73rd New York State Legislature

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73rd New York State Legislature
72nd 74th
Old State Capitol at Albany NY.jpg
The Old State Capitol (1879)
JurisdictionNew York, United States
TermJanuary 1 – December 31, 1850
PresidentLt. Gov. George W. Patterson (W)
Temporary PresidentJames M. Cook (W), from April 9
Party controlWhig (17-15)
SpeakerNoble S. Elderkin (D), left on January 26;
Robert H. Pruyn (W), Acting, from January 28 to March 13;
Ferral C. Dininny (D), Acting, from March 13
Party controlDemocratic (65-63)
1stJanuary 1 – April 10, 1850

The 73rd New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 1 to April 10, 1850, during the second year of Hamilton Fish's governorship, in Albany.


Under the provisions of the New York Constitution of 1846, 32 Senators were elected in single-seat senatorial districts for a two-year term, the whole Senate being renewed biennially. The senatorial districts (except those in New York City) were made up of entire counties. 128 Assemblymen were elected in single-seat districts to a one-year term, the whole Assembly being renewed annually. The Assembly districts were made up of entire towns, or city wards, forming a contiguous area, all in the same county. The City and County of New York was divided into four senatorial districts, and 16 Assembly districts.

At this time there were two major political parties: the Democratic Party and the Whig Party. After the split in 1848, the Democratic factions (see Barnburners and Hunkers and Free Soil Party) held separate state conventions, but ran joint tickets. The Anti-Rent Party mostly endorsed Whig or Democratic nominees, and was the balance of power at this election.


The New York state election, 1849 was held on November 6. The eight statewide elective offices up for election were carried by 4 Whigs, 3 Hunkers and 1 Barnburner, all of whom had been endorsed by the Anti-Renters.

17 Whigs and 15 Democrats were elected to a two-year term in the State Senate (1850–1851). 64 Whigs and 64 Democrats were declared elected to the State Assembly, resulting in a "split Assembly."


The Legislature met for the regular session at the Old State Capitol in Albany on January 1, 1850; and adjourned on April 10.

64 Democrats and 64 Whigs appeared at the opening of the session, constituting a "split assembly." The election of Daniel Fullerton (W) was contested, and objections were raised to his taking the seat. In view of the precedent of 1816 (see 39th New York State Legislature#Sessions), upon taking his seat, Fullerton "claimed to have been fairly, legally and equitably chosen," but "not desiring to cause any delay or embarrassment in the organization of the House," he "declined to vote or take any part in the election of officers of the House." Noble S. Elderkin (D) was elected Speaker with 63 votes against 62 for Robert H. Pruyn (W). Elderkin and Pruyn did not vote, as the candidates traditionally did not vote for themselves.[1] After much haggling, James R. Rose (D) was elected Clerk of the Assembly with 64 votes against 63 for the incumbent Philander B. Prindle (W).

On January 24, leave of absence for two weeks was granted to Speaker Elderkin to go home to his ill wife

On January 26, Robert H. Pruyn was chosen, by unanimous consent, Speaker pro tempore to preside over the Assembly during the absence of Speaker Elderkin who was expected to return at some later time, but did not appear again during the remainder of the session.[2]

On February 26, Daniel T. Durland (D) was seated in place of Fullerton (W) which ended the "split Assembly" and gave the Democrats a nominal majority of 2. Due to the absence of Speaker Elderkin, de facto the Whigs had a majority of 1, which was inverted after seating Durland.

On March 13, Ferral C. Dininny (D) was elected Speaker pro tempore, to succeed Pruyn, to preside over the Assembly during the continued absence of Speaker Elderkin who was by then not expected to return during this session.

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. John A. Cross and James W. Beekman changed from the Assembly to the Senate.

District Senator Party Notes
1st William Horace Brown Democrat
2nd John A. Cross* Whig
3rd Richard S. Williams Whig
4th Clarkson Crolius Whig
5th James W. Beekman* Whig
6th Edwin D. Morgan Whig
7th Benjamin Brandreth Democrat
8th John Snyder Democrat
9th James C. Curtis Democrat
10th Marius Schoonmaker Whig on November 5, 1850, elected to the 32nd U.S. Congress
11th Stephen H. Johnson Whig
12th Thomas B. Carroll Democrat
13th James M. Cook* Whig on April 9, elected President pro tempore
14th Thomas Crook Democrat
15th William A. Dart Democrat
16th George H. Fox Democrat
17th Sidney Tuttle Democrat
18th John Noyes[3] Democrat
19th Charles A. Mann Democrat
20th Asahel C. Stone Democrat
21st Alanson Skinner Democrat
22nd George Geddes* Whig
23rd Levi Dimmick Whig
24th William Beach Whig
25th Henry B. Stanton Democrat
26th George B. Guinnip Democrat
27th Samuel Miller Whig
28th Alonzo S. Upham Whig
29th Charles Colt* Whig
30th Charles D. Robinson Whig
31st George R. Babcock Whig
32nd Robert Owen Jr. Whig


  • Clerk: William H. Bogart
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: George W. Bull
  • Doorkeeper: Ransom Van Valkenburgh
  • Assistant Doorkeeper: George A. Loomis

State Assembly[edit]


The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued as members of this Legislature. Frederick S. Martin changed from the Senate to the Assembly.

Party affiliations follow the vote on Speaker.

District Assemblymen Party Notes
Albany 1st Cornelius Vanderzee Democrat
2nd Joel B. Nott Whig
3rd Robert H. Pruyn* Whig on January 26, elected Speaker pro tempore
4th William S. Shepard Whig
Allegany 1st Anthony T. Wood Whig
2nd Joseph Corey Democrat
Broome Edward Y. Park Whig
Cattaraugus 1st Frederick S. Martin* Whig on November 5, 1850, elected to the 32nd U.S. Congress
2nd Horace C. Young* Whig
Cayuga 1st Hiram Koon Democrat
2nd John Richardson Whig
3rd Ashbel Avery Whig
Chautauqua 1st John P. Hall Whig
2nd Samuel Barrett Whig
Chemung Philo Jones Democrat
Chenango 1st Isaac L. F. Cushman Democrat
2nd Rufus Chandler Democrat
Clinton Gorton T. Thomas Democrat
Columbia 1st Philip G. Lasher Whig
2nd John H. Overhiser Democrat
Cortland Lewis Kingsley Whig
Delaware 1st George H. Winsor Democrat
2nd Richard Morse Whig
Dutchess 1st Charles Robinson Democrat
2nd Miner C. Story Democrat
3rd Stephen Haight Whig
Erie 1st Orlando Allen Whig
2nd Elijah Ford Democrat
3rd Ira E. Irish Whig
4th Joseph Candee Whig
Essex George W. Goff* Whig
Franklin William A. Wheeler Whig
Fulton and Hamilton Cyrus H. Brownell Democrat
Genesee 1st John C. Gardner Whig
2nd Martin C. Ward* Whig
Greene 1st Alonzo Greene Democrat
2nd Theodore L. Prevost Whig
Herkimer 1st Asa Vickery Democrat
2nd Humphrey G. Root Democrat
Jefferson 1st John Winslow Democrat
2nd Joel Haworth Democrat
3rd Alfred Fox Democrat
Kings 1st Joseph A. Yard Democrat
2nd Edwards W. Fiske* Whig
3rd John H. Baker Whig
Lewis John Newkirk Democrat
Livingston 1st Archibald H. McLean* Whig
2nd Philip Woodruff* Whig
Madison 1st John Clark Whig
2nd Thomas O. Bishop Democrat
Monroe 1st M. Day Hicks Whig
2nd L. Ward Smith* Whig
3rd Elisha Harmon* Whig
Montgomery 1st Samuel G. Green Whig
2nd Charles Hubbs Democrat
New York 1st John H. White Whig
2nd James Bowen* Whig
3rd Henry J. Allen* Democrat
4th Abram Wakeman Whig
5th Thomas Truslow Whig
6th Jonathan W. Allen Whig
7th Henry J. Raymond Whig
8th Benjamin W. Bradford Whig
9th Jeremiah V. D. B. Fowler Democrat
10th James Monroe Whig
11th Gilbert C. Deane Democrat
12th Abraham B. Davis Democrat
13th Joseph B. Varnum, Jr.* Whig
14th George G. Waters Whig
15th John J. Townsend Whig
16th Albert Gilbert* Whig
Niagara 1st George W. Jermain Whig
2nd James Van Horn Jr. Whig
Oneida 1st William J. Bacon Whig
2nd Ralph McIntosh Democrat
3rd Robert Frazier Democrat
4th Luther Leland Democrat
Onondaga 1st James Little Democrat
2nd Benjamin J. Cowles Whig
3rd Elias W. Leavenworth Whig
4th Harvey G. Andrews Democrat
Ontario 1st John L. Dox Whig
2nd Josiah Porter* Whig
Orange 1st William Graham Democrat
2nd Albert G. Owen Democrat
3rd Daniel Fullerton Whig contested; seat vacated on February 26
Daniel T. Durland Democrat seated on February 26[4]
Orleans Silas M. Burroughs Democrat
Oswego 1st William Lewis Jr. Democrat
2nd Luke D. Smith Democrat
Otsego 1st Anson C. Parshall Democrat
2nd Joseph Peck Democrat
3rd Edward Pratt Democrat
Putnam William Bowne Democrat
Queens John S. Snedeker Democrat
Rensselaer 1st George Lesley Whig
2nd Edward P. Pickett Democrat
3rd Lansing Sheldon Democrat
Richmond Benjamin P. Prall Democrat
Rockland Brewster J. Allison Democrat
St. Lawrence 1st Harlow Godard* Democrat
2nd John Horton Democrat
3rd Noble S. Elderkin* Democrat on January 1, elected Speaker;
left Assembly on January 26, to be with his dying wife
Saratoga 1st James Noxon Democrat
2nd Frederick J. Wing Whig
Schenectady James Allen Whig
Schoharie 1st Daniel D. Dodge Democrat
2nd John Avery Democrat
Seneca Alfred Bolter Democrat
Steuben 1st Edwin F. Church Democrat
2nd Ferral C. Dininny Democrat on March 13, elected Speaker pro tempore
3rd James Alley Whig
Suffolk 1st David Pierson Democrat
2nd Walter Scudder Democrat
Sullivan James F. Bush* Whig
Tioga Isaac Lott Whig
Tompkins 1st Henry Brewer Democrat
2nd Elias W. Cady Whig
Ulster 1st Milton Sheldon Democrat
2nd John P. Davis Democrat
Warren Cyrus Burnham Democrat
Washington 1st David Sill Whig
2nd Calvin Pease Whig
Wayne 1st James M. Wilson Democrat
2nd Elihu Durfee Whig
Westchester 1st William H. Robertson* Whig
2nd Jesse Lyon Democrat
Wyoming James Sprague Whig
Yates Melatiah H. Lawrence Democrat


  • Clerk: James R. Rose
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Samuel Reynolds
  • Doorkeeper: John K. Anderson
  • First Assistant Doorkeeper: Matthew Higgins
  • Second Assistant Doorkeeper: Thomas Hollenbeck


  1. ^ see Journal of the Assembly (73rd Session) (1850; pg. 7f)
  2. ^ Elderkin's wife died on April 8, and his father on May 19, 1850.
  3. ^ John Noyes (c. 1798–1852), son of State Senator John Noyes (c. 1769–1830); see History of Preston, NY
  4. ^ see A Compilation of Cases of Contested Elections to Seats in the Assembly of the State of New York (1871; pg. 228–240)