. Starr* Democrat
Tioga Oliver H. P. Kinney Republican also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention
Tompkins John H. Selkreg* Republican
Ulster 1st William Lounsbery Democrat also a Manager at the impeachment trial
2nd Abraham E. Hasbrouck Democrat
3rd Theodore Guigou Democrat
Warren Nicholas B. La Bau* Republican also a Manager at the impeachment trial
Washington 1st David Underwood Republican
2nd Nathaniel Daily Republican
Wayne 1st DeWitt Parshall Republican
2nd Elijah M. K. Glenn Republican resigned on April 11, 1868
Westchester 1st Samuel M. Purdy* Democrat
2nd George J. Penfield* Democrat
3rd Henry C. Nelson Democrat
Wyoming William Bristol* Republican
Yates Oliver S. Williams Democrat

Employees[edit]

  • Clerk: Cornelius W. Armstrong
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Jared Sandford
  • Doorkeeper: James Swarthout
  • First Assistant Doorkeeper:
  • Second Assistant Doorkeeper:

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Except New York City where the wards were apportioned into election districts, and then some whole wards and some election districts of other wards were gerrymandered together into Assembly districts.
  2. ^ Laws of the State of New York (89th session) (1866; pg. 1762ff, Chap. 805 "AN ACT to organize the Senate Districts of the State")
  3. ^ The office had been vacant since the death of Police Commissioner John G. Bergen on July 18, 1867. Brennan vacated the office after his election as Sheriff of New York County in November 1870; see AN OLD POLITICIAN DYING; EX-SHERIFF BRENNAN'S ILLNESS in NYT on January 20, 1879
  4. ^ see Assembly Journal, Vol. II, pg. 919ff
  5. ^ see A Compilation of Cases of Contested Elections to Seats in the Assembly of the State of New York (1871; pg. 416–422)
  6. ^ see A Compilation of Cases of Contested Elections to Seats in the Assembly of the State of New York (1871; pg. 407–415)
  7. ^ see A Compilation of Cases of Contested Elections to Seats in the Assembly of the State of New York (1871; pg. 422–430)

Sources[edit]