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69th New York State Legislature

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

69th New York State Legislature
68th 70th
Old State Capitol at Albany NY.jpg
The Old State Capitol (1879)
Jurisdiction New York, United States
Term January 1 – December 31, 1846
Members 32
President Lt. Gov. Addison Gardiner (D)
Temporary President Samuel Young, from April 29
Party control Democratic (25-6-1)
Members 128
Speaker William C. Crain (D)
Party control Democratic (74-52-2)
1st January 6 – May 13, 1846

The 69th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 6 to May 13, 1846, during the second year of Silas Wright's governorship, in Albany.

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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 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. In and near New York City, the originally called American Republican Party became now known as the "Native Americans", "Nativists" or "Know Nothings".[1]


The State election was held on November 4, 1845. The question whether to hold a Constitutional convention was answered in the affirmative, with 213,084 votes for and 33,283 votes against it.

State Senator Gideon Hard (8th D.) was re-elected.

1845 New York State Senate election result
District Democrat Whig Liberty Native American
First Edward Sanford 20,301 Bradish 14,439 119 Ely 9,831
Second Saxton Smith 19,929 Warren 15,723 94 Palen 361
Third Nichols 18,846 William H. Van Schoonhoven 24,929 440
Fourth Samuel Young 21,488 James G. Hopkins 20,428 2,378
Fifth Lyman J. Walworth 18,908 Joshua A. Spencer 19,337 4,641
Sixth Thomas J. Wheeler 20,790 Dana 19,424 2,031
Seventh Richard H. Williams 19,422 John M. Holley 19,052 2,996
Eighth Stoddard 14, 701 Gideon Hard 20,543 2,390


On January 5, the Democratic assemblymen met in caucus and nominated William C. Crain (Barnb.) for Speaker with 48 votes against 22 for Benjamin Bailey (Barnb.).

The Legislature met for the regular session at the Old State Capitol in Albany on January 6, 1846; and adjourned on May 13.

William C. Crain (D) was elected Speaker with 73 votes against 44 for John Young (W) and 7 for Ira Harris (A-R). William W. Dean (D) was elected Clerk of the Assembly with 77 votes against 48 for George W. Weed (W).

On February 2, the Legislature elected Adjutant General Thomas Farrington (Barnb.) to succeed Benjamin Enos (Hunker) as State Treasurer.

On March 7, Andrew G. Chatfield (Hunker) was elected Speaker pro tempore with 50 votes against 45 for Benjamin Bailey (Barnb.) and 3 for Alvah Worden (W), to preside over the Assembly during the absence of Speaker Crain.

On March 30, 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.[2]

On April 22, the Legislature enacted that the number of delegates to the Constitutional convention should be the same as the number of assemblymen, and that they should be elected according to the new Assembly apportionment.[3]

The delegates to the Constitutional convention were elected on April 28.

On April 29, Samuel Young was elected President pro tempore of the Senate.

On May 13, 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.[4]

The Constitutional convention met at Albany on June 1; and adjourned on October 9. Ex-Lt. Gov. John Tracy (D) was elected President of the Convention with 69 votes against a scattered vote of the Whigs. The amended Constitution abolished rotative renewal of the Senate, required all legislators to be elected in single districts, and made the State cabinet offices elective by popular ballot. The new Constitution was submitted to the electorate at the next State election, and was adopted by a large majority.

The Whig state convention met on September 23 at Utica; Philip Hone was Chairman. They nominated Assemblyman John Young for Governor; and Hamilton Fish for Lieutenant Governor.

The Democratic state convention met on October 1 at Syracuse; Chester Loomis was Chairman. They nominated Gov. Silas Wright and Lt. Gov. Addison Gardner for re-election.

The Anti-Rent state convention met in October at Beardsley's Hotel in Albany, and endorsed John Young (W) for Governor; and Lt. Gov. Addison Gardiner (D) for re-election.

The Native American state convention nominated Ogden Edwards for Governor; and State Senator George Folsom for Lieutenant Governor.

The Liberty state convention nominated Henry Bradley for Governor and William L. Chaplin for Lieutenant Governor.

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. William H. Van Schoonhoven changed from the Assembly to the Senate.

District Senators Term left Party Notes
First John A. Lott* 1 year Democrat/Hunker
David R. Floyd-Jones* 2 years Democrat/Hunker also a delegate to the Constitutional convention
George Folsom* 3 years Native American
Edward Sanford 4 years Democrat
Second Abraham A. Deyo* 1 year Democrat/Barnburner
Joshua B. Smith* 2 years Democrat
Robert Denniston* 3 years Democrat
Saxton Smith 4 years Democrat
Third John C. Wright* 1 year Democrat
Stephen C. Johnson* 2 years Democrat/Barnburner
John P. Beekman* 3 years Democrat
William H. Van Schoonhoven* 4 years Whig/Anti-Rent also a delegate to the Constitutional convention
Fourth Thomas B. Mitchell* 1 year Democrat/Hunker
Orville Clark* 2 years Democrat/Hunker
Augustus C. Hand* 3 years Democrat
Samuel Young 4 years Democrat/Barnburner on April 29, 1846, elected President pro tempore
Fifth Carlos P. Scovil* 1 year Democrat
Thomas Barlow* 2 years Democrat/Barnburner also First Judge of the Madison County Court
Enoch B. Talcott* 3 years Democrat/Barnburner
Joshua A. Spencer 4 years Whig
Sixth Calvin T. Chamberlain* 1 year Democrat
Clark Burnham* 2 years Democrat
George D. Beers* 3 years Democrat
Thomas J. Wheeler 4 years Democrat
Seventh John Porter* 1 year Democrat
Albert Lester* 2 years Democrat
Henry J. Sedgwick* 3 years Democrat/Barnburner
Richard H. Williams 4 years Democrat
Eighth Harvey Putnam* 1 year Whig
Frederick F. Backus* 2 years Whig
Carlos Emmons* 3 years Whig
Gideon Hard* 4 years Whig


  • Clerk: Isaac R. Elwood

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.

Party affiliations follow the vote on Speaker.[5]

District Assemblymen Party Notes
Albany Ira Harris* Whig/Anti-Rent also a delegate to the Constitutional convention
Thomas L. Shafer Democrat/Anti-Rent
Robert D. Watson Democrat/Anti-Rent
Allegany Nathaniel Coe* Whig
John G. Collins* Whig
Broome Salphronius H. French Whig
Cattaraugus Elijah A. Rice Whig
Gideon Searl Whig
Cayuga Samuel Bell Whig
William J. Cornwell Whig
John T. Rathbun Whig
Chautauqua Madison Burnell Whig
Valorus Lake Whig
Elisha Ward Whig
Chemung Abraham Primmer Democrat
Chenango Solomon Ensign Jr. Democrat
William G. Sands Democrat
Hiram E. Storrs Whig
Clinton Noyes P. Gregory* Democrat
Columbia William E. Heermance Democrat/Anti-Rent
Jeremiah Hover Democrat/Anti-Rent
Levi Pitts Democrat/Anti-Rent
Cortland Amos Graves Democrat
John Miller Whig also a delegate to the Constitutional convention
Delaware Orrin Foote Anti-Rent
Reuben Lewis Anti-Rent
Dutchess Elnathan Haxtun Whig
George T. Pierce Democrat unsuccessfully contested by Epenetus Crosby (W)[6]
Daniel Sherwood Democrat
Erie John T. Bush* Whig
Nathan K. Hall Whig on November 3, 1846, elected to the 30th U.S. Congress
James Wood Whig
Essex Caleb D. Barton Whig
Franklin Sidney Lawrence Democrat on November 3, 1846, elected to the 30th U.S. Congress
Fulton and Hamilton Clark S. Grinnell Democrat
Genesee Heman Blodgett Whig
Aaron Long* Whig
Greene Neely Lawrence Democrat
Peter W. Van Bergen Democrat
Herkimer William C. Crain* Democrat/Barnburner elected Speaker
Henry Eysaman Democrat
Jefferson Henderson Howk Democrat
Elihu M. McNeil Democrat
Levi Miller Democrat
Kings Gamaliel King Democrat
John A. Voorhees Democrat
Lewis Nelson J. Beach Whig
Livingston William S. Fullerton Whig
John Young* Whig on November 3, 1846, elected Governor of New York
Madison Horace Hawks Democrat
Thomas T. Loomis Democrat
Stephen M. Potter Democrat
Monroe Mathias L. Angle Whig
William C. Bloss* Whig
James R. Thompson Whig
Montgomery Benjamin Baird Democrat
Theodore R. Lidelle Democrat
New York Joseph C. Albertson Democrat
Gerardus Boyce Democrat
John E. Develin Democrat
Joshua Fleet Democrat
Robert H. Ludlow Democrat
Wilson Small Democrat
Thomas Spofford Democrat
Jonathan D. Stevenson Democrat
Alexander Stewart Democrat
Samuel J. Tilden Democrat also a delegate to the Constitutional convention
James H. Titus Democrat
John Townsend Democrat
Alexander Wells Democrat
Niagara Lot Clark Whig
Morgan Johnson Whig
Oneida Chauncey C. Cook Whig
Benjamin F. Cooper Whig
Daniel G. Dorrance Whig
Russel Fuller Whig
Onondaga Julius C. Kinne* Democrat
Elihu L. Phillips Whig
Lake I. Tefft* Democrat
Alonzo Wood Democrat
Ontario Elias Cost Whig
Joseph C. Shelton Whig
Alvah Worden* Whig also a delegate to the Constitutional convention
Orange William L. Benedict Democrat
Wilkins Seacord Democrat
Robert R. Thompson Democrat
Orleans Dexter Kingman Whig
Oswego Reuben Drake Democrat
Thomas Skelton* Democrat
Otsego Ebenezer Blakely Whig/Anti-Rent
Delos W. Dean Democrat
Benjamin Morehouse Democrat
Putnam Benjamin Bailey* Democrat/Barnburner
Queens John Willis Democrat
Rensselaer Henry Z. Hayner Whig/Anti-Rent
Samuel McClellan Whig/Anti-Rent
Justus Nolton Whig/Anti-Rent
Richmond George H. Cole Democrat
Rockland Samson Marks Democrat
St. Lawrence Asa L. Hazelton* Democrat
Bishop Perkins Democrat also a delegate to the Constitutional convention
Saratoga Chauncey Boughton Whig
James M. Marvin Whig
Schenectady David M. Moore Democrat
Schoharie Thomas Lawyer Democrat
Thomas Smith Whig/Anti-Rent
Seneca Alanson Woodworth Democrat
Steuben Andrew G. Chatfield Democrat/Hunker on March 7, 1846, elected Speaker pro tempore
Otto F. Marshall Democrat
William C. Rogers* Democrat
Suffolk Samuel B. Gardiner Democrat
Richard A. Udall Democrat
Sullivan Richard Oliver Democrat
Tioga Gideon O. Chase* Democrat
Tompkins James W. Montgomery Democrat
Henry S. Walbridge Whig
Ulster Charles Drake Democrat
Joseph W. Low Democrat
Warren Winfield S. Sherwood Democrat/Hunker
Washington James M. Foster Whig
Lodewecus S. Viele Whig
Wayne Elias Durfee Whig
James T. Wisner Whig
Westchester John R. Hayward Democrat
Ezra Marshall Democrat
Wyoming Arden Woodruff Whig
Andrew W. Young* Whig also a delegate to the Constitutional convention
Yates George W. Wolcott Democrat


  • Clerk: William W. Dean
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Samuel S. Wood
  • Doorkeeper: Horatio G. Pope
  • Assistant Doorkeeper: Israel R. Neahr
  • Second Assistant Doorkeeper: Francis N. Bradt


  1. ^ Native American at this time described white citizens born in the United States ("native born citizen"), as opposed to immigrants who had been granted citizenship after their arrival; not to be confused with "Native American", a term of modern use referring to people who during the 19th century were called "Indians".
  2. ^ Laws of New York (1846; "An Act for the apportionment of the members of the Assembly of this State"; pg. 48ff)
  3. ^ see: Laws of New York, pg. 98
  4. ^ Laws of New York (1846; "An Act for the arrangement of Senate Districts"; pg. 468f)
  5. ^ see Journal of the Assembly (69th Session) (1846)
  6. ^ The case of Pierce vs. Crosby was decided in favor of Pierce on February 13, 1846, but Crosby (who had been present in Albany awaiting the outcome) was granted travel expenses and payment of wages equal to a member up to this day; see A Compilation of Cases of Contested Elections to Seats in the Assembly of the State of New York (1871; pg. 164–180)


This page was last edited on 25 February 2018, at 23:00
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