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140th New York State Legislature

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

140th New York State Legislature
139th 141st
The facade of the New York State Capitol building in bright daylight
Jurisdiction New York, United States
Term January 1 – December 31, 1917
Members 51
President Edward Schoeneck (R)
Temporary President Elon R. Brown (R)
Party control Republican (35-15)
Members 150
Speaker Thaddeus C. Sweet (R)
Party control Republican (99-49-2)
1st January 3 – May 10, 1917
2nd July 31 – October 2, 1917

The 140th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 3 to October 2, 1917, during the third year of Charles S. Whitman's governorship, in Albany.

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)}}\pard\plain \ltrpar\s15\ql \li0\ri0\sb100\sa100\sbauto1\saauto1\widctlpar\wrapdefault\aspalpha\aspnum\faauto\adjustright\rin0\lin0\itap0\pararsid16017237 \rtlch\fcs1 \af0\afs24\alang1025 \ltrch\fcs0 \fs24\lang1033\langfe1033\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp1033 {\rtlch\fcs1 \af0 \ltrch\fcs0 \insrsid16017237 In December of 1869 assembled delegates began the constitutional convention mandated by the voters in the elections of the previous year. The state constitution had served as the law of the land since 1848. But in the years following the Civil War a wave of political spoilsmanship and corruption had seemingly engulfed Illinois politics. Every year an increasing number of private bills, devoted to promoting specific individuals or local i n terests, swamped the legislature. Determined "rings" of political insiders pillaged the state treasury through contracts with the penitentiary and the new state industrial university at Champaign, among others. Voters responded by demanding a new state co nstitution. \par The new document largely forbade such special laws. It curbed the legislature's ability to override a governor's veto and regulated grain warehouses and railroads in response to agrarian demands as well. The constitution of 1870 also granted su ffrage to African Americans in Illinois, in keeping with the provisions of the Fifteenth Amendment. While Union armies fought to return the Confederacy to the Union and, ultimately, destroy the institution of slavery, African Americans in Illinois had not enjoyed the franchise. Despite this constitution's provision, and the legislature's rapid ratification of the Amendment, many Illinoisians continued to resist any notion of black civil rights or social equalities. Democrats often continued to portray Repu blicans' drive for black equality as a threat to white supremacy. And many Republicans themselves, while supporting the abstract notion of black equality, balked at the prospect of its realization. \par The matter of political spoils badly damaged the Republica n Party in Illinois. Despite the new constitution's closing of several legal loopholes, many officeholders and their friends persisted in enriching themselves at the public's expense. In 1869's local elections Republicans and Democrats often combined forc e s to run "citizens" tickets that defeated the "ring tickets" put forward by Republican machines. In other locales Democratic candidates displaced Republicans tarnished by scandal. At a national level, the issue of political corruption split the Republican Party. \par President Grant had excelled as a military leader, but in Washington he often fell victim to the machinations of cronies whom he appointed to important positions. As in Illinois, t he search for political spoils increasingly dominated the day-to-day operations of the government. In this period many Republicans distanced themselves from their party and began to work for political reform. Reformers often criticized governments' persis tent awards of lucrative state contracts to political insiders and the wholesale appointment of political hacks to civil service positions. Their movement resulted in the Liberal Republican Party's challenge to the two-party system in 1872. \par Many of Illinois' top Republicans, including Governor John Palmer, the German-American leader Gustave Koerner, Senator Lyman Trumbull and Supreme Court Chief Justice David Davis, sought the new party's p residential nomination. But the Liberal Republican convention in Cincinnati, Ohio could not agree on a strong candidate, and comprised by naming the New York newspaper editor Horace Greeley. Democrats, at loose ends, accepted Greeley as their own nominee as well. \par The new party signaled the emergence of a new middle class of professional men, including many Republicans and some northern Democrats, devoted to administrative competence in government, but the Liberal Republicans made little attempt to appeal t o traditional Democratic voters. Nor did they address the concerns of farmers or other voters alienated by the two-party system. Illinois, like the rest of the north, gave its solid support to President Grant, and he returned to Washington for a second te rm marred by corruption and scandal. \par Although they could not vote, Illinois women made a modest political gain in this period. In 1870 the voters of}{\rtlch\fcs1 \af0 \ltrch\fcs0 \insrsid16017237 }{\rtlch\fcs1 \af0 \ltrch\fcs0 \insrsid16017237 Jerse}{\rtlch\fcs1 \af0 \ltrch\fcs0 \insrsid16017237 y}{\rtlch\fcs1 \af0 \ltrch\fcs0 \insrsid16017237 }{\rtlch\fcs1 \af0 \ltrch\fcs0 \insrsid16017237 Count}{\rtlch\fcs1 \af0 \ltrch\fcs0 \insrsid16017237 y}{\rtlch\fcs1 \af0 \ltrch\fcs0 \insrsid16017237 elected Amelia Hobbs as Justice of the Peace. She became the first woman elected to office in the state. In 1871, the case of Myra Bradford reminded women reformers how far they had to go. Upon passing her bar examination Ms. Bradford applied for a license to practice law, but w as denied by the Illinois Supreme Court on the basis of her sex. Persistent, she finally won admission to the bar in 1892. \par In 1870 the Chicago minister Dwight L. Moody met the gospel singer Ira Sankey at a religious meeting in Ohio. Moody immediately recruited Sankey to his cause. Together the two found widespread popularity, touring Europe and the}{\rtlch\fcs1 \af0 \ltrch\fcs0 \insrsid16017237 }{\rtlch\fcs1 \af0 \ltrch\fcs0 \insrsid16017237 United State}{\rtlch\fcs1 \af0 \ltrch\fcs0 \insrsid16017237 s}{\rtlch\fcs1 \af0 \ltrch\fcs0 \insrsid16017237 in search of converts to a new fundamentalist faith. In a period that saw the rise of new historical criticism of the scriptures and the impact of Darwin's theory of evolution, Moody preached an ecumenical Christianity that undermined Calvinist doctrines of original sin while emphasizing Christ's love for all men. Many critics found Moody sentimental and lacking in intellectual rigor, but he became the Gilded Age's leading evangelist. \par The nation's rapid economic development, accelerated during the Civil War, made Chicago the hub of northern commerce. Strategically located at the nex us of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River's navigable drainage, the city also became a crucial rail link between eastern commercial centers and the rapidly expanding West. New York interests especially invested large amounts of capital in Chicago an d its railroads, making it a city of warehouses and merchants gathering in raw materials like lumber and grain and providing western farmers and settlers with finished goods. \par The city grew pell-mell, and as a major center in the production of lumber, Chicago rose with wooden structures. In 1871 a severe drought plagued Illinois. By late September of that year Chicago had seen little or no rain for almost three months. Several major fires tested the city's fire department, and destroyed several pieces of fire fighting equipment. \par Chicagoans remembered October 9, 1871 as an unseasonably warm Sunday, and when another fire broke out on the west side that evening, a relentless southw est wind drove it toward the center of city. The fire soon jumped the Chicago River and destroyed much of the north side. The extremely high temperatures generated by the burning of thousands of wooden buildings demolished brick and stone structures as we ll, usually by incinerating wooden beams mounted behind facades. The earth shook from the collapse of large buildings, and Chicagoans fled their homes with only such things as they could carry. \par When the Chicago fire receded early on the morning of Tuesday, October 11, an estimated three hundred persons had lost their lives. Eighteen thousand buildings had burned, a loss of almost two hundred million dollars. Neighboring communities were quick to send aid. As word of the fire spread, entire trains loaded wi t h food, clothing and other basic necessities arrived in the city's railroad stations. Individuals, some from as far away as Europe, sent cash contributions totaling nearly five million dollars to the newly expanded Chicago Relief and Aid Society. While po werless to provide the city with direct aid, the state legislature voted to relieve Chicago from the payment of its debts on the Illinois and Michigan Canal, effectively providing it with funds. \par The Chicago fire took lives and ruined fortunes, but it also provided the city with an opportunity to rebuild itself from a new vision. In 1869 a transcontinental railroad spanned the United States for the first time, and made Chicago the gateway t o western markets. New York investors, eager to preserve their access to these markets, bankrolled large portions of Chicago's rebuilding. The city became a mecca for architects and city planners eager to experiment with new techniques in an atmosphere of continual construction. In place of the acres of pine structures that made up the old Chicago, new brick and stone buildings arose. \par Many Republicans pushed hard for compulsory education of children, but Democrats often opposed these measures as means of i nstituting Yankee religion and values in youths from different cultural backgrounds, all while raising taxes. Democrats also opposed the growing temperance movement that had taken root among many Republicans. Germans-Americans especially resented temperan ce reformers' successes in banning alcohol consumption on Sundays, and many left the Republican Party. \par Private associations like the Grange continued to gain popularity in rural Illinois. In 1872 alone Illinoisians organized 69 new local Granges, where onl y eight had been organized up to that year. Granges admitted women on equal footing with men, and became hubs of community life by sponsoring picnics and programs that included lectures and poetry reading. The Grange's' crusade against middlemen in busine ss indirectly benefited Chicago's merchants, who took up a new mail-order business. Montgomery Ward's and Sears Roebuck each appealed directly to Grangers eager to cut their local merchants out their business, and won devoted legions of rural customers. \par Despite Chicago's disastrous fire, the city continued and even redoubled its remarkable growth, and played an ever-larger role in the national life. But trouble was brewing in downstate Ill inois. 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Under the provisions of the New York Constitution of 1894, re-apportioned in 1906 and 1907, 51 Senators and 150 assemblymen were elected in single-seat districts; senators for a two-year term, assemblymen for a one-year term. The senatorial districts were made up of entire counties, except New York County (twelve districts), Kings County (eight districts), Erie County (three districts) and Monroe County (two districts). The Assembly districts were made up of contiguous area, all within the same county.

At this time there were two major political parties: the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The Socialist Party, the Prohibition Party, the Progressive Party, the Independence League, the Socialist Labor Party and the American Party also nominated tickets.


The New York state election, 1916, was held on November 7. Charles S. Whitman and Edward Schoeneck were re-elected Governor and Lieutenant Governor; both Republicans. The other eight statewide elective offices were also carried by Republicans. The approximate party strength at this election, as expressed by the vote for Governor, was: Republicans 836,000; Democrats 687,000; Socialists 63,000; Prohibition 22,000; Progressives 7,000; Independence League 5,000; Socialist Labor 4,000; and American 2,000.


The Legislature met for the regular session at the State Capitol in Albany on January 3, 1917; and adjourned on May 10.

Thaddeus C. Sweet (R) was re-elected Speaker.

Elon R. Brown (R) was re-elected Temporary President of the State Senate.

The Legislature redistricted the Senate seats,[1] and re-apportioned the number of assemblymen per county. Bronx County—which had been part of New York County at the time of the previous apportionment and occupied roughly the area of four Assembly districts—was properly separated, and was apportioned eight seats. New York County (without the Bronx) lost eight seats; and Erie, Jefferson and Ulster counties lost one seat each. Queens County gained two seats; and Broome, Nassau, Richmond, Schenectady and Westchester counties gained one seat each.[2]

The Legislature met for a special session at the State Capitol in Albany on July 31, 1917. This session was called to enact food control legislation, which would regulate the seizure and shipping of food to the Allies in Europe, helping them with their war effort against Germany during World War I.[3]

On August 24, the Food Control Bill was passed by the Legislature. The bill established a three-member Food Control Commission. The Legislature took a recess until September 6.[4]

On September 7, the State Senate rejected the nomination of George Walbridge Perkins as Chairman of the Food Control Commission, and took a recess until September 25.[5]

On October 2, the State Senate rejected again the nomination of Perkins; and then confirmed the appointment of John Mitchell, Jacob Gould Schurman and Charles A. Wieting to the Food Control Commission. The Legislature then adjourned sine die.[6]

State Senate



The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued in office as members of this Legislature. Salvatore A. Cotillo, John Knight, Ross Graves and Leonard W. H. Gibbs changed from the Assembly to the Senate.

Note: For brevity, the chairmanships omit the words "...the Committee on (the)..."

District Senator Party Notes
1st George L. Thompson* Republican re-elected
2nd Peter M. Daly Democrat resigned on October 11[7]
3rd Thomas H. Cullen* Democrat re-elected
4th Charles C. Lockwood* Republican re-elected
5th William J. Heffernan* Democrat re-elected
6th Charles F. Murphy Republican
7th Daniel J. Carroll* Democrat re-elected
8th Alvah W. Burlingame, Jr.* Republican re-elected
9th Robert R. Lawson* Republican re-elected
10th Alfred J. Gilchrist* Republican re-elected
11th Bernard Downing Democrat
12th Jacob Koenig Democrat
13th Jimmy Walker* Democrat re-elected
14th James A. Foley* Democrat re-elected
15th John J. Boylan* Democrat re-elected
16th Robert F. Wagner* Democrat re-elected; Minority Leader
17th Ogden L. Mills* Republican re-elected; resigned on July 31, 1917[8]
Chairman of Affairs of the City of New York[9]
18th Albert Ottinger Republican
19th Edward J. Dowling Democrat
20th Salvatore A. Cotillo* Democrat
21st John J. Dunnigan* Democrat re-elected
22nd John V. Sheridan Democrat
23rd George Cromwell* Republican re-elected
24th George A. Slater* Republican re-elected
25th John D. Stivers* Republican re-elected
26th James E. Towner* Republican re-elected
27th Charles W. Walton* Republican re-elected
28th Henry M. Sage* Republican re-elected
29th George B. Wellington* Republican re-elected
30th George H. Whitney* Republican re-elected
31st James W. Yelverton Republican
32nd Theodore Douglas Robinson Republican
33rd James A. Emerson* Republican re-elected
34th N. Monroe Marshall* Republican re-elected
35th Elon R. Brown* Republican re-elected; re-elected Temporary President
36th Charles W. Wicks* Republican re-elected
37th Adon P. Brown Republican
38th J. Henry Walters* Republican re-elected
39th William H. Hill* Republican re-elected
40th Charles J. Hewitt* Republican re-elected
41st Morris S. Halliday* Republican re-elected
42nd William A. Carson Republican
43rd Charles D. Newton* Republican re-elected
44th John Knight* Republican
45th George F. Argetsinger* Republican re-elected
46th John B. Mullan* Republican re-elected
47th George F. Thompson* Republican re-elected
48th Ross Graves* Republican
49th Samuel J. Ramsperger* Democrat re-elected
50th Leonard W. H. Gibbs* Republican
51st (George E. Spring)* Republican re-elected; did not attend the session[10]
and died on January 25, 1917


  • Clerk: Ernest A. Fay
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Charles R. Hotaling
  • Stenographer:

State Assembly

Note: For brevity, the chairmanships omit the words "...the Committee on (the)..."


District Assemblymen Party Notes
Albany 1st Clarence F. Welsh* Republican
2nd John G. Malone* Republican
3rd William C. Baxter* Republican
Allegany William Duke, Jr.* Republican
Broome Edmund B. Jenks Republican
Cattaraugus DeHart H. Ames* Republican
Cayuga L. Ford Hager Republican
Chautauqua 1st Leon L. Fancher* Republican
2nd Joseph A. McGinnies* Republican
Chemung Robert P. Bush* Democrat
Chenango Bert Lord* Republican
Clinton Wallace E. Pierce Republican
Columbia William Wallace Chace* Republican
Cortland George H. Wiltsie* Republican
Delaware James S. Allen Republican
Dutchess 1st James C. Allen* Republican
2nd Frank L. Gardner* Republican
Erie 1st Alexander Taylor* Republican
2nd John W. Slacer Republican
3rd Nicholas J. Miller* Republican
4th James M. Mead* Democrat
5th John A. Lynch* Democrat
6th Alexander A. Patrzykowski Democrat
7th Earl G. Danser Republican
8th Herbert A. Zimmerman Republican
9th Nelson W. Cheney* Republican
Essex Raymond T. Kenyon* Republican
Franklin Warren T. Thayer* Republican
Fulton and Hamilton Burt Z. Kasson* Republican
Genesee Louis H. Wells* Republican
Greene Harding Showers Republican
Herkimer Edward O. Davies Republican
Jefferson 1st H. Edmund Machold* Republican Chairman of Ways and Means
2nd Willard S. Augsbury* Republican
Kings 1st George H. Ericson Republican
2nd Patrick H. Larney Democrat
3rd Frank J. Taylor* Democrat
4th Peter A. McArdle* Democrat
5th James H. Caulfield, Jr. Republican
6th Nathan D. Shapiro* Republican
7th Daniel F. Farrell* Democrat
8th John J. McKeon* Democrat
9th Frederick S. Burr* Democrat
10th Fred M. Ahern* Republican
11th George R. Brennan* Republican
12th William T. Simpson* Republican
13th Morgan T. Donnelly Democrat
14th John Peter La Frenz* Democrat
15th Jeremiah F. Twomey* Democrat
16th Samuel R. Green Republican
17th Frederick A. Wells* Republican
18th Wilfred E. Youker Republican
19th Benjamin C. Klingmann Democrat
20th August C. Flamman* Republican
21st Joseph A. Whitehorn Socialist unsuccessfully contested by Isaac Mendelsohn (D)[11]
22nd Charles H. Duff* Republican
23rd Abraham I. Shiplacoff* Socialist
Lewis Henry L. Grant* Republican
Livingston George F. Wheelock* Republican
Madison Morell E. Tallett* Republican
Monroe 1st James A. Harris* Republican
2nd Simon L. Adler* Republican Majority Leader
3rd Harry B. Crowley Republican
4th Frank Dobson* Republican
5th Franklin W. Judson* Republican
Montgomery Erastus Corning Davis* Republican
Nassau Thomas A. McWhinney* Republican
New York 1st John J. Ryan* Democrat
2nd Peter J. Hamill* Democrat
3rd Caesar B. F. Barra* Democrat
4th Henry S. Schimmel* Democrat
5th Maurice McDonald* Democrat
6th Nathan D. Perlman* Republican
7th Peter P. McElligott* Democrat
8th Abraham Goodman* Democrat
9th Charles D. Donohue* Democrat
10th Abner Greenberg Democrat contested by Max S. Seidler (R)
11th James F. Mahony* Democrat
12th Joseph D. Kelly* Democrat
13th Fredolin F. Straub Democrat
14th Robert Lee Tudor* Democrat
15th Abram Ellenbogen* Republican
16th Martin G. McCue* Democrat
17th Martin Bourke Republican
18th Mark Goldberg* Democrat
19th Perry M. Armstrong* Democrat
20th Frank Aranow* Democrat
21st Harold C. Mitchell Republican
22nd Maurice Bloch* Democrat
23rd Earl A. Smith Democrat
24th Owen M. Kiernan* Democrat
25th Robert McC. Marsh* Republican
26th Meyer Levy* Democrat
27th Schuyler M. Meyer Republican
28th Charles Novello Republican contested by James M. Vincent (D)
29th Alfred D. Bell* Republican
30th Timothy F. Gould* Democrat
31st Jacob Goldstein* Democrat
Bronx 32nd William S. Evans* Democrat
33rd Earl H. Miller* Democrat
34th M. Maldwin Fertig* Democrat
35th Joseph M. Callahan* Democrat Minority Leader; on November 6, 1917, elected Clerk of Bronx Co.
Niagara 1st William Bewley* Republican
2nd Alan V. Parker* Republican
Oneida 1st Albert H. Geiersbach Democrat
2nd Louis M. Martin* Republican
3rd George T. Davis* Republican
Onondaga 1st Manuel J. Soule Republican
2nd Harley J. Crane Republican
3rd George R. Fearon* Republican
Ontario Heber E. Wheeler* Republican
Orange 1st William F. Brush Republican
2nd Charles L. Mead* Republican
Orleans Frank H. Lattin Republican
Oswego Thaddeus C. Sweet* Republican re-elected Speaker
Otsego Allen J. Bloomfield* Republican
Putnam John P. Donohoe Republican
Queens 1st Peter A. Leininger Democrat
2nd Peter J. McGarry* Democrat
3rd William H. O'Hare* Democrat
4th Frank E. Hopkins Republican
Rensselaer 1st John F. Shannon* Democrat
2nd Arthur Cowee* Republican
Richmond Henry A. Seesselberg Democrat
Rockland William A. Serven* Republican
St. Lawrence 1st Frank L. Seaker* Republican
2nd Edward A. Everett* Republican
Saratoga Gilbert T. Seelye* Republican
Schenectady Walter S. McNab* Republican
Schoharie George A. Parsons Democrat
Schuyler Henry J. Mitchell* Republican
Seneca Lewis W. Johnson Republican
Steuben 1st Samuel E. Quackenbush Republican
2nd Richard M. Prangen* Republican
Suffolk 1st DeWitt C. Talmage* Republican
2nd Henry A. Murphy* Republican
Sullivan Seymour Merritt Democrat
Tioga Daniel P. Witter* Republican
Tompkins Casper Fenner* Republican
Ulster 1st Joel Brink Republican
2nd Abram P. Lefevre* Republican
Warren Henry E. H. Brereton* Republican
Washington Charles O. Pratt* Republican Chairman of Judiciary
Wayne Frank D. Gaylord Republican
Westchester 1st George Blakely* Republican
2nd William S. Coffey* Republican
3rd Walter W. Law, Jr.* Republican
4th Floy D. Hopkins* Republican
Wyoming Bert P. Gage Republican
Yates Howard S. Fullagar* Republican



  1. ^ For the exact boundaries of the senate districts see Manual for the Use of the Legislature (1921; pg. 549–560)
  2. ^ For the number of assemblymen per county, and the exact boundaries of the Assembly districts, see Manual for the Use of the Legislature (1921; pg. 596–633)
  3. ^ LEGISLATURE MEETS TO PASS FOOD ACT in NYT on August 1, 1917
  4. ^ FOOD BILL WINS IN LEGISLATURE in NYT on August 25, 1917
  5. ^ REJECTS PERKINS FOR FOOD BOARD in NYT on September 8, 1917
  6. ^ PERKINS REJECTED; MITCHELL CHOSEN in NYT on October 3, 1917
  7. ^ Journal of the Senate (140th Session) (1918; pg. 3f)
  8. ^ MILLS QUITS STATE SENATE in NYT on August 1, 1917
  9. ^ COMMITTEE ON CITY NAMED in NYT on January 11, 1917
  10. ^ State Senator Spring Is Dying in NYT on January 6, 1917
  11. ^ Mendelsohn claimed that Whitehorn was ineligible because he was not a resident of the 21st District. Whitehorn admitted that he resided in the 6th District of Kings County, but the Assembly Committee on the Judiciary rejected Mendelsohn's claim, upholding previous decisions in similar cases: while the voters were legally required to reside within the district where they vote, the candidates were not; see Whitehorn Keeps His Place in NYT on April 6, 1917


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