2nd New York State Legislature

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2nd New York State Legislature
1st 3rd
Clinton house poughkeepsie 2007 03 18.jpg
Clinton House, one of the buildings used by the State government during sessions at Poughkeepsie (2007)
Overview
Jurisdiction New York, United States
Term July 1, 1778 – June 30, 1779
Senate
Members 24
President Lt. Gov. Pierre Van Cortlandt
Assembly
Members 70 (de facto 65)
Speaker Walter Livingston
Sessions
1st October 13 – November 6, 1778
2nd January 27 – March 17, 1779

The 2nd New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from October 13, 1778 to March 17, 1779, during the second year of George Clinton's governorship, at Poughkeepsie.

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.

On May 8, 1777, the Constitutional Convention had appointed the senators from the Southern District, and the assemblymen from Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond and Suffolk counties—the area which was under British control—and determined that these appointees serve in the Legislature until elections could be held in those areas, presumably after the end of the American Revolutionary War. Vacancies among the appointed members in the Senate should be filled by the Assembly, and vacancies in the Assembly by the Senate.

Elections[edit]

The State elections were held from April 28 to 30, 1778. Under the determination by the Constitutional Convention, the senators Isaac Roosevelt and John Morin Scott, whose seats were up for election, continued in office, as well as the assemblymen from Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond and Suffolk counties. Two vacancies in the Senate—caused by the death of Philip Livingston and the election of Pierre Van Cortlandt as Lieutenant Governor—were filled by the State Assembly. Henry Wisner (MIddle D.) and Abraham Yates Jr. (Western D.) were re-elected. Assemblymen Ebenezer Russell (Eastern D.) and Jacob G. Klock (Western D.) were elected to the Senate.

The State Legislature met in Poughkeepsie, the seat of Dutchess County, on October 13, 1778, and adjourned on November 6. The Senate reconvened from January 27 to March 17, the Assembly from January 28 to March 16, 1779. Due to the difficult situation during the American Revolutionary War, four senators and several assemblymen could not attend the meeting.

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. In 1784, Charlotte Co. was renamed Washington Co., and Tryon Co. was renamed Montgomery Co.

Senators[edit]

The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued in office as members of this Legislature. Ebenezer Russell and Jacob G. Klock changed from the Assembly to the Senate.

District Senators Term left Notes
Southern Jonathan Lawrence* 1 year appointed by Constitutional Convention;
elected to the Council of Appointment
Lewis Morris* 1 year appointed by Constitutional Convention
Richard Morris* 1 year appointed by State Assembly
William Floyd* 2 years appointed by Constitutional Convention
William Smith* 2 years appointed by Constitutional Convention
Isaac Stoutenburgh 2 years appointed by State Assembly on October 18, 1778, to fill vacancy,
in place of Pierre Van Cortlandt
Sir James Jay 3 years appointed by State Assembly on October 7, 1778, to fill vacancy,
in place of Philip Livingston
Isaac Roosevelt* 4 years holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
John Morin Scott* 4 years holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention;
also Secretary of State of New York
Middle Jonathan Landon* 1 year
Zephaniah Platt* 1 year elected to the Council of Appointment
Arthur Parks* 2 years
Levi Pawling* 3 years
Jesse Woodhull* 3 years
Henry Wisner* 4 years
Eastern John Williams* 2 years expelled on February 8, 1779[2]
Alexander Webster* 3 years
Ebenezer Russell* 4 years elected to the Council of Appointment
Western Dirck W. Ten Broeck* 1 year elected to the Council of Appointment
Anthony Van Schaick* 2 years
Jellis Fonda* 3 years
Rinier Mynderse* 3 years
Jacob G. Klock* 4 years
Abraham Yates Jr.* 4 years

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. In 1784, Charlotte Co. was renamed Washington Co., and Tryon Co. was renamed Montgomery Co.

Assemblymen[edit]

The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued as members of this Legislature.

County Assemblymen Notes
Albany Leonard Gansevoort
James Gordon*
Walter Livingston* re-elected Speaker
Stephen J. Schuyler*
John Tayler*
Jacobus Teller
Killian Van Rensselaer*
Robert Van Rensselaer*
Peter Vrooman*
William B. Whiting*
Charlotte Albert Baker
Ebenezer Clarke*
David Hopkins
Elishama Tozer unsuccessfully contested by John Rowan[3]
Cumberland none No election returns from these counties[4]
Gloucester
Dutchess Egbert Benson* also New York State Attorney General
Dirck Brinckerhoff*
Joseph Crane Jr.
Samuel Dodge
Anthony Hoffman*
Andrew Moorhouse*
Jacobus Swartwout*
Kings William Boerum* holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
Henry Williams* holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
New York Evert Bancker* holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
John Berrien* holding over on appointment by the State Senate
Abraham Brasher* holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
Daniel Dunscomb* holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
Robert Harpur* holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
Frederick Jay* holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
Abraham P. Lott* holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
Jacobus Van Zandt* holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
Peter P. Van Zandt* holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
Orange Jeremiah Clark*
Benjamin Coe
Peter Ogilvie
Roeluf Van Houten*
Queens Benjamin Birdsall* holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
Benjamin Coe* holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
Philip Edsall* holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
Daniel Lawrence* holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
Richmond Joshua Mersereau* holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
vacant
Suffolk David Gelston* holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
Ezra L'Hommedieu* holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
Burnet Miller* holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
Thomas Tredwell* holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
Thomas Wickes* holding over on appointment by Constitutional Convention
Tryon George Henry Bell
John Newkirk
Abraham Van Horne*
Peter Waggoner
Moses Younglove
vacant
Ulster Andries Bevier unsuccessfully contested by Thomas Palmer[5]
Matthew Rea*
Cornelius C. Schoonmaker*
Nathan Smith
Johannis Snyder*
vacant
Westchester Joseph Benedict
Thaddeus Crane*
Israel Honeywell Jr.*
Ebenezer Lockwood
Zebediah Mills*
Stephen Ward

Employees[edit]

  • Clerk: John McKesson
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Stephen Hendrickson
  • Doorkeeper: Richard Ten Eyck

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ All three senators from the Eastern District in this Legislature came from Charlotte County; see note for Assembly.
  2. ^ The Suppressed History of the Administration of John Adams by John Wood & John Henry Sherburne (page 144)
  3. ^ see A Compilation of Cases of Contested Elections to Seats in the Assembly of the State of New York (1871; pg. 5–8)
  4. ^ 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 1778.
  5. ^ see A Compilation of Cases of Contested Elections to Seats in the Assembly of the State of New York (1871; pg. 8-10)

Sources[edit]

  • The New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough (Weed, Parsons and Co., 1858) [see pg. 108 for Senate districts; pg. 110 for senators; pg. 148f for Assembly districts; pg. 157f for assemblymen]