68th New York State Legislature

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68th New York State Legislature
67th 69th
Old State Capitol at Albany NY.jpg
The Old State Capitol (1879)
Overview
Jurisdiction New York, United States
Term January 1 – December 31, 1845
Senate
Members 32
President Lt. Gov. Addison Gardiner (D)
Party control Democratic (27-4-1)
Assembly
Members 128
Speaker Horatio Seymour (D)
Party control Democratic (67-45-16)
Sessions
1st January 7 – May 14, 1845

The 68th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 7 to May 14, 1845, during the first year of Silas Wright'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.

On May 6, 1844, the Legislature enacted to reduce the number of canal commissioners from 6 to 4, and that the canal commissioners be elected statewide by popular ballot.

U.S. Senator Nathaniel P. Tallmadge (W) resigned his seat on June 17, 1844, to take office as Governor of the Wisconsin Territory. U.S. Senator Silas Wright (D) was elected Governor of New York, and resigned his seat on November 26, 1844. On November 30, Gov. William C. Bouck appointed Lt. Gov. Daniel S. Dickinson (D) and State Senator Henry A. Foster (D) to fill the two vacancies temporarily.

At this time there were two major political parties: the Democratic Party and the Whig Party. The Democratic Party was split into two factions: the "Barnburners" and the "Hunkers." The radical abolitionists appeared as the Liberty Party. In the First District, the American Republican Party nominated tickets for the Senate and Assembly. About this time the Anti-Rent War began, and the Anti-Renters cross-endorsed Whigs or Democrats, according to their opinion on the rent issue.

The Democratic state convention met on September 4 at Syracuse, and nominated U.S. Senator Silas Wright for governor, Addison Gardiner for lieutenant governor, and an electoral ticket pledged to James K. Polk.

The Whig state convention met on September 11 at Syracuse, and nominated Millard Fillmore for governor, Samuel J. Wilkin for lieutenant governor, and an electoral ticket pledged to Henry Clay.

Elections[edit]

The New York state election, 1844 was held on November 5. Silas Wright and Addison Gardiner were elected governor and lieutenant governor, and four Democrats were elected canal commissioners. Also the Democratic electoral ticket won, and New York's 36 votes were cast for James K. Polk and George M. Dallas.

State Senator Robert Denniston (2nd D.) was re-elected. George Folsom (1st D.), John P. Beekman (3rd D.), Augustus C. Hand (4th D.), Enoch B. Talcott (5th D.), George D. Beers (6th D.), Henry J. Sedgwick (7th D.) and Carlos Emmons (8th D.) were also elected to the Senate. Folsom was an American Republican, Emmons was a Whig, the other six were Democrats.

Sessions[edit]

On January 6, the Democratic assemblymen met in caucus and nominated Horatio Seymour (Hunker) for Speaker with 35 votes against 30 for William C. Crain (Barnburner).

The Legislature met for the regular session at the Old State Capitol in Albany on January 7, 1845; and adjourned on May 14.

Horatio Seymour (D) was elected Speaker.

On January 18, the Legislature elected John A. Dix (Barnb.) to succeed Henry A. Foster (Hunk.) as U.S. Senator, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Silas Wright; and Daniel S. Dickinson (Hunker) to succeed himself, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of U.S. Senator Nathaniel P. Tallmadge.

On February 3, the Legislature re-elected State Comptroller Azariah C. Flagg (D); and elected Nathaniel S. Benton (Hunker) to succeed Samuel Young (Barnb.) as Secretary of State; Benjamin Enos (Hunker) to succeed Thomas Farrington (Barnb.) as State Treasurer; John Van Buren (Barnb.) to succeed George P. Barker (D) as Attorney General; and Hugh Halsey (Barnb.) to succeed Nathaniel Jones (D) as Surveyor General.

On February 4, the Legislature re-elected U.S. Senator Daniel S. Dickinson (Hunker) to a six-year term beginning on March 4, 1845.

On May 13, an "Act recommending a Convention of the people of this State" was passed, calling for a convention to amend the State Constitution. This bill had been debated throughout the whole session, and was finally approved by the votes of the Barnburners, Whigs and American Republicans, against fierce opposition of the Hunkers.

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.

District Senators Term left Party Notes
First Isaac L. Varian* 1 year Democrat
John A. Lott* 2 years Democrat/Hunker
David R. Floyd-Jones* 3 years Democrat/Hunker
George Folsom 4 years American Republican
Second Abraham Bockee* 1 year Democrat[1]
Abraham A. Deyo* 2 years Democrat/Barnburner
Joshua B. Smith* 3 years Democrat
Robert Denniston* 4 years Democrat
Third Erastus Corning* 1 year Democrat/Hunker
John C. Wright* 2 years Democrat
Stephen C. Johnson* 3 years Democrat/Barnburner
John P. Beekman 4 years Democrat
Fourth Edmund Varney* 1 year Democrat/Barnburner
Thomas B. Mitchell* 2 years Democrat/Hunker
Orville Clark* 3 years Democrat/Hunker
Augustus C. Hand 4 years Democrat
Fifth George C. Sherman* 1 year Democrat/Barnburner
Carlos P. Scovil* 2 years Democrat
Thomas Barlow* 3 years Democrat/Barnburner also First Judge of the Madison County Court
Enoch B. Talcott 4 years Democrat/Barnburner
Sixth James Faulkner* 1 year Democrat
Calvin T. Chamberlain* 2 years Democrat
Clark Burnham* 3 years Democrat
George D. Beers 4 years Democrat
Seventh William Bartlit* 1 year Democrat/Hunker
John Porter* 2 years Democrat
Albert Lester* 3 years Democrat
Henry J. Sedgwick 4 years Democrat/Barnburner
Eighth Gideon Hard* 1 year Whig
Harvey Putnam* 2 years Whig
Frederick F. Backus* 3 years Whig
Carlos Emmons 4 years Whig

Employees[edit]

  • Clerk: Isaac R. Elwood
  • Deputy Clerk: Hiram Leonard
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Charles Niven, until February 1
    • Charles Bryan, from February 1
  • Doorkeeper: Jared S. Halsey
  • Assistant Doorkeeper: Martin Miller
  • Janitor: Burgess Wands
  • Messengers: John H. Finigan, Joseph Courtney Jr.

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.

Party affiliations follow the statement given by the Schenectady Cabinet.

District Assemblymen Party Notes
Albany Clarkson F. Crosby Whig
Ira Harris Whig/Anti-Rent
Leonard Litchfield Whig
Allegany Nathaniel Coe* Whig
John G. Collins Whig
Broome Cyrus Johnson Whig
Cattaraugus Seth Field Whig
Roderick White Whig
Cayuga David Gould Democrat
Leonard Searing Democrat
William Titus Democrat
Chautauqua Samuel A. Brown Whig
Henry C. Frisbee Whig
Jeremiah Mann Whig
Chemung Patrick McKey Democrat
Chenango Joel Burdick Democrat
Solomon S. Hall Democrat
Charles B. Miller Democrat
Clinton Noyes P. Gregory Democrat
Columbia Peter I. Bachman Democrat
Elijah Bagg Democrat
William M. Bunker Democrat
Cortland George J. J. Barber Whig unsuccessfully contested by Abraham Acker (D)[2]
John Pierce 2d Democrat
Delaware John McDonald Democrat
Linus Porter Democrat
Dutchess Epenetus Crosby Whig
Freeborn Garretson Whig
Walter Sherman Whig
Erie John T. Bush Whig
Truman Dewey Whig
Daniel Lee* Whig
Essex John T. Hammond Whig
Franklin Hiram Horton Whig
Fulton and Hamilton Garret A. Newkirk Democrat
Genesee Chester Hannum* Whig
Aaron Long Whig
Greene Deliverance B. Hervey Democrat
Gerret W. Sager Democrat
Herkimer Alexander H. Buell Democrat
William C. Crain Democrat/Barnburner
Jefferson Lysander H. Brown Democrat
Azel W. Danforth Democrat
Edward S. Salisbury Democrat
Kings Richard L. Wyckoff American Republican
Daniel D. Wynant American Republican
Lewis Dean S. Howard Democrat
Livingston Harlow W. Wells Whig
John Young Whig
Madison Stephen G. Sears Democrat
William Smith Democrat
John I. Walrath Democrat
Monroe William C. Bloss Whig
John McVean Whig
Isaac T. Raymond Whig
Montgomery John L. Bevens Democrat
Peter H. Fonda Democrat
New York Eli C. Blake American Republican
John Culver American Republican
John J. R. De Puy American Republican
Jacob L. Fenn American Republican
Harvey Hunt American Republican
James Jarvis American Republican
Frederick E. Mather American Republican
Roderick N. Morrison American Republican
Severn D. Moulton American Republican
Thomas H. Oakley American Republican
William S. Ross American Republican
Abraham G. Thompson Jr. American Republican
David E. Wheeler American Republican
Niagara Levi F. Bowne Whig
John Sweeney* Whig
Oneida Andrew Billings Democrat
Merit Brooks Democrat
Calvert Comstock Democrat
Horatio Seymour* Democrat/Hunker elected Speaker
Onondaga Julius C. Kinne Democrat
Dennis McCarthy Democrat
David Preston Democrat
Lake I. Tefft Democrat
Ontario Timothy Buel Jr. Whig
Israel Huntington* Whig
Alvah Worden Whig
Orange John Brooks Democrat
Thornton M. Niven Democrat
Richard M. Tuthill Jr. Democrat
Orleans Gardner Goold Whig
Oswego Thomas Skelton Democrat
Luny Thayer Democrat
Otsego Franklin B. Carpenter Democrat/Barnburner
Christopher D. Fellows Democrat
Harry G. Harden Democrat/Barnburner
Putnam Benjamin Bailey Democrat
Queens Elbert Floyd-Jones Democrat
Rensselaer Harry Betts Whig/Anti-Rent
Ryer Heermance Whig/Anti-Rent
William H. Van Schoonhoven Whig/Anti-Rent
Richmond Peter Mersereau American Republican
Rockland Joseph P. Brower Democrat
St. Lawrence Asa L. Hazelton Democrat
John L. Russell Democrat
Saratoga Edward Edwards Whig
William Wilcox Whig
Schenectady William Gifford Whig
Schoharie Seymour Boughton Democrat/Anti-Rent
Henry Tibbets Whig/Anti-Rent
Seneca Robert L. Stevenson Democrat
Steuben William C. Rogers Democrat
Ansel C. Smith Democrat
Jacob Van Valkenburgh Democrat
Suffolk John H. Dayton Democrat also Collector of Customs at Sag Harbor[3]
Darling B. Whitney Democrat
Sullivan Harvey R. Morris Democrat
Tioga Gideon O. Chase Democrat
Tompkins Sherman Miller Democrat
Lyman Strobridge Democrat
Ulster Reuben H. Hine Democrat
Irwin Pardee Democrat
Warren James Cameron Democrat
Washington James Rice Whig
John Stevenson Whig
Wayne John J. Dickson Democrat
Alanson M. Knapp Democrat
Westchester J. Anthony Constant Democrat
Thomas R. Lee Democrat
Wyoming Leverett Spring Whig
Andrew W. Young Whig
Yates Ezekiel Casner Whig

Employees[edit]

  • Clerk: James R. Rose
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: David B. Grout
  • Doorkeeper: Elbridge B. Fenn
  • Assistant Doorkeeper: Israel B. Neahr
  • Second Assistant Doorkeeper: Isaac C. Sheldon

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Bockee was originally a Hunker, but changed sides when the Constitutional Convention bill was debated in the Senate, and remained thereafter a Barnburner.
  2. ^ see A Compilation of Cases of Contested Elections to Seats in the Assembly of the State of New York (1871; pg. 146–149)
  3. ^ Dayton was appointed Collector at Sag Harbor on November 27, 1845, after the election, but before his Assembly term began. The question arose, if the acceptance of this federal office vacted his Assembly seat, but was answered in the negative, and Dayton took his seat on January 24, 1846; see A Compilation of Cases of Contested Elections to Seats in the Assembly of the State of New York (1871; pg. 149–163)

Sources[edit]