40th New York State Legislature
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40th New York State Legislature

40th New York State Legislature
39th 41st
Old State Capitol at Albany NY.jpg
The Old State Capitol (1879)
Legislative bodyNew York State Legislature
JurisdictionNew York, United States
TermJuly 1, 1816 - June 30, 1817
PresidentLt. Gov. John Tayler (Dem.-Rep.), until February 24, 1817
Temporary PresidentPhiletus Swift (Dem.-Rep.), from February 24, 1817
Party controlDemocratic-Republican (25-7)
SpeakerDavid Woods (Dem.-Rep.)
Party controlDemocratic-Republican (84-33)
1stNovember 5 - 12, 1816
2ndJanuary 14 - April 15, 1817

The 40th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from November 5, 1816, to April 15, 1817, during the tenth year of Daniel D. Tompkins's governorship, and while John Tayler was Acting Governor, in Albany.


Under the provisions of the New York Constitution of 1777, amended by the Constitutional Convention of 1801, 32 Senators were elected on general tickets in the four 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.

In 1797, Albany was declared the State capital, and all subsequent Legislatures have been meeting there ever since. In 1799, the Legislature enacted that future Legislatures meet on the last Tuesday of January of each year unless called earlier by the governor.

On April 17, 1815, the Legislature had re-apportioned the Senate districts, to take effect in May 1815: Dutchess, Putnam and Rockland Co. (and 1 seat) were transferred from the Middle to the Southern District; Albany Co. from the Eastern, and Chenango, Otsego and Schoharie Co. from the Western (and 3 seats) were transferred to the Middle District; Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Co. (and 3 seats) were transferred from the Western to the Eastern District.[1] However, the State senators already in office, and the senators elected in April 1815 under the previous apportionment, should represent the District in which they resided. When taking their seats at the next session in January 1816, in three districts there was a number of senators differing from the apportionment, which was corrected at the election in 1816.

On February 20, 1816, a caucus of Democratic-Republican legislators nominated Gov. Daniel D. Tompkins and Lt. Gov. John Tayler for re-election. The Federalists nominated U.S. Senator Rufus King for Governor; and State Senator George Tibbits for Lieutenant Governor.

At this time the politicians were divided into two opposing political parties: the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans.[2]


The State election was held from April 30 to May 2, 1816. Gov. Daniel D. Tompkins and Lt. Gov. John Tayler were re-elected.

Senator Martin Van Buren (Middle D.) was re-elected. Walter Bowne, John D. Ditmis (both Southern D.), John Noyes, Peter Swart (both Middle D.), Ephraim Hart, John Knox and William Mallery (all three Western D.) were also elected to the Senate. All eight were Democratic-Republicans.


The Legislature met at the Old State Capitol in Albany on November 5, 1816, to elect presidential electors; and adjourned on November 12.

David Woods (Dem.-Rep.) was elected Speaker with 84 votes against 33 for James Emott (Fed.).

On November 8, the Legislature chose 29 electors, all Democratic-Republicans: Henry Rutgers, Lemuel Chipman, John W. Seaman, Jacob Drake, James Fairlie, Theodorus W. Van Wyck, Joseph D. Monell, John Blake Jr., Jacob Wertz, Gabriel North, Charles E. Dudley, Benjamin Smith, Samuel Lewis, Alexander McNish, Artemus Aldrich, Augustus Wright, Peter S. Van Orden, Henry Becker, Aaron Haring, Israel W. Clark, Daniel Root, Montgomery Hunt, Nicoll Fosdick, Eliphalet Edmonds, George Pettit, Richard Townley, Samuel Lawrence, Nathaniel Rochester and Worthy L. Churchill. They cast their votes for James Monroe and Daniel D. Tompkins.

The Legislature met for the regular session on January 14, 1817; and adjourned on April 15.

On January 28, Gov. Tompkins sent a message to the Legislature, "recommending the entire abolition of slavery in the state of New-York, to take place on the 4th of July, 1827," which was passed into law during this session.[3]

On February 12, the Legislature elected Gerrit L. Dox (Dem.-Rep.) to succeed Charles Z. Platt (Fed.) as New York State Treasurer.

On February 24, Gov. Tompkins resigned, to take office as U.S. Vice President on March 4. Lt. Gov. John Tayler became Acting Governor for the remainder of the legislative year, until June 30; and Philetus Swift (Dem.-Rep.) was elected president pro tempore of the State Senate.

On March 25, the first ever State Convention met to nominate a candidate for Governor of New York. The Democratic-Republican party members from counties which were represented in the Assembly by Federalists had complained that these counties were not taking any part in the nomination under the previous system, under which candidates were nominated by legislative caucus. This time, a Democratic-Republican convention composed of the State legislators, and delegates elected in the Federalist counties, nominated Canal Commissioner DeWitt Clinton for Governor, and Acting Gov. John Tayler for Lieutenant Governor. Clinton received 85 votes against 41 for Peter B. Porter.

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 Jonathan Dayton* 1 year Dem.-Rep.
Samuel G. Verbryck* 1 year Dem.-Rep.
Darius Crosby* 2 years Dem.-Rep.
Peter R. Livingston* 3 years Dem.-Rep.
Walter Bowne 4 years Dem.-Rep. elected to the Council of Appointment
John D. Ditmis 4 years Dem.-Rep.
Middle Lucas Elmendorf* 1 year Dem.-Rep.
Farrand Stranahan* 1 year Dem.-Rep.
Moses I. Cantine* 2 years Dem.-Rep.
William Ross* 2 years Dem.-Rep.
Isaac Ogden* 3 years Dem.-Rep.
Abraham Van Vechten* 3 years Federalist
John Noyes 4 years Dem.-Rep. elected to the Council of Appointment
Peter Swart 4 years Dem.-Rep.
Martin Van Buren* 4 years Dem.-Rep. also New York Attorney General
Eastern James Cochran* 1 year Federalist
Perley Keyes* 1 year Dem.-Rep.
Samuel Stewart* 1 year Federalist
John J. Prendergast* 2 years Dem.-Rep. elected to the Council of Appointment
George Tibbits* 2 years Federalist
David Allen* 3 years Federalist
Henry J. Frey* 3 years Federalist
Ralph Hascall* 3 years Federalist
Western Henry Bloom* 1 year Dem.-Rep. elected to the Council of Appointment
Bennett Bicknell* 2 years Dem.-Rep.
Chauncey Loomis* 2 years Dem.-Rep. died April 6, 1817
Philetus Swift* 2 years Dem.-Rep. on February 24, 1817, elected Temporary President
Stephen Bates* 3 years Dem.-Rep.
Henry Seymour* 3 years Dem.-Rep.
Ephraim Hart 4 years Dem.-Rep.
John Knox 4 years Dem.-Rep.
William Mallery 4 years Dem.-Rep.


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.

District Assemblymen Party Notes
Albany John H. Burhans
John J. Ostrander* Federalist
Gideon Tabor
Rufus Watson
and Steuben
Timothy H. Porter*
William B. Rochester Dem.-Rep.
Broome Joshua Whitney Federalist
and Niagara
Jediah Prendergast Dem.-Rep.
Richard Smith
Cayuga John H. Beach* Dem.-Rep.
John Brown Jr.* Dem.-Rep.
Rowland Day Dem.-Rep.
John McFadden* Dem.-Rep.
Chenango James Houghteling
Samuel A. Smith Dem.-Rep.
Ebenezer Wakley Dem.-Rep.
Clinton and
Benjamin Mooers* Dem.-Rep.
Columbia Gerrit Cuck
Hezekiah Hulburt
John Pixley
Elisha Williams Federalist
Cortland John Miller Dem.-Rep.
Delaware Martin Keeler
Asahel E. Paine
Dutchess Joel Benton Federalist
William A. Duer* Federalist
James Emott Federalist
Nathaniel Pendleton Federalist
Abiel Sherman Federalist
Essex Reuben Sanford* Dem.-Rep.
Genesee James Ganson* Dem.-Rep. the only member who voted against seating Fellows
Elizur Webster* Dem.-Rep.
Isaac Wilson Dem.-Rep.
Greene Levi Callender Federalist
Justus Squire Federalist
Herkimer Abijah Beckwith Dem.-Rep.
William D. Ford* Dem.-Rep.
George Rosecrantz Dem.-Rep.
Jefferson Abel Cole*
Ebenezer Wood Dem.-Rep.
Kings (Richard FIsh)* Dem.-Rep. Civil List says "no returns"
Lewis Chillus Doty*
Madison James B. Eldridge
Moses Maynard
Jonathan Olmsted Dem.-Rep.
Montgomery Benedict Arnold Dem.-Rep.
Henry Fonda Dem.-Rep.
Henry Gros Dem.-Rep.
Samuel Jackson Dem.-Rep.
Isaac Sears Dem.-Rep.
New York Clarkson Crolius Dem.-Rep.
Henry Eckford Dem.-Rep.
Cornelius Heeney Dem.-Rep.
John T. Irving Dem.-Rep.
John L. Lawrence
Asa Mann
Samuel B. Romaine Dem.-Rep.
Samuel Russell Dem.-Rep.
Peter Sharpe Dem.-Rep.
Joseph Smith*
George Warner* Dem.-Rep.
Oneida David I. Ambler
Wheeler Barnes
Henry Huntington Dem.-Rep. contested by Abram Camp who took the seat on January 14, 1817[4]
Martin Hawley
Newton Marsh
Onondaga Elijah Miles* Dem.-Rep.
James Webb Dem.-Rep.
Asa Wells Dem.-Rep.
Gideon Wilcoxson Dem.-Rep.
Ontario Peter Allen Dem.-Rep.
Jonathan Child*
Byram Green
Caleb Hopkins
Joshua Lee
James Roseburgh
Nathan Whiting
Orange James Faulkner
James Finch Jr. Dem.-Rep.
John Hallock, Jr.
Elihu Hedges
Otsego Henry Albert
William Campbell* Federalist
Cyrenus Noble
Henry Palmer
Elijah Turner
Putnam Edward Smith Jr.
Queens Stephen Carman* Federalist
William Jones* Federalist
Daniel Kissam* Federalist
Rensselaer David Carpenter Federalist
John D. Dickinson Federalist
Burton Hammond Federalist
Henry Platt Federalist
Ebenezer W. Walbridge Federalist
Richmond Richard C. Corson
Rockland Cornelius A. Blauvelt*
St. Lawrence William W. Bowen* Federalist
Saratoga Herman Gansevoort
John Hamilton
Zebulon Mott
John Pettit
Schenectady Harmanus Peek Dem.-Rep.
John Victory Dem.-Rep.
Schoharie Isaac Barber
Peter A. Hilton*
Aaron Hubbard
Seneca Archer Green
Jacob L. Larzelere*
William Thompson* Dem.-Rep.
Suffolk Israel Carll Dem.-Rep.
Thomas S. Lester Dem.-Rep.
Abraham Parsons
and Ulster
Peter A. Cantine Dem.-Rep.
John Conklin Dem.-Rep.
Green Miller* Dem.-Rep.
Christopher Tappen Jr. Dem.-Rep.
Tioga Gamaliel H. Barstow* Dem.-Rep.
Warren and
William Cook
John Gale Dem.-Rep.
Nathaniel Pitcher Dem.-Rep.
Isaac Sargent Dem.-Rep.
David Woods Dem.-Rep. elected Speaker
Westchester Abraham Miller* Dem.-Rep.
John Townsend Dem.-Rep.
Ebenezer White Jr. Dem.-Rep.



  1. ^ An ACT respecting the four great Senatorial Districts of this State. in Manual for the Use of the Assembly compiled by Aaron Clark, Clerk of the Assembly (1816; pages 178f)
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ see Hammond, pg. 432f
  4. ^ The Legislature decided the case in favor of Camp during the special session on November 9, 1816, but Camp appeared only at the regular session; see A Compilation of Cases of Contested Elections to Seats in the Assembly of the State of New York (1871; pg. 44f)


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