44th New York State Legislature
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44th New York State Legislature

44th New York State Legislature
43rd 45th
Old State Capitol at Albany NY.jpg
The Old State Capitol (1879)
Legislative bodyNew York State Legislature
JurisdictionNew York, United States
TermJuly 1, 1820 - June 30, 1821
PresidentLt. Gov. John Tayler (Clint.)
Party controlBucktail (19-13)
SpeakerPeter Sharpe (Buckt.)
Party controlBucktail
1stNovember 7 - 20, 1820
2ndJanuary 9 - April 3, 1821

The 44th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from November 7, 1820, to April 3, 1821, during the fourth year of DeWitt Clinton's governorship, 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 1818, the Legislature enacted that future Legislatures meet on the first Tuesday of January of each year unless called earlier by the governor.

On January 18, 1820, a caucus of 64 Bucktail legislators nominated U.S. Vice President Daniel D. Tompkins for Governor and State Senator Benjamin Mooers for Lieutenant Governor. A meeting of citizens at Albany nominated Gov. DeWitt Clinton and Lt. Gov. John Tayler for re-election. The Federalists did not nominate candidates for Governor or Lieutenant Governor, and the party began to disband: the vast majority of them supported Clinton, a minority--calling themselves the "High-minded Federalists" (among them William A. Duer and John A. King)--supported Tompkins and joined the Bucktails.[1]

At this time the politicians were divided into two opposing political parties: the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans.[2] The Democratic-Republican Party was split into two factions: the Clintonians (supporters of Gov. DeWitt Clinton) and the Bucktails (led by Martin Van Buren, and including the Tammany Hall organization in New York City).


The State election was held from April 25 to 27, 1820. Gov. DeWitt Clinton and Lt. Gov. John Tayler were re-elected.

Senators Walter Bowne (Southern D.) and Ephraim Hart (Western D.) were re-elected. John Lefferts (Southern D.), William C. Bouck, John J. Miller, Tilly Lynde (all three Middle D.), Elijah Miles ( Western D.), and Assemblyman Oliver Forward (Western D.) were also elected to the Senate. Hart, Miles and Forward were Clintonians, the other five Bucktails.


The Legislature met at the Old State Capitol in Albany on November 7, 1820, to elect presidential electors; and adjourned on November 20.

Peter Sharpe (Buckt.) was elected Speaker with 69 votes against 52 for John C. Spencer (Clint.), the Speaker of the previous session. Dirck L. Vanderheyden was elected Clerk of the Assembly with 63 votes against 62 for the incumbent Aaron Clark.

On November 8, a Bucktail Council of Appointment was chosen, with a vote of 71 to 54. However this Council did not meet before January 1821, when the previous Council's term expired. Then they removed almost all Clintonian office-holders and appointed Bucktails instead.

On November 9, the Legislature chose 29 electors, all Bucktails: William Floyd, Henry Rutgers, Abel Huntington, Edward Leverich, Isaac Lawrence, John Targee, Jacob Odell, Peter Waring, Edward P. Livingston, David Hammond, Peter Millikin, Mark Spencer, Benjamin Knower, Gilbert Eddy, Howell Gardner, John Baker, John Walworth, Daniel McDougal, Seth Wetmore, Latham A. Burrows, Farrand Stranahan, Henry Wager, Elisha Farnham, Jonathan Collins, Samuel Nelson, William B. Rochester, Charles Thompson, Philetus Swift,[3]James Brisban. Floyd and Wetmore did not attend the meeting of the electoral college, and Martin Van Buren and William I. Dodge were appointed to fill the vacancies. They cast their votes for James Monroe and Daniel D. Tompkins.

On November 18, the Legislature passed a bill calling for a convention with unlimited powers to amend the State Constitution. Two days later, the Council of Revision rejected the bill: Chancellor James Kent and Chief Justice Ambrose Spencer voted against it; Judges Joseph C. Yates and John Woodworth for it; and Gov. DeWitt Clinton broke the tie voting against it.

The Legislature met for the regular session on January 9, 1821, and adjourned on April 3.

At the beginning of this session, the Legislature passed a bill to submit the question, whether a Constitutional Convention should be called, to the people at the next annual State election, to be held in April 1821. The people answered in the affirmative, delegates to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1821 were elected in June, and the Convention met from August to November 1821. The new Constitution was adopted by popular vote in January 1822.

On January 29, the Legislature appointed Benjamin Knower (Buckt.) to succeed Gerrit L. Dox as New York State Treasurer.

On February 6, the Legislature elected Martin Van Buren (Buckt.) to succeed Nathan Sanford (Clint.) as U.S. Senator from New York for a term beginning on March 4, 1821.

On March 21, the Legislature added State Senator William C. Bouck (Buckt.) to the Erie Canal Commission.

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. Oliver Forward changed from the Assembly to the Senate.

District Senators Term left Party Notes
Southern Stephen Barnum* 1 year Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Jonathan Dayton* 1 year Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
John Townsend* 2 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Peter R. Livingston* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Walter Bowne* 4 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail elected to the Council of Appointment
John Lefferts 4 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Middle Jabez D. Hammond* 1 year Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
John Lounsbery* 1 year Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Moses Austin* 2 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
William Ross* 2 years Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Charles E. Dudley* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail also Mayor of Albany
John T. More* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail elected to the Council of Appointment
William C. Bouck 4 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail from March 21, 1821, also an Erie Canal Commissioner
Tilly Lynde 4 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
John J. Miller 4 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Eastern Roger Skinner* 1 year Dem.-Rep./Bucktail also Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York;
elected to the Council of Appointment
Henry Yates Jr.* 1 year Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Samuel Young* 1 year Dem.-Rep./Bucktail also an Erie Canal Commissioner
Levi Adams* 2 years Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
George Rosecrantz* 2 years Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Thomas Frothingham* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Duncan McMartin Jr.* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Benjamin Mooers* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Western Isaac Wilson* 1 year Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Gamaliel H. Barstow* 2 years Dem.-Rep./Clintonian also First Judge of the Tioga County Court
Perry G. Childs* 2 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
David E. Evans* 2 years Dem.-Rep./Bucktail elected to the Council of Appointment
Gideon Granger* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Clintonian resigned February/March 1821, due to ill health[4]
Lyman Paine* 3 years Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Ephraim Hart* 4 years Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Oliver Forward* 4 years Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Elijah Miles 4 years Dem.-Rep./Clintonian


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 Gerrit Hogan Federalist
James McKown* Federalist
Moses Smith Federalist
Stephen Willes* Federalist
and Steuben
Clark Crandall* Federalist
John Dow* Federalist
Broome Chester Patterson* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
and Niagara
William Hotchkiss
Jediah Prendergast Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Cayuga John Haring*
Charles Kellogg Dem.-Rep.
Henry Polhemus
Chenango William Mason Dem.-Rep./Clintonian from November 10, 1820, to February 13, 1821, also Chenango County Clerk
Edmond G. Per Lee
John Tracy Dem.-Rep./Bucktail from March 7, 1821, also Surrogate of Chenango Co.
Clinton and
Platt Newcomb* Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Columbia John Bryan
James Vanderpoel Federalist
Elisha Williams* Federalist
Isaac B. Williams
Cortland John Osborn
Delaware John H. Gregory
Erastus Root* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Dutchess Albro Akin Dem.-Rep.
Benjamin H. Conklin
Koert Dubois Federalist
Israel Harris
Joseph J. Jackson
Essex Ebenezer Douglass Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Genesee Fitch Chipman*
Jesse Hawley
Samuel M. Hopkins Federalist
Greene Platt Adams Federalist
Aaron Reed Federalist
Hamilton and
David W. Candee
Henry Failing
Howland Fish Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Lawrence Gros* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Archibald McIntyre Dem.-Rep./Clintonian until February 12, 1821, also New York State Comptroller
Herkimer Simeon Ford Federalist also D.A. of Herkimer Co.
Thomas Manly Federalist
David Van Horne Federalist
Jefferson Richard Goodell Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Amos Stebbins
Kings Jeremiah Lott Federalist
Lewis Stephen Hart
Madison William Berry Jr.
Justin Dwinell Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Herman Van Vleck
New York Clarkson Crolius* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
William A. Davis
Richard Hatfield* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Cornelius Heeney* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Robert R. Hunter* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Reuben Munson*
Samuel B. Romaine* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Peter Sharpe* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail elected Speaker
John Swartwout Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Michael Ulshoeffer* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Gulian C. Verplanck Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Oneida and
Josiah Bacon
Allen Fraser
George Huntington* Federalist
Joseph Kirkland Federalist in April 1821 elected to the 17th United States Congress
William Root Federalist
Onondaga Jonathan Denning
Jonas Earll, Jr.*
George Pettit Dem.-Rep.
Lewis Smith*
Ontario Claudius V. Boughton Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
William Cornwell
Oliver Culver
Truman Hart Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
Myron Holley Dem.-Rep./Clintonian also an Erie Canal Commissioner
John C. Spencer Dem.-Rep./Clintonian
William H. Spencer
Orange Charles Borland, Jr.
James Burt Fed.? Clint.?
John Hallock, Jr.
Benjamin Woodward
Otsego Joshua Babcock
John Blakeley Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Caleb Eldred Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Stukely Ellsworth Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
David Tripp
Putnam Elisha Brown
Queens John D. Hicks Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
John A. King* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Benjamin T. Kissam Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Rensselaer William C. Barber
Richard P. Hart
William B. Slocum
Calvin Thompson
John Van Alstyne
Richmond Samuel Barton Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Rockland Abraham Gurnee Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
St. Lawrence Joseph York* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Saratoga Herman Gansevoort
John House
Zebulon Mott
John Rogers
Schenectady Richard McMichael Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Gerrit S. Veeder Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Schoharie Barnabas Eldredge Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Abraham Keyser, Jr. Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Freegift Patchin Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Seneca Robert S. Rose* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
William Thompson Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Suffolk Isaac Conklin Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
John B. Osborn Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
John M. Williamson
and Ulster
Coenrad Bevier Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
William G. Gillespie Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Wells Lake Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Jacob Snyder* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Tioga Samuel Lawrence Dem.-Rep. previously a member from New York Co.
Tompkins Samuel Crittenden
Peter Hager 2d Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Warren and
Wadsworth Bull
James Mallory
John Moss
William Richards
James L. Thurman
Westchester James Guyon* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
Abraham Miller* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail
William Nelson* Dem.-Rep./Bucktail


  • Clerk: Dirck L. Vanderheyden[5]
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Henry Fryer
  • Doorkeeper: Henry Bates
  • Assistant Doorkeeper: Willard Smith


  1. ^ see Hammond, pg. 530
  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. ^ The Civil List gives erroneously "Philetus Smith", but The Plough Boy (issue of November 11, 1820; pg. 191) says "Philetus Swift"
  4. ^ The Plough Boy published by Solomon Southwick, (issue of March 3, 1821; pg. 319; notices resignation during the previous week without giving the exact date)
  5. ^ Derick (or Dirck) Livingston Van der Heyden (or Vanderheyden) (1789 Albany - February 8, 1826 Albany), lawyer; see death notice in The Annals of Albany compiled by Joel Munsell (Vol. 8; 1857; pg. 142)


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