47th New York State Legislature

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47th New York State Legislature
Old State Capitol at Albany NY.jpg
The Old State Capitol (1879)

Duration: January 1 – December 31, 1824

President of the State Senate: Lt. Gov. Erastus Root (Buckt.)
Temporary President of the State Senate:
Speaker of the State Assembly: Richard Goodell (Buckt.)
Members: 32 Senators
128 Assemblymen
Senate Majority: Bucktail (17-14)
Assembly Majority: Bucktail

Sessions
1st: January 7 – April 12, 1824
2nd: August 2 – 6, 1824
3rd: November 2 – 27, 1824
<46th 48th>

The 47th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 6 to November 27, 1824, during the second year of Joseph C. Yates's governorship, in Albany.

Background[edit]

Under the provisions of the New York Constitution of 1821, 32 Senators were elected on general tickets in eight senatorial districts for four-year terms. They were divided into four classes, and every year eight Senate seats came up for election. Assemblymen were elected countywide on general tickets to a one-year term, the whole Assembly being renewed annually.

Jacob Sutherland declined to take his seat in the State Senate at the beginning of the previous session, leaving a vacancy in the Third District. State Senator Joseph Spencer died on May 2, 1823, leaving a vacancy in the Eighth District.

The previous session had been dominated by the Bucktails faction of the Democratic-Republican Party.[1] The opposing Democratic-Republican faction, the "Clintonians" had almost disappeared after DeWitt Clinton decided not to run in the New York gubernatorial election, 1822. In 1823, a major controversy arose concerning the presidential succession. Martin Van Buren supported William H. Crawford and was sure to get New York's presidential votes by electing a Bucktail majority to the Legislature which at this time elected the presidential electors. This scheme was opposed not only by the Clintonians, but also by a very large part of the Bucktails, and led to a breakdown of party lines. The Anti-Crawford factions, favoring at this time John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson and John C. Calhoun as possible presidential candidates, proposed to have the presidential electors elected by the people in districts, similar to the congressional elections, and became known as the "People's Party". The rump Bucktail faction (which followed Van Buren) was called the "Regency Party" by their opponents, a reference to the Albany Regency.

Elections[edit]

The State election was held from November 3 to 5, 1823. David Gardiner (1st D.), William Nelson (2nd D.), Jacob Haight (3rd D.), Silas Wright, Jr. (4th D.), Perley Keyes (5th D.), Latham A. Burrows (6th D.), Jedediah Morgan (7th D.) and Assemblyman James McCall (8th D.) were elected to full terms in the Senate. Senator Edward P. Livingston (3rd D.) and Assemblyman John Bowman (8th D.) were elected to fill the vacancies. Gardiner and Haight were elected on the People's Party ticket; Nelson and Burrows were elected unopposed but joined the People's Party during the session; Morgan sided also with the People's Party; and the other five were Bucktails and sided with the Regency Party.

Sessions[edit]

The Legislature met for the regular session at the Old State Capitol in Albany on January 6, 1824, and adjourned on April 24.

On January 5, pro-Crawford and anti-Crawford Bucktail assemblymen caucused together to nominate a candidate for Speaker. Richard Goodell (Buckt.) defeated James Tallmadge, Jr. (PP) with a vote of 70 to 40, and was elected the next day with 116 votes out of 125.

On January 6, Henry Wheaton (PP) announced in the Assembly that he would later propose a bill to have the people elect the presidential electors. Azariah C. Flagg (Buckt.) then offered a resolution to refer the question to a Committee of Nine. This was opposed by the People's Party men, denouncing it as a maneuver to defeat the change, but the resolution was carried after much debate by a vote of 76 to 47. Appointed to the Committee were Assemblymen Flagg, Van Alstyne, Bellinger, Brown, Bowker, Ells (all six pro-Crawford), Mullett, Finch and Wheaton (anti-Crawford).

After several meetings, the Committee of Nine reported a bill giving the power to choose presidential electors to the people, but requiring a majority of all the votes to be elected, although in New York history all elections have been, and still are, made by plurality. With at least four strong candidates, it was evident that no choice would be made in this manner. The proposed bill provided for choosing presidential electors by the Legislature if there was no choice by the people, which confirmed Wheaton's original suspicion. Isaac Finch proposed an amendment, to elect by plurality instead, which was lost with a vote of 52 to 64.

On February 4, the bill was passed in the Assembly, to elect by popular vote requiring a majority, but without provisions how to proceed in case of no choice. The bill then went to the Senate and was referred to a select committee chaired by Charles E. Dudley (Buckt.). After some time without action by the committee, Isaac Ogden offered a resolution, requiring the committee to report, which was postponed indefinitely by a vote of 21 to nine. After some time, the committee submitted a written report, concluding that "it would not be expedient" to pass this bill, or any other, to change the mode of choosing presidential electors.

On March 10, this report was debated in the Senate. John Cramer moved to change the original conclusion, saying that "it was expedient to pass a law, at the present session of the Legislature," giving to the people the choice of presidential electors by general ticket. A resolution to amend this with "and by a plurality of votes" was lost with a vote of 14 to 17. Then Cramer's resolution was carried with a vote of 16 to 15. However, after much debate, Edward P. Livingston offered a resolution to postpone the bill until the first Monday in November, which was carried by a vote of 17 to 14.

On April 3, a caucus of Bucktail legislators, consisting of the Regency men and a minority of People's men, nominated Samuel Young (pro-Clay) for Governor. Young was proposed by the People's men, and was nominated in opposition to Gov. Yates, who had been proposed by the Regency men for re-election. However, considering the enormous impopularity of the rejection of the new electoral law, and Yates being identified with these proceedings, most Regency men were sure that Yates had no chance to be re-elected, and were willing to abandon him in favor of any other candidate. Young had been originally considered to be put on the People's Party ticket, but this was dropped by the majority of the People's men after he was nominated by the Regency Party.

On April 7, the People's Party legislators held a caucus, of which Isaac Ogden was Chairman and David Gardiner Secretary. They protested against the rejection of the electoral law, and against the choice of nominees for Governor and Lieutenant Governor by legislative caucus. They issued a call for a State convention of the People's Party, to be held on September 21 at Utica to make the nominations.

On April 9, at a meeting in New York City, of which Ex-Gov. Morgan Lewis was Chairman and Cadwallader D. Colden Secretary, nominated Andrew Jackson for U.S. President.

On April 24, John Bowman submitted in the Senate a resolution for the removal of DeWitt Clinton from the Erie Canal Commission, which was carried with only three contrary votes (Cramer, Morgan and McIntyre). The resolution than went to the Assembly and was carried by a vote of 64 to 34. Most People's men voted for the removal, while some Regency men did not. The plan, hatched by the Regency, was to effect a breach between the Clintonians and the anti-Crawford Bucktails who together would have constituted a majority. However, the scheme backfired, since the removal created a great wave of indignation throughout the State. James Tallmadge Jr. (PP), who at this time was expected to be nominated for Governor by the Clintonians, voted for the removal and thus was dropped from consideration. Instead, DeWitt Clinton himself was proposed to run, and thus be vindicated.

On June 2, Gov. Yates issued a call for a special session of the Legislature to convene on August 2, to reconsider the enactment of a new electoral law.

On August 2, the Legislature met for a special session. Before the governor's message could be read, Byram Green offered a resolution in the Senate to censure Gov. Yates for having called this session. Azariah C. Flagg offered a resolution in the Assembly saying that the special session was unwarranted which was carried. After some debate, the Legislature adjourned on August 6 without any action taken.

On September 21, a State convention "in favor of a new electoral law", consisting of about 30 People's Party men and the remainder Clintonians, met at Utica with 122 delegates present. Ex-Gov. John Tayler (Clint.) was Chairman; Alexander Coffin (PP), of Hudson, was Vice-Chairman; and Samuel Stevens (PP) was Secretary.

On September 22, DeWitt Clinton was nominated for Governor with a large majority, and Tallmadge was unanimously nominated for Lieutenant Governor. The People's Party men then walked out, reconvened elsewhere chaired by Alexander Coffin, and repudiated the nomination of Clinton but vowed support for the election of Tallmadge as Lt. Gov.

On November 2, the Legislature met again, to elect presidential electors; and adjourned on November 27.

On November 3, the Legislature appointed Abraham Keyser, Jr. to succeed Benjamin Knower as New York State Treasurer.

On November 3, a caucus of Bucktail legislators consisting of both Regency and People's men, was held to nominate electors. The meeting was chaired by Lt. Gov. Erastus Root who directed that those members, who had participated in the meeting of April 7 which called the Utica convention, be omitted from the roll call. This was opposed by these members and the meeting broke up in confusion without any action taken.

On November 10, the Senate nominated Crawford electors with a vote of 17 (the same who voted for the postponement of the electoral law) against 7 for the Clay ticket and 7 for the Adams ticket. In the Assembly, on the first ballot the Adams ticket had 50 votes, the Crawford ticket 43 and the Clay ticket 32. The Adams and the Clay men then combined and nominated a joint ticket of some electors who would vote for Adams and some who would vote for Clay.

On November 11, on the first joint ballot of the Legislature, 32 Adams-Clay electors were chosen, there being no choice of the other four due to three blank ballots. On the second joint ballot, 4 Crawford electors were chosen.

The 36 electors chosen were: Nathan Thompson, Darius Bentley, Micah Brooks, Pierre A. Barker, Joseph Sibley, Timothy H. Porter, Samuel Russel, Marinus Willett, Ebenezer Sage, Richard Blauvelt, Abraham Stagg, John Drake, James Drake, Isaac Sutherland (of Dutchess Co.), William Walsh, Alexander J. Coffin, Benjamin Smith, Elisha Dorr, William Townsend, Thomas Lawyer, Edward B. Crandall, Samuel Hicks, Edward Savage, Benjamin Mooers, Chester Patterson, Phinehas Coon, Azariah Smith, Eleazer Barnum, Solomon St. John, Elisha B. Strong, Clark Crandall, Isaac Sutherland (of Genesee Co.), John Lansing, Jr., Benjamin Bailey, Samuel Smith and Henry Cady. Porter and Sage did not attend the meeting of the electoral college, and John Tayler and Willam Mann were appointed to fill the vacancies. They cast 26 votes for John Quincy Adams, 5 for William H. Crawford, 4 for Henry Clay and 1 for Andrew Jackson for President; and 29 votes for John C. Calhoun, and 7 for Nathan Sanford for Vice President.

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. John Bowman and James McCall changed from the Assembly to the Senate.

The party affiliations follow the vote on the postponement of the election bill on March 10, 1824, and the nomination of Crawford electors, which were clear party votes.

District Senators Term left Party Notes
First Walter Bowne* 1 year Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
John Lefferts* 2 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Jasper Ward* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
David Gardiner 4 years People's Party
Second John Sudam* 1 year Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Stephen Thorn* 2 years People's Party
James Burt* 3 years People's Party
William Nelson 4 years People's Party
Third Edward P. Livingston* 1 year Dem.-Rep./Bucktail elected to fill vacancy, in place of Jacob Sutherland
Charles E. Dudley* 2 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail also Mayor of Albany
James Mallory* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Jacob Haight 4 years People's Party
Fourth Melancton Wheeler* 1 year People's Party
John Cramer* 2 years People's Party
Archibald McIntyre* 3 years People's Party
Silas Wright, Jr. 4 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail until January 21, 1824, also Surrogate of St. Lawrence County
Fifth Alvin Bronson* 1 year Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Thomas Greenly* 2 years People's Party
Sherman Wooster* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Perley Keyes 4 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Sixth Farrand Stranahan* 1 year Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Tilly Lynde* 2 years People's Party
Isaac Ogden* 3 years People's Party
Latham A. Burrows 4 years People's Party
Seventh Byram Green* 1 year Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Jesse Clark* 2 years People's Party
Jonas Earll, Jr.* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Jedediah Morgan 4 years People's Party
Eighth David Eason* 1 year Dem.-Rep./Bucktail[2]
Heman J. Redfield* 2 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail also D.A. of Genesee Co.
John Bowman* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail elected to fill vacancy, in place of Joseph Spencer
James McCall* 4 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail

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. Silas Bowker changed from the Senate to the Assembly.

District Assemblymen Party Notes
Albany Archibald Stephens
John Stilwell
Jesse Wood
Allegany Lazarus S. Rathbun Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Broome Thomas G. Waterman Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Cattaraugus Phineas Spencer Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Cayuga Josiah Bevier*
Silas Bowker* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Augustus F. Ferris
Asahel Fitch
Chautauqua James Mullett Jr.* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Chenango John F. Hubbard
John Latham
Daniel Root
Clinton Azariah C. Flagg* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Columbia Thomas Bay contested by Walter C. Livingston who was seated in January 1824[3]
John King
Joseph D. Monell
Cortland William Barto Jr.
Matthias Cook
Delaware James Ells Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Peter Pine
Dutchess John Klapp
Alfred S. Pell
James Tallmadge, Jr. People's Party in November 1824, elected Lt. Gov. of New York
Gilbert Thorne
Erie Samuel Wilkeson People's Party
Essex Isaac Finch People's Party
Franklin George B. R. Gove
Genesee Shubeal Dunham
Oran Follett
James Ganson
Horace S. Turner
Greene Caleb Coffin Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Edward Daley Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Hamilton and
Montgomery
Henry Cunningham People's Party
Peter C. Fox
Peter Smith
Francis H. Van Beuren
Herkimer Christopher P. Bellinger Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Caleb Budlong
John Graves
Jefferson Richard Goodell* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail elected Speaker
John Howe
John Stewart
Kings William Furman People's Party
Lewis Caleb Lyon
Livingston George Hosmer Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
George Smith Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Madison Joseph Clark
Edward Hudson
Thomas Spencer
Monroe Peter Price
Major H. Smith
Enos Stone
New York James Benedict People's Party
Clarkson Crolius People's Party
Jacob Drake People's Party
Samuel S. Gardiner* People's Party
Thomas Hyatt* People's Party
John Morss* People's Party
Isaac Pierson People's Party
David Seaman People's Party
Charles Town People's Party
Henry Wheaton People's Party also Reporter of the U.S. Supreme Court;
left the Assembly a few days after February 4 to attend the
session of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.;
resumed his seat on April 1
Niagara Daniel Washburn Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Oneida Joseph Allen
Apollos Cooper
Joseph Grant
John Ruger Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Henry Wager*
Onondaga Timothy Barber*
Samuel L. Edwards* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
George Pettit
Matthew Van Vleck
Ontario Daniel Ashley
Gideon Pitts
Bowen Whiting Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Orange Benjamin Dunning
James Finch Jr.
Leonard Smith
Samuel J. Wilkin People's Party
Oswego Hastings Curtiss
Otsego John Blakeley People's Party
Samuel Russell
David Smith
George W. Stillman
Putnam Stephen C. Barnum
Queens William Jones People's Party
Thomas Tredwell People's Party
Rensselaer Caleb Carr
Henry Dubois
Martin Van Alstyne Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Stephen Warren*
Richmond Henry Perine
Rockland Peter S. Van Orden People's Party
St. Lawrence Nathaniel F. Winslow*
Saratoga Isaac Gere
James McCrea
Jeremy Rockwell
Schenectady Isaac Riggs People's Party
Schoharie Marvin Judd
John Stryker
Seneca Jonas Seely*
Erastus Woodworth
Steuben George McClure*
Grattan H. Wheeler
Suffolk Hugh Halsey
Josiah Smith
Sullivan Peter Miller
Tioga Grant B. Baldwin
Gamaliel H. Barstow People's Party
Tompkins Peter Hager 2d* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Nicoll Halsey
Ulster James C. DeWitt
Joseph Jansen
John C. Tillotson
Warren Dudley Farlin
Washington David Campbell
John Crary People's Party
Silas D. Kellogg
Ezra Smith People's Party
Wayne James Dickson previously a member from Seneca Co.
Russell Whipple Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Westchester Nehemiah Brown Jr.* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Benjamin Ferris
Niles Frost
Yates Aaron Remer* previously a member from Ontario Co.

Employees[edit]

  • Clerk: Edward Livingston
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: James D. Wasson
  • Doorkeeper: James Myers
  • Assistant Doorkeeper: William Seely

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Anti-Federalists 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.
  2. ^ Eason did not vote on the postponement but had been previously a Bucktail.
  3. ^ see A Compilation of Cases of Contested Elections to Seats in the Assembly of the State of New York (1871; pg. 49ff)

Sources[edit]