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12th New York State Legislature

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

12th New York State Legislature
11th 13th
Old Albany City Hall.png
The Old Albany City Hall, where the Legislature met from 1788 to 1789 (undated)
JurisdictionNew York, United States
TermJuly 1, 1788 – June 30, 1789
PresidentLt. Gov. Pierre Van Cortlandt
Members70 (de facto 65)
SpeakerJohn Lansing Jr.
1stDecember 11, 1788 – March 3, 1789

The 12th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from December 11, 1788, to March 3, 1789, during the twelfth year of George Clinton's governorship, in Albany.

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Under the provisions of the New York Constitution of 1777, the State Senators were elected on general tickets in the senatorial districts, and were then divided into four classes. Six senators each drew lots for a term of 1, 2, 3 or 4 years and, beginning at the election in April 1778, every year six Senate seats came up for election to a four-year term. Assemblymen were elected countywide on general tickets to a one-year term, the whole assembly being renewed annually.

In March 1786, the Legislature enacted that future Legislatures meet on the first Tuesday of January of each year unless called earlier by the governor. No general meeting place was determined, leaving it to each Legislature to name the place where to reconvene, and if no place could be agreed upon, the Legislature should meet again where it adjourned.


The State election was held from April 29 to May 1, 1788. Senators Ezra L'Hommedieu (Southern D.) and Peter Van Ness (Western D.) were re-elected; and Paul Micheau, Isaac Roosevelt (both Southern D.), and Assemblyman James Clinton (Middle D.) were also elected to the Senate. Assemblyman Edward Savage (Eastern D.) may have been elected at the same time to the State Senate (Eastern D.) and to the Assembly (Washington Co.) but was seated in the Assembly; the Senate seat vacated by the expiration of Ebenezer Russell's term remained vacant.

At the same time, delegates to a Convention to deliberate upon the adoption of the U.S. Constitution were elected. This was the first time that the politicians were divided into two opposing political parties: those who advocated the creation of a stronger federal government and the adoption of the US Constitution, as drafted, were henceforth known as Federalists, those who advocated stronger State governments and demanded many changes to the proposed Constitution as Anti-Federalists, or Democratic-Republicans.[1]


The Convention met from June 17 to July 26, 1788, at Poughkeepsie, and ratified the U.S. Constitution by a vote of 30 to 27.

The State Legislature met on December 11, 1788, at the Old City Hall in Albany; and adjourned on March 3, 1789.

On January 27, 1789, the Legislature divided the State of New York into six congressional districts, and the first congressional elections in New York were held on March 3 and 4, 1789.

In February and March 1789, the Legislature debated at length "An act for prescribing the times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators of the United States of America, to be chosen in this State" but the Anti-Federalist Assembly majority and the Federalist Senate majority could not agree, and they adjourned without having elected U.S. Senators. Both parties hoped to win the next State election, to be held in April 1789, and agreed to adjourn earlier than usual, leaving it to the new members to find a way out of the deadlock.

State Senate


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. James Clinton changed from the Assembly to the Senate. The vote of the members of this Legislature who had been delegates to the US Constitution ratifying convention is marked either "For ratification" or "Against ratification".

District Senators Term left Party Notes
Southern Thomas Tredwell* 1 year Anti-Fed. Against ratification
Lewis Morris* 2 years Federalist For ratification
John Vanderbilt* 2 years Federalist
James Duane* 3 years Federalist For ratification
John Laurance* 3 years Federalist elected on March 3-4, 1789, to the 1st United States Congress
Samuel Townsend* 3 years Anti-Fed. elected to the Council of Appointment
Ezra L'Hommedieu* 4 years Fed./Anti-Fed. L'Hommedieu ran on both tickets for re-election, but was
at this time "clearly a Federalist"[3]
Paul Micheau 4 years Federalist
Isaac Roosevelt 4 years Federalist For ratification
Middle John Haring* 1 year Anti-Fed. Against ratification
Cornelius Humfrey* 1 year
John Hathorn* 2 years Anti-Fed. elected to the Council of Appointment;
elected on March 3-4, 1789, to the 1st United States Congress
Anthony Hoffman* 3 years Federalist
Jacobus Swartwout* 3 years Anti-Fed. Against ratification
James Clinton* 4 years Anti-Fed. Against ratification
Eastern David Hopkins* 1 year Anti-Fed. Against ratification
John Williams* 2 years Anti-Fed. Against ratification;
elected to the Council of Appointment[4]
vacant 4 years Edward Savage is listed in the Civil List of 1858, but
he was seated in the Assembly during this session.[5]
Western Volkert P. Douw* 1 year
Philip Schuyler* 1 year Federalist
Peter Schuyler*[6] 2 years Federalist
Abraham Yates Jr.* 2 years Anti-Fed.
Jellis Fonda* 3 years
Peter Van Ness* 4 years Anti-Fed. Against ratification;
elected to the Council of Appointment


  • Clerk: Abraham B. Bancker

State Assembly


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. The vote of the members of this Legislature who had been delegates to the US Constitution ratifying convention is marked either "For ratification" or "Against ratification".

County Assemblymen Party Notes
Albany John Duncan Anti-Fed.
John Lansing Jr. Anti-Fed. elected Speaker;
also Mayor of Albany;
Against ratification
John Thompson Anti-Fed.
Cornelius Van Dyck Anti-Fed.
Henry K. Van Rensselaer Anti-Fed.
Jeremiah Van Rensselaer Anti-Fed.
John Younglove* Fed./Anti-Fed. Younglove ran on both tickets[7]
Columbia Matthew Adgate Anti-Fed. Against ratification
John Bay Anti-Fed. Against ratification;
previously a member from Albany Co.
John Kortz Anti-Fed.
Cumberland none No election returns from these counties[8]
Dutchess County Jonathan Akins Anti-Fed. Against ratification
Samuel A. Barker Fed./Anti-Fed. Barker ran on both tickets[9]
Isaac Bloom* Fed./Anti-Fed. Bloom ran on both tickets[10]
John DeWitt Jr.* Anti-Fed. For ratification
Jacob Griffin Anti-Fed.
Gilbert Livingston Federalist For ratification
Matthew Patterson*
Kings Aquila Giles
Peter Vandervoort Federalist For ratification
Montgomery John Frey* Anti-Fed. Against ratification
William Harper Anti-Fed. Against ratification
Henry Staring Anti-Fed. Against ratification
Volkert Veeder* Anti-Fed. Against ratification
John Winn* Anti-Fed. Against ratification
Christopher P. Yates Anti-Fed.
New York William W. Gilbert
Richard Harison* Federalist
Nicholas Hoffman Federalist
Henry Brockholst Livingston
Nicholas Low* Federalist
Alexander Macomb
Comfort Sands* Federalist
Gulian Verplanck* Federalist
John Watts Jr. Federalist
Orange John Carpenter Anti-Fed.
Jeremiah Clark* Anti-Fed.
Henry Wisner Jr.* Anti-Fed.
vacant The election was tied in fourth place:
the incumbent Peter Taulman (A.-F.) and
James Post (Fed.) received 128 votes each,
thus there was "no choice."
Queens Stephen Carman* Anti-Fed. For ratification
Whitehead Cornwell* Anti-Fed. For ratification
Samuel Jones* Anti-Fed. For ratification
John Schenck Anti-Fed. For ratification
Richmond Abraham Bancker[11] Federalist For ratification
John C. Dongan* Anti-Fed.
Suffolk Nathaniel Gardiner Federalist
Jonathan N. Havens* Anti-Fed. For ratification
David Hedges* Anti-Fed.
Henry Scudder Anti-Fed. For ratification
John Smith* Anti-Fed. For ratification
Ulster John Cantine* Anti-Fed. Against ratification
Ebenezer Clark Anti-Fed. Against ratification
Johannes G. Hardenbergh Anti-Fed.
Cornelius C. Schoonmaker* Anti-Fed. Against ratification
Nathan Smith* Anti-Fed.
Christopher Tappen[12] Anti-Fed.
Washington Joseph McCracken Anti-Fed.
Edward Savage* Anti-Fed.
Peter B. Tearse* Anti-Fed.
Alexander Webster* Anti-Fed.
Westchester Thaddeus Crane Federalist For ratification
Jonathan Horton Federalist
Philip Livingston[13] Federalist For ratification
Nathan Rockwell Federalist
Walter Seaman Federalist
Philip Van Cortlandt Federalist For ratification


  • Clerk: John McKesson


  1. ^ The Anti-Federalists soon 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. ^ The Civil List of 1858 places Columbia Co. in the Eastern D. but this is contradicted by Schechter (pg. 181). Columbia was partitioned from Albany, and no senatorial re-apportionment being made must have remained in the Western D., it was transferred to the Eastern D. only in 1791.
  3. ^ see Schechter (pg. 200)
  4. ^ This was the only time Williams was elected to the Council of Appointment. After his expulsion in 1779, Williams was ostracised by the other members when he served another three terms in the Senate(1782-1794)—to the extent of electing in 1782 the absent Elkanah Day, who never took his seat—and Williams was elected this year only because the previous member David Hopkins was ineligible this year and the other seat was vacant.
  5. ^ The Reluctant Pillar:New York and the Adoption of the Federal Constitution by Stephen L. Schechter (page 203)
  6. ^ Peter Schuyler, of Canajoharie (now Danube, New York), nephew of fellow senator Philip Schuyler
  7. ^ See Schechter (p. 181), also note that there are only six names listed as Federalists in the election result.
  8. ^ Cumberland and Gloucester counties seceded from the Province of New York in January 1777, and became part of the Vermont Republic, while the Constitutional Convention was still debating the new Constitution. The New York Constitution was approved in April 1777, not recognizing the secession. Neither county did file any election returns with the Secretary of State of New York in 1788.
  9. ^ See Schechter (p. 182)
  10. ^ See Schechter (p. 182)
  11. ^ Abraham Bancker, nephew of Evert Bancker
  12. ^ Christopher Tappen, of Kingston, brother of Cornelia Tappen, the wife of Gov. George Clinton
  13. ^ Philip Livingston, son of Peter Van Brugh Livingston


This page was last edited on 15 December 2018, at 23:03
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