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19th New York State Legislature

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

19th New York State Legislature
18th 20th
Federal Hall-Archibald Robertson.jpg
The Old New York City Hall, where the Legislature first met in 1784. From January 1785 to August 1790, the Congress of the Confederation and the 1st United States Congress met here, and the building was renamed Federal Hall. From 1791 to 1793, and from 1795 to 1796, the State Legislature met again here. The building was demolished in 1812. (1798)
JurisdictionNew York, United States
TermJuly 1, 1795 – June 30, 1796
PresidentLt. Gov. Stephen Van Rensselaer (Fed.)
Party controlFederalist (14-9)
SpeakerWilliam North (Fed.)
Party controlFederalist
1stJanuary 6, 1796 – April 11, 1796

The 19th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 6 to April 11, 1796, during the first year of John Jay's governorship, in New York City.

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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.

On February 7, 1791, the Legislature had re-apportioned the Senate and Assembly districts, according to the figures of the 1790 United States Census.

Matthew Clarkson resigned, leaving a vacancy in the Southern District; and John Williams was elected to Congress, leaving a vacancy in the Eastern District.

At this time the politicians were divided into two opposing political parties: the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans.[1]


The State election was held from April 28 to 30, 1795. U.S. Chief Justice John Jay was elected Governor; and State Senator Stephen Van Rensselaer was elected Lieutenant Governor; both were Federalists.

Senators Samuel Jones, Joshua Sands (both Southern D.), Thomas Tillotson (Middle D.) and Philip Schuyler (Western D.) were re-elected. Abraham Schenck (Middle D.) and Ebenezer Russell (Eastern D.) were also elected to full terms in the Senate. Philip Livingston (Southern D.) and Ambrose Spencer (Eastern D.) were elected to fill the vacancies.


The Legislature was to meet at Federal Hall in New York City on January 5, 1796, but assembled a quorum only the next day. Both Houses adjourned on April 11.

William North was re-elected Speaker with a vote of 29 against 18 for James Watson; both were Federalists.[2]

On February 12, 1796, the Legislature divided the State into seven districts, in each of which an Assistant Attorney General[3] was to be the principal prosecuting officer, instead of the Attorney General and his deputy who had prosecuted statewide. The Attorney General continued to prosecute personally in New York City; the original Assistant Attorneys General appointed were: Nathaniel Lawrence, Jacob Radcliff, Ambrose Spencer, Anthony I. Blanchard, Abraham Van Vechten, William Stuart and Thomas R. Gold.

On March 4, 1796, the Legislature re-apportioned the Senate and Assembly districts, based on the figures of the New York State Census of 1795. The number of State Senators was increased from 24 to 43; the number of assemblymen was increased from 70 to 108; the two-county Assembly districts were dismembered, and several new counties were created.

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.

District Senators Term left Party Notes
Southern Henry Cruger* 1 year Federalist
John Schenck* 1 year Dem.-Rep.
Selah Strong* 1 year Federalist
Ezra L'Hommedieu* 2 years Federalist
Philip Livingston[4] 3 years Federalist elected to fill vacancy, in place of Matthew Clarkson
Richard Hatfield* 3 years Federalist
Samuel Jones* 4 years Federalist also Recorder of New York City
Joshua Sands* 4 years Federalist elected to the Council of Appointment
Middle Joseph Hasbrouck* 1 year Dem.-Rep.
John Cantine* 2 years Dem.-Rep.
Reuben Hopkins* 2 years Dem.-Rep.
John D. Coe* 3 years Dem.-Rep.
Abraham Schenck 4 years Dem.-Rep. elected to the Council of Appointment
Thomas Tillotson* 4 years Dem.-Rep.
Eastern John Livingston*[5] 1 year Dem.-Rep.
Robert Woodworth* 1 year Dem.-Rep.
Zina Hitchcock* 2 years Federalist
Ambrose Spencer 3 years Federalist elected to fill vacancy, in place of John Williams;
from February 23, 1796, also Assistant Attorney General (3rd D.)
Ebenezer Russell 4 years Federalist elected to the Council of Appointment
Western Michael Myers* 2 years Federalist elected to the Council of Appointment
Jacobus Van Schoonhoven* 2 years Federalist
John Frey* 3 years Federalist
vacant 3 years Stephen Van Rensselaer was elected Lt. Gov.
Philip Schuyler* 4 years Federalist


  • 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.

County Assemblymen Party Notes
Albany and
Gerrit Abeel
Leonard Bronck Federalist
Johannes Dietz* Federalist
Jacob Hochstrasser*
Francis Nicoll Federalist
William North* Federalist re-elected Speaker
Dirck Ten Broeck Federalist
Columbia Benjamin Birdsall
James Brebner*
Patrick Hamilton
Stephen Hogeboom
Philip L. Hoffman Dem.-Rep.
Samuel Ten Broeck
Dutchess David Brooks* Federalist
Richard Davis
Jesse Oakley* Federalist
Jacob Smith*
Solomon Sutherland
Jesse Thompson Federalist
Isaac Van Wyck*
Herkimer and
Jonas Platt Federalist
Kings Peter Vandervoort* Federalist
Montgomery David Cady
Lewis Dubois
Frederick Gettman* Federalist
Daniel Mills
New York Gabriel Furman Federalist
Richard Furman* Federalist
Alexander Lamb Dem.-Rep.
Jacob Morton Federalist
Jotham Post Jr.* Federalist
William P. Smith Federalist
James Watson* Federalist
Ontario Thomas Morris* Federalist
Orange Seth Marvin
David Pye* Dem.-Rep.
James W. Wilkin Dem.-Rep.
Otsego Jacob Morris* Federalist
Queens Stephen Carman* Federalist
Samuel Clowes*
Nathaniel Lawrence* Dem.-Rep. from February 16, 1796, also Assistant Attorney General (1st D.)
Rensselaer John Bird Federalist
Daniel Gray* Federalist
Rowland Hall Federalist
Benjamin Hicks* Federalist
John Knickerbacker Jr. Federalist
Richmond Lewis Ryerss*
Saratoga John Bleecker
Adam Comstock* Dem.-Rep.
John McClelland
Elias Palmer
Suffolk Jared Landon
Abraham Miller
Joshua Smith Jr.*
Silas Wood Federalist
Tioga Emanuel Coryell Federalist
Ulster John Addison Dem.-Rep.
Philip D. Bevier Dem.-Rep.
Ebenezer Foote Federalist
Andrew McCord Dem.-Rep.
James Oliver Federalist
and Clinton
David Hopkins* Dem.-Rep.
Timothy Leonard
Edward Savage* Dem.-Rep.
Thomas Smith
Westchester Joseph Carpenter Federalist
Mordecai Hale Federalist
Elias Newman
Abel Smith*
Charles Teed Federalist


  • Clerk: Oliver L. Ker
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Robert Hunter
  • Doorkeeper: Richard Ten Eyck


  1. ^ The Anti-Federalists 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 History of Political Parties in the State of New-York, from the Ratification of the Federal Constitution to 1840 by Jabez D. Hammond (4th ed., Vol. 1, H. & E. Phinney, Cooperstown, 1846; pages 95)
  3. ^ The office was renamed in 1801 "District Attorney" when these districts still comprised multiple counties. The name of the office was not changed after 1818 when each county became its own D.A.
  4. ^ Philip Livingston, son of Peter Van Brugh Livingston
  5. ^ John Livingston, fifth son of Robert Livingston (1708–1790), 3rd Lord of the Manor


This page was last edited on 8 March 2019, at 23:55
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