United States House of Representatives elections in New York, 1790

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United States House of Representatives elections in New York, 1790
New York
1789 ←
April 27-29, 1790
→ 1793

All 6 New York seats to the United States House of Representatives
  Majority party Minority party
 
Party Pro-Administration Anti-Administration
Last election 3 3
Seats won 5 1
Seat change Increase 2 Decrease 2
Popular vote 6,263 4,435
Percentage 58.5% 41.5%

The 1790 United States House of Representatives elections in New York were held from April 27 to 29, 1790, to elect six U.S. Representatives to represent the State of New York in the United States House of Representatives.

Background[edit]

The first U.S. Representatives under the United States Constitution had been elected in March 1789, and had taken their seats in the 1st United States Congress for a term ending on March 3, 1791. State elections in New York were at that time held during the last week of April, which meant that the State election preceding the beginning of the next congressional term was held more than ten months in advance, although the regular session of Congress was scheduled to convene only on the first Monday in December. Nevertheless, the New York politicians chose to have the seats filled, in case there might be a special session to convene at an earlier date.

Congressional districts[edit]

On January 27, 1789, the New York State Legislature divided the State of New York into six congressional districts which were not numbered.[1] The districts remained the same as for the previous elections in March 1789.

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.

Result[edit]

Five Federalists and one Anti-Federalist (later known as the Democratic-Republicans) were elected. The incumbents Laurance, Benson and Silvester were re-elected, the incumbents Floyd, Hathorn and Van Rensselaer were defeated.

1790 United States House election result
District Federalist Democratic-Republican Federalist Democratic-Republican Democratic-Republican
1 James Townsend 592 William Floyd 319 John Vanderbilt 327 Thomas Tredwell 284 Ezra L'Hommedieu 147
2 John Laurance 691 Melancton Smith 11
3 Egbert Benson 723 Theodorus Bailey 467
4 Peter Van Gaasbeck 753 Cornelius C. Schoonmaker 898 John Hathorn 61 Christopher Tappen 13
5 Peter Silvester 1,712 John Livingston 1,218
6 James Gordon 1,465 Jeremiah Van Rensselaer 1,017

Note: At this time political parties were still very new in the United States. Politicians aligned in two opposing groups: Those supporting the federal government and those opposing it. The first group are generally known as the Federalists, or (as a group in Congress) the "Pro-Administration Party." The second group at first were called the Anti-Federalists, or (as a group in Congress) the "Anti-Administration Party", but soon 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.

Special election[edit]

Representative-elect James Townsend died on May 24, 1790, just a month after his election, and well before the congressional term began. A special election to fill the vacancy was held at the time of the annual state election, from April 26 to 28, 1791, and was won by Anti-Federalist Thomas Tredwell. Thus four Federalists and two Anti-Federalists represented New York in the House of Representatives of the 2nd U.S. Congress.

1791 United States House special election result
District Democratic-Republican Federalist Federalist Democratic-Republican Federalist Democratic-Republican
1 Thomas Tredwell 666 John Vanderbilt 489 Henry Peters 369 Ezra L'Hommedieu 361 Isaac Ledyard 301 Stephen Carman 360

Aftermath[edit]

The House of Representatives of the 2nd United States Congress convened for its first session at Congress Hall in Philadelphia on October 24, 1791, and Gordon, Laurance, Silvester and Tredwell took their seats on this day. Benson took his seat on November 4; and Schoonmaker at some time between November 15, 1791, and January 30, 1792.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The numbers which are used nowadays to describe these districts at this time derive from the numbers of the districts officially introduced in 1797, considering the sequence of the districts in the official listing and the approximate geographical equivalence.
  2. ^ Abridgment of the Debates in Congress from 1789 to 1856 (Vol. I; pages 315, 317, 328 and 349)

Sources[edit]