51st New York State Legislature

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51st New York State Legislature
50th 52nd
Old State Capitol at Albany NY.jpg
The Old State Capitol (1879)
Jurisdiction New York, United States
Term January 1 – December 31, 1828
Members 32
President Lt. Gov. Nathaniel Pitcher (J), until February 11
Temporary President Peter R. Livingston (J), from February 11 to October 7;
Charles Dayan (J), from October 7
Party control Jacksonian
Members 128
Speaker Erastus Root (J)
Party control Jacksonian
1st January 1 – April 21, 1828
2nd September 9 – December 10, 1828

The 51st New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 1 to December 10, 1828, during the fourth year of DeWitt Clinton's second tenure as Governor of New York, and—after Clinton's death—while Nathaniel Pitcher was Governor, in Albany.


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.

State Senator Cadwallader D. Colden resigned on August 30, 1827, leaving a vacancy in the First District.

Before the time of the election in November 1827, the Democratic-Republican Party[1] was split into two factions: the "Bucktails" (led by U.S. Senator Martin Van Buren) and the "Clintonians" (supporters of Gov. DeWitt Clinton). In view of the United States presidential election, 1828, the parties re-aligned: most of the Bucktails became "Jacksonians" (supporters of Andrew Jackson for U.S. President); and most of the Clintonians became "Adams men" (supporters of the re-election of John Quincy Adams).

On September 11, 1826, began the affair surrounding the abduction, and probable murder, of William Morgan which led to the foundation of the Anti-Masonic Party in 1828.


The State election was held from November 5 to 7, 1827. John I. Schenck (1st D.), Walker Todd (2nd D.), Moses Warren (3rd D.), Reuben Sanford (4th D.), Nathaniel S. Benton (5th D.), Grattan H. Wheeler (6th D.), George B. Throop (7th D.) and Timothy H. Porter (8th D.) were elected to full terms in the Senate. Jacob Tyson (1st D.) was elected to fill the vacancy.


The Legislature met for the regular session at the Old State Capitol in Albany on January 2, 1828, and adjourned on April 21.

Erastus Root (Jacksonian) was re-elected Speaker unopposed.

On January 5, Lt. Gov. Pitcher informed the State Senate that he was too ill to attend the session, and Peter R. Livingston (J) was elected Temporary President of the State Senate.

On January 31, a caucus of Jacksonian legislators nominated Andrew Jackson for U.S. President.

On February 11, Gov. DeWitt Clinton died—the only governor in New York history to die in office—and Lt. Gov. Pitcher became governor for the remainder of the year.

The Legislature appointed Daniel Moseley as Special Prosecutor to detect and punish the murderers of William Morgan.

The Legislature created the Superior Court of Common Pleas of New York City. Chancellor Samuel Jones was appointed Chief Justice; and Josiah Ogden Hoffman and Congressman Thomas J. Oakley associate justices.

On June 10, a state convention of Adams men met at Albany, and nominated U.S. President John Quincy Adams for re-election.

On July 22, a state convention of Adams men met at Utica; James Fairlie was Chairman; and Tilly Lynde and Thomas Clowes were Secretaries. They nominated U.S. Supreme Court Justice Smith Thompson for Governor, and Assemblyman Francis Granger for Lieutenant Governor.

The Anti-Masonic state convention nominated Assemblyman Francis Granger for Governor, and State Senator John Crary for Lieutenant Governor. Granger declined to run for this office on this ticket, and expected Crary to decline too, so that he, Granger, could be endorsed by the Anti-Masons for Lieutenant Governor. Crary, however, did not decline and ran on the Anti-Masonic ticket with Solomon Southwick for Governor.

The Jacksonian state convention met at Herkimer and nominated U.S. Senator Martin Van Buren for Governor and Circuit Judge Enos T. Throop for Lieutenant Governor.

The Legislature met for a special session on September 9; and adjourned on December 10. At this session the debate on the report of the Board of Revisers of the State Statutes continued.

On October 7, Charles Dayan was elected President pro tempore of the State Senate.

State Senate[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.


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

District Senators Term left Party Notes
First Jacob Tyson 1 year Jacksonian elected to fill vacancy, in place of Cadwallader D. Colden;
also First Judge of the Richmond County Court
Joshua Smith* 2 years
Robert Bogardus* 3 years Jacksonian
John I. Schenck 4 years Jacksonian
Second Wells Lake* 1 year
Peter R. Livingston* 2 years Jacksonian on January 5, elected President pro tempore
Benjamin Woodward* 3 years also Postmaster of Mount Hope
Walker Todd 4 years Jacksonian also Postmaster of Carmel
Third Richard McMichael* 1 year
Ambrose L. Jordan* 2 years Adams man
John McCarty* 3 years Jacksonian
Moses Warren 4 years Jacksonian
Fourth John Crary* 1 year Adams man
John L. Viele* 2 years
Duncan McMartin Jr.* 3 years Adams man
Reuben Sanford 4 years Adams man
Fifth Charles Dayan* 1 year Jacksonian on October 7, elected President pro tempore;
in November 1828, chosen a presidential elector-at-large
Charles Stebbins* 2 years Jacksonian
Truman Enos* 3 years Jacksonian
Nathaniel S. Benton 4 years Jacksonian until January 10, 1828, also Surrogate of Herkimer Co.
Sixth Stukely Ellsworth* 1 year
Peter Hager 2d* 2 years
Thomas G. Waterman* 3 years
Grattan H. Wheeler 4 years Adams man
Seventh John C. Spencer* 1 year Adams man
Truman Hart* 2 years
William M. Oliver* 3 years Jacksonian until March 31, 1828, also First Judge of the Yates County Court
George B. Throop 4 years Jacksonian
Eighth Samuel Wilkeson* 1 year
Ethan B. Allen* 2 years
Charles H. Carroll* 3 years Adams man also First Judge of the Livingston County Court;
resigned in March 1828
Timothy H. Porter 4 years Adams man[2]


State Assembly[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.


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

District Assemblymen Party Notes
Albany Benjamin F. Butler Jacksonian
William N. Sill
David I. D. Verplanck
Allegany Azel Fitch
Broome Peter Robinson* Jacksonian
Cattaraugus James McGlashan
Cayuga Henry R. Brinckerhoff
Gardner Kortright*
William H. Noble
Philo Sperry
Chautauqua Nathaniel Fenton previously from Otsego??
Nathan Mixer
Chenango Tilly Lynde Adams man
Henry Mitchell Jacksonian
Robert Monell Jacksonian in November 1828, elected to the 21st United States Congress
Clinton Bela Edgerton*
Columbia Killian Miller Adams man
Abel S. Peters
Elisha Williams Adams man
Cortland John L. Boyd
Nathan Dayton* Jacksonian
Delaware Edward Doyle
Erastus Root* Jacksonian re-elected Speaker
Dutchess Taber Belding
Francis A. Livingston
George W. Slocum
Nathaniel P. Tallmadge Jacksonian
Erie David Burt*
Peter B. Porter Adams man vacated his seat on May 23, 1828, when appointed as U.S. Secretary of War
Essex Ezra C. Gross Adams man
Franklin Luther Bradish Adams man
Genesee Dennis Blakeley
Trumbull Cary
John B. Skinner* Jacksonian
Greene Elisha Bishop
William Faulkner Jr.
Hamilton and
Daniel F. Sacia Jacksonian
John S. Veeder
Nathaniel Westcott*
Herkimer David R. Carrier
Abijah Mann, Jr. Jacksonian
John P. Snell
Jefferson David W. Bucklin* Jacksonian
Alpheus S. Greene*
Daniel Wardwell* Jacksonian
Kings Clarence D. Sackett*
Lewis George D. Ruggles
Livingston Calvin H. Bryan
William Jones
Madison Joseph Clark
John Knowles
Eri Richardson
Monroe Timothy Childs Adams man in November 1828, elected to the 21st United States Congress
Ezra Sheldon Jr.
Francis Storm
New York William Alburtis Jacksonian
Saul Alley Jacksonian
Philip Brasher* Jacksonian
Abraham Cargill* Jacksonian
Isaac Dyckman Jacksonian
Robert Emmet[3] Jacksonian
Ogden Hoffman Jacksonian
Asa Mann Jacksonian
Shivers Parker Jacksonian
Alpheus Sherman* Jacksonian
Lemuel Smith* Jacksonian
Niagara John Garnsey*
Oneida Gardiner Avery
(Linus Parker) Parker did not take or claim the seat; contested
by S. Sidney Breese who was seated on January 4[4]
Thomas E. Clarke
Benjamin P. Johnson*
Eli Savage
Onondaga Timothy Barber
David Baxter
Aaron Burt*
Gideon Frothingham
Ontario Heman Chapin
Francis Granger* Adams man
Robert C. Nicholas Adams man
Orange Nathaniel Jones*
Peter Milliken
David M. Westcott
Orleans Lyman Bates
Oswego Orris Hart*
Otsego Joseph Clyde
Horace Lathrop
Arunah Metcalf Adams man
Halsey Spencer
Putnam Henry B. Cowles* Adams man in November 1828, elected to the 21st United States Congress
Queens Thomas Tredwell*
Rensselaer Samuel S. Cheever Jacksonian
Alonzo G. Hammond
William Pierce
Joseph Wadsworth
Richmond Abraham Cole*
Rockland Levi Sherwood*
St. Lawrence Moses Rowley
Jabez Willes
Saratoga Alpheus Goodrich
Thomas Howland
Eli M. Todd
Schenectady Alonzo C. Paige* Jacksonian
Schoharie Henry Devereaux
James Sweetman
Seneca Andrew Glover
Erastus Woodworth
Steuben Dugald Cameron died on March 5, 1828
William Woods Adams man also Surrogate of Steuben Co.
Suffolk Abraham H. Gardiner
Tredwell Scudder also Supervisor of the Town of Islip
Sullivan Alpheus Dimmick
Tioga William Maxwell
Jacob Swartwood
Tompkins Amasa Dana Jacksonian also D.A. of Tompkins Co.
Samuel H. Dean
Josiah Hedden
Ulster Thomas H. Jansen
Jacob J. Schoonmaker
Warren Truman B. Hicks
Washington Jonathan Mosher
Henry Thorn
Henry Whiteside
Wayne Thomas Armstrong* Jacksonian also Supervisor of Butler
Luther Fillmore
Westchester John Fisher*
Nathaniel Montross*
James Turk
Yates Morris F. Sheppard


  • Clerk: Francis Seger
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: John C. Ellis
  • Doorkeeper: William Seely
  • Assistant Doorkeeper: James D. Scollard


  1. ^ Originally, 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. ^ Porter was one of the Bucktail minority who did not follow Van Buren to support Jackson, and was elected by the votes of the Anti-Masons who endorsed Porter after the regular Anti-Masonic nominee George A. S. Crooker was dropped, having been found out to be a Mason.
  3. ^ Robert Emmet, son of Thomas Addis Emmet
  4. ^ see A Compilation of Cases of Contested Elections to Seats in the Assembly of the State of New York (1871; pg. 73ff)