70th New York State Legislature
|70th New York State Legislature|
The Old State Capitol (1879)
|Duration: January 1 – December 31, 1847|
|President of the State Senate:||Lt. Gov. Addison Gardiner (D), until July 4|
|Temporary President of the State Senate:||Albert Lester (D), from February 12|
|Speaker of the State Assembly:||William C. Hasbrouck (W)|
|Senate Majority:||Democratic (21-10-1)|
|Assembly Majority:||Whig (72-56)|
|1st: January 5 – May 13, 1847
2nd: September 8 – December 15, 1847
The 70th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 5 to December 15, 1847, during the first year of John Young's governorship, 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.
On May 13, 1845, an "Act recommending a Convention of the people of this State" was passed, submitting at the next State election to the people the question whether they wanted to call a convention to amend the State Constitution. At the State election in November 1845, the question was answered in the affirmative. The Constitutional convention met from June 1 to October 9, 1846. The amended Constitution abolished rotative renewal of the Senate, required all legislators to be elected in single districts, made the State cabinet offices elective by popular ballot, and made major changes in the judicial system. The new Constitution was submitted to the electorate at the next State election for ratification.
On March 30, 1846, the Legislature re-apportioned the Assembly districts: Chautauqua, Chenango, Columbia, Cortland, Madison, Ontario and Wyoming counties lost one seat each; Albany, Erie, Kings and St. Lawrence counties gained one seat each; and New York City gained three seats. The total number of assemblymen remained 128.
On May 13, 1846, the Legislature re-apportioned the Senate districts: Kings County was transferred from the 1st to the 2nd District; Ulster County from the 2nd to the 3rd District; and Schenectady County from the 3rd to the 4th District.
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. The Anti-Rent Party nominated some candidates, but mostly cross-endorsed Whigs or Democrats, according to their opinion on the rent issue.
The Democratic state convention met on October 1 at Syracuse, and nominated Gov. Silas Wright and Lt. Gov. Addison Gardner for re-election.
The Liberty state convention nominated Henry Bradley for Governor and William L. Chaplin for Lieutenant Governor.
The New York state election, 1846 was held on November 3. John Young (W) was elected Governor; and Lt. Gov. Addison Gardiner (D) was re-elected. The new Constitution was adopted by a large majority, with 221,528 votes for and 92, 436 against it.
Harvey R. Morris (2nd D.), Thomas Crook (4th D.), Samuel H. P. Hall (6th D.), Abraham Gridley (7th D.), Francis H. Ruggles (8th D.); and assemblymen John Townsend (1st D.), Ira Harris (3rd D.) and Nelson J. Beach (5th D.) were elected to the State Senate.
The Legislature met for the regular session at the Old State Capitol in Albany on January 5, 1847; and adjourned on May 13.
On February 12, Albert Lester (D) was elected President pro tempore of the State Senate, to preside during the absence of Lt. Gov. Gardiner.
On June 7, the New York special judicial election, 1847, was held to fill the judicial offices elective under the new State Constitution, for example the judges of the New York Court of Appeals, the justices of the district benches of the New York Supreme Court, county judges, surrogates, district attorneys etc. Lt. Gov. Gardiner was elected to the Court of Appeals. State Senators Ira Harris and Augustus C. Hand; and Assemblyman William B. Wright were elected to the Supreme Court.
On July 5, Lt. Gov. Gardiner took office on the Court of Appeals, and President pro tempore Albert Lester became Acting Lieutenant Governor.
The Legislature met for a special session on September 8, 1847; and adjourned on December 15.
On September 27, the Legislative passed "An Act to provide for the electioon of a Lieutenant Governor", to fill the vacancy at the next State election.
- The First District (4 seats) consisted of New York and Richmond counties.
- The Second District (4 seats) consisted of Dutchess, Kings, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan and Westchester counties.
- The Third District (4 seats) consisted of Albany, Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Rensselaer, Schoharie and Ulster counties.
- The Fourth District (4 seats) consisted of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Montgomery, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington counties.
- The Fifth District (4 seats) consisted of Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Oswego and Otsego counties.
- The Sixth District (4 seats) consisted of Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Chemung, Chenango, Livingston, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins counties.
- The Seventh District (4 seats) consisted of Cayuga, Cortland, Onondaga, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne and Yates counties.
- The Eighth District (4 seats) consisted of Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties.
The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued in office as members of this Legislature. John Townsend, Ira Harris and Nelson J. Beach changed from the Assembly to the Senate.
Under the provisions of the new State Constitution, all senators were legislated out of office at the end of the year 1847, and all 32 seats were to be filled at the election in November 1847 with senators elected to a two-year term in single districts.
|First||David R. Floyd-Jones*||1 year||Democrat/Hunker|
|George Folsom*||2 years||Native American|
|Edward Sanford*||3 years||Democrat|
|John Townsend*||4 years||Democrat|
|Second||Joshua B. Smith*||1 year||Democrat|
|Robert Denniston*||2 years||Democrat|
|Saxton Smith*||3 years||Democrat|
|Harvey R. Morris||4 years||Democrat|
|Third||Stephen C. Johnson*||1 year||Democrat/Barnburner|
|John P. Beekman*||2 years||Democrat|
|William H. Van Schoonhoven*||3 years||Whig/Anti-Rent|
|Ira Harris*||4 years||Whig/Anti-Rent||resigned his seat during the recess, after
election to the New York Supreme Court
|Fourth||Orville Clark*||1 year||Democrat/Hunker|
|Augustus C. Hand*||2 years||Democrat||resigned his seat during the recess, after
election to the New York Supreme Court
|Samuel Young*||3 years||Democrat/Barnburner|
|Thomas Crook||4 years||Democrat|
|Fifth||Thomas Barlow*||1 year||Democrat/Barnburner||until July 4, 1847, also First Judge of the Madison County Court|
|Enoch B. Talcott*||2 years||Democrat/Barnburner|
|Joshua A. Spencer*||3 years||Whig|
|Nelson J. Beach*||4 years||Whig||on November 2, 1847, elected a Canal Commissioner|
|Sixth||Clark Burnham*||1 year||Democrat|
|George D. Beers*||2 years||Democrat|
|Thomas J. Wheeler*||3 years||Democrat|
|Samuel H. P. Hall||4 years||Whig|
|Seventh||Albert Lester*||1 year||Democrat||on February 12, 1847, elected President pro tempore:
from July 5, 1847, Acting Lieutenant Governor
|Henry J. Sedgwick*||2 years||Democrat/Barnburner|
|Richard H. Williams*||3 years||Democrat|
|Abraham Gridley||4 years||Whig|
|Eighth||Frederick F. Backus*||1 year||Whig|
|Carlos Emmons*||2 years||Whig|
|Gideon Hard*||3 years||Whig|
|Francis H. Ruggles||4 years||Whig|
- Clerk: Isaac R. Elwood
- Deputy Clerk: John P. Lott
- Sergeant-at-Arms: Charles Bryan
- Doorkeeper: Jared S. Halsey
- Assistant Doorkeeper: Martin Miller
- Janitor: Burgess Wands
- Messengers: John H. Finnegan, Joseph Courtney Jr.
- Albany County (4 seats)
- Allegany County (2 seats)
- Broome County (1 seat)
- Cattaraugus County (2 seats)
- Cayuga County (3 seats)
- Chautauqua County (2 seats)
- Chemung County (1 seat)
- Chenango County (2 seats)
- Clinton County (1 seat)
- Columbia County (2 seats)
- Cortland County (1 seat)
- Delaware County (2 seats)
- Dutchess County (3 seats)
- Erie County (4 seats)
- Essex County (1 seat)
- Franklin County (1 seat)
- Fulton and Hamilton counties (1 seat)
- Genesee County (2 seats)
- Greene County (2 seats)
- Herkimer County (2 seats)
- Jefferson County (3 seats)
- Kings County (3 seats)
- Lewis County (1 seat)
- Livingston County (2 seats)
- Madison County (2 seats)
- Monroe County (3 seats)
- Montgomery County (2 seats)
- The City and County of New York (16 seats)
- Niagara County (2 seats)
- Oneida County (4 seats)
- Onondaga County (4 seats)
- Ontario County (2 seats)
- Orange County (3 seats)
- Orleans County (1 seat)
- Oswego County (2 seats)
- Otsego County (3 seats)
- Putnam County (1 seat)
- Queens County (1 seat)
- Rensselaer County (3 seats)
- Richmond County (1 seat)
- Rockland County (1 seat)
- St. Lawrence County (3 seats)
- Saratoga County (2 seats)
- Schenectady County (1 seat)
- Schoharie County (2 seats)
- Seneca County (1 seat)
- Steuben County (3 seats)
- Suffolk County (2 seats)
- Sullivan County (1 seat)
- Tioga County (1 seat)
- Tompkins County (2 seats)
- Ulster County (2 seats)
- Warren County (1 seat)
- Washington (2 seats)
- Wayne County (2 seats)
- Westchester County (2 seats)
- Wyoming County (1 seat)
- Yates County (1 seat)
The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued as members of this Legislature.
Party affiliations follow the vote on Clerk, except Keyser and Walsh (both NYC).
- Clerk: Philander B. Prindle
- Sergeant-at-Arms: Daniel B. Davis
- Doorkeeper: Asa W. Carpenter
- Assistant Doorkeeper: DeWitt C. Crooker
- Second Assistant Doorkeeper: Robert Grant
- Hammond says that this Assembly had 68 Whigs, 50 Democrats and 10 Anti-Renters. The vote on State officers indicates a division of 72 to 56, the "Anti-Renters" being aligned 4 to 6 with the two major parties.
- Laws of New York (1846; "An Act for the apportionment of the members of the Assembly of this State"; pg. 48ff)
- Laws of New York (1846; "An Act for the arrangement of Senate Districts"; pg. 468f)
- see Journal of the Assembly (70th Session) (1847; VOL. II, pg 1836f)
- see Journal of the Assembly (70th Session) (1847; Vol. I);
and tickets in New York Co. in Miscellaneous Documents printed by order of the House of Representatives (1848; pg. 43ff)
- see A Compilation of Cases of Contested Elections to Seats in the Assembly of the State of New York (1871; pg. 182–206)
- see A Compilation of Cases of Contested Elections to Seats in the Assembly of the State of New York (1871; pg. 180ff)
- The New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough (Weed, Parsons and Co., 1858) [pg. 109 and 441 for Senate districts; pg. 135f for senators; pg. 148f for Assembly districts; pg. 232ff for assemblymen]