70th New York State Legislature
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70th New York State Legislature

70th New York State Legislature
69th 71st
Old State Capitol at Albany NY.jpg
The Old State Capitol (1879)
Legislative bodyNew York State Legislature
JurisdictionNew York, United States
TermJanuary 1 - December 31, 1847
PresidentLt. Gov. Addison Gardiner (D), until July 4
Temporary PresidentAlbert Lester (D), from February 12
Party controlDemocratic (21-10-1)
SpeakerWilliam C. Hasbrouck (W)
Party controlWhig (72-56)[1]
1stJanuary 5 - May 13, 1847
2ndSeptember 8 - December 15, 1847

The 70th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 5 to December 15, 1847, during the first year of John Young's governorship, in Albany.


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 the State election in November 1845, the question was answered in the affirmative. The Constitutional convention met from June 1 to October 9, 1846. The amended Constitution abolished rotative renewal of the Senate, required all legislators to be elected in single districts, made the State cabinet offices elective by popular ballot, and made major changes in the judicial system. The new Constitution was submitted to the electorate at the next State election for ratification.

On March 30, 1846, 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 May 13, 1846, 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.[3]

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.

The Whig state convention met on September 23 at Utica, and nominated Assemblyman John Young for Governor; and Hamilton Fish for Lieutenant Governor.

The Democratic state convention met on October 1 at Syracuse, and 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.


The New York state election, 1846 was held on November 3. John Young (W) was elected Governor; and Lt. Gov. Addison Gardiner (D) was re-elected. The new Constitution was adopted by a large majority, with 221,528 votes for and 92, 436 against it.

Harvey R. Morris (2nd D.), Thomas Crook (4th D.), Samuel H. P. Hall (6th D.), Abraham Gridley (7th D.), Francis H. Ruggles (8th D.); and assemblymen John Townsend (1st D.), Ira Harris (3rd D.) and Nelson J. Beach (5th D.) were elected to the State Senate.


The Legislature met for the regular session at the Old State Capitol in Albany on January 5, 1847; and adjourned on May 13.

William C. Hasbrouck (W) was elected Speaker with 71 votes against 50 for John L. Smith (D).

On February 12, Albert Lester (D) was elected president pro tempore of the State Senate, to preside during the absence of Lt. Gov. Gardiner.

On June 7, the New York special judicial election, 1847, was held to fill the judicial offices elective under the new State Constitution, for example the judges of the New York Court of Appeals, the justices of the district benches of the New York Supreme Court, county judges, surrogates, district attorneys etc. Lt. Gov. Gardiner was elected to the Court of Appeals. State Senators Ira Harris and Augustus C. Hand; and Assemblyman William B. Wright were elected to the Supreme Court.

On July 5, Lt. Gov. Gardiner took office on the Court of Appeals, and President pro tempore Albert Lester became Acting Lieutenant Governor.

The Legislature met for a special session on September 8, 1847; and adjourned on December 15.

On September 27, the Legislative passed "An Act to provide for the election of a Lieutenant Governor", to fill the vacancy at the next State election.

On November 15, the Legislature elected Thomas Clowes (W) as a Canal Commissioner, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Nathaniel Jones (D).[4]

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. John Townsend, Ira Harris and Nelson J. Beach changed from the Assembly to the Senate.

Under the provisions of the new State Constitution, all senators were legislated out of office at the end of the year 1847, and all 32 seats were to be filled at the election in November 1847 with senators elected to a two-year term in single districts.

District Senators Term left Party Notes
First David R. Floyd-Jones* 1 year Democrat/Hunker
George Folsom* 2 years Native American
Edward Sanford* 3 years Democrat
John Townsend* 4 years Democrat
Second Joshua B. Smith* 1 year Democrat
Robert Denniston* 2 years Democrat
Saxton Smith* 3 years Democrat
Harvey R. Morris 4 years Democrat
Third Stephen C. Johnson* 1 year Democrat/Barnburner
John P. Beekman* 2 years Democrat
William H. Van Schoonhoven* 3 years Whig/Anti-Rent
Ira Harris* 4 years Whig/Anti-Rent resigned his seat during the recess, after
election to the New York Supreme Court
Fourth Orville Clark* 1 year Democrat/Hunker
Augustus C. Hand* 2 years Democrat resigned his seat during the recess, after
election to the New York Supreme Court
Samuel Young* 3 years Democrat/Barnburner
Thomas Crook 4 years Democrat
Fifth Thomas Barlow* 1 year Democrat/Barnburner until July 4, 1847, also First Judge of the Madison County Court
Enoch B. Talcott* 2 years Democrat/Barnburner
Joshua A. Spencer* 3 years Whig
Nelson J. Beach* 4 years Whig on November 2, 1847, elected a Canal Commissioner
Sixth Clark Burnham* 1 year Democrat
George D. Beers* 2 years Democrat
Thomas J. Wheeler* 3 years Democrat
Samuel H. P. Hall 4 years Whig
Seventh Albert Lester* 1 year Democrat on February 12, 1847, elected president pro tempore:
from July 5, 1847, Acting Lieutenant Governor
Henry J. Sedgwick* 2 years Democrat/Barnburner
Richard H. Williams* 3 years Democrat
Abraham Gridley 4 years Whig
Eighth Frederick F. Backus* 1 year Whig
Carlos Emmons* 2 years Whig
Gideon Hard* 3 years Whig
Francis H. Ruggles 4 years Whig


  • Clerk: Isaac R. Elwood
  • Deputy Clerk: John P. Lott
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Charles Bryan
  • Doorkeeper: Jared S. Halsey
  • Assistant Doorkeeper: Martin Miller
  • Janitor: Burgess Wands
  • Messengers: John H. Finnegan, Joseph Courtney Jr.

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 Clerk, except Keyser and Walsh (both NYC).[5]

District Assemblymen Party Notes
Albany John Fuller Democrat
John I. Gallup Democrat
Valentine Treadwell Whig
Robert D. Watson* Democrat/Anti-Rent
Allegany Grover Leavens Whig
Samuel Russell Whig
Broome Oliver C. Crocker Democrat
Cattaraugus Rufus Crowley Whig
Joseph E. Weeden Whig
Cayuga Samuel Bell* Whig
William J. Cornwell* Whig
John T. Rathbun* Whig
Chautauqua Madison Burnell* Whig
Charles J. Orton Whig
Chemung William Maxwell Democrat previously a member from Tioga Co.
Chenango Ransom Balcom Whig
David McWhorter Whig
Clinton Rufus Heaton Democrat
Columbia John S. Gould Whig
William M. Miller Democrat
Cortland Timothy Green Whig
Delaware Jonathan C. Allaben Democrat
Donald Shaw Whig
Dutchess Epenetus Crosby Whig
Walter Sherman Whig
Aves I. Vanderbilt Whig
Erie Obadiah J. Green Whig
John D. Howe Whig
Horatio Shumway Whig
William H. Pratt Whig
Essex William H. Butrick Whig
Franklin Joseph R. Flanders Democrat
Fulton and Hamilton Darius Moore Whig
Genesee Heman Blodgett* Whig
Alonzo S. Upham Whig
Greene William V. B. Adams Whig
Almeron Marks Democrat
Herkimer Abijah Beckwith Democrat
Jefferson Tillinghast Democrat
Jefferson John Boyden Democrat
Samuel J. Davis Democrat
John D. Davison Democrat
Kings John A. Emmons Democrat
Ebenezer W. Peck Whig
Abraham D. Soper Democrat
Lewis Thomas Baker Democrat
Livingston William S. Fullerton* Whig
Andrew Sill Whig
Madison George T. Taylor Whig
Peter Van Valkenburgh Whig
Monroe William C. Bloss* Whig
John McGonegal Whig
John B. Smith Whig
Montgomery Gamaliel Bowdish Whig
Andrew S. Gray Whig
New York Alexander M. Alling Democrat
Charles Baxter Democrat resigned on January 12, 1847, to fight in the Mexican-American War
John H. Bowie Democrat
Lyman Candee Democrat
Edward R. Carpentier Democrat
David J. Chatfield Democrat
John E. Develin* Democrat
Dennis Garrison Democrat
Henry Keyser Democrat
James C. Rutherford Democrat
Daniel E. Sickles Democrat
Wilson Small* Democrat
Norman B. Smith Democrat
Alexander Stewart* Democrat
Michael Walsh Democrat
Uzziah Wenman Whig/Nat. Am.
Niagara Benjamin Carpenter Whig
Christopher H. Skeele Whig
Oneida Nathan Burchard Whig
Abel E. Chandler Democrat
Isaac Curry Whig
John Dean Democrat
Onondaga William Henderson Democrat
John Lakin Democrat
Manoah Pratt Democrat
Joseph Prindle Whig
Ontario Emery B. Pottle Whig
Ezra Pierce Whig
Orange Joseph Davis Democrat
William C. Hasbrouck Whig elected Speaker
Hudson McFarlin Whig
Orleans Abner Hubbard Whig
Oswego Oren R. Earl Whig
M. Lindley Lee Whig
Otsego Cyrus Brown Democrat
Francis U. Fenno Democrat
William Temple Democrat
Putnam Benjamin B. Benedict Democrat
Queens Wessell S. Smith Whig
Rensselaer Joseph Gregory Whig
Amos K. Hadley Whig
David S. McNamara Whig
Richmond George H. Cole* Democrat
Rockland John A. Haring Democrat
St. Lawrence Phineas Atwater Democrat
Henry Barber Democrat
Bishop Perkins* Democrat
Saratoga Joseph Daniels Whig
Thomas C. Morgan Whig
Schenectady David Caw Whig
Schoharie Elisha Hammond Democrat
Thomas Smith* Whig/Anti-Rent
Seneca Ansel Bascom Whig
Steuben Hiram Chapman Democrat
William Diven Whig
William Hunter Democrat
Suffolk Henry Landon Democrat
John L. Smith Democrat
Sullivan William B. Wright Whig resigned his seat during the recess, after
election to the New York Supreme Court
Tioga Charles R. Barstow Whig
Tompkins Samuel Lawrence Whig
Henry W. Sage Whig
Ulster Jacob H. De Witt Whig
John D. L. Montanye Whig unsuccessfully contested by Isaac L. Hasbrouck (D)[6]
Warren John Hodgson 2d Democrat
Washington Adolphus F. Hitchcock Whig
Samuel McDoual Whig
Wayne Samuel Moore Whig
Israel R. Southard Whig
Westchester James E. Beers Whig unsuccessfully contested by John R. Hayward (D)[7]
Ezra Marshall* Democrat
Wyoming Arden Woodruff* Whig
Yates Nehemiah Raplee Democrat


  • Clerk: Philander B. Prindle
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Daniel B. Davis
  • Doorkeeper: Asa W. Carpenter
  • Assistant Doorkeeper: DeWitt C. Crooker
  • Second Assistant Doorkeeper: Robert Grant


  1. ^ Hammond says that this Assembly had 68 Whigs, 50 Democrats and 10 Anti-Renters. The vote on State officers indicates a division of 72 to 56, the "Anti-Renters" being aligned 4 to 6 with the two major parties.
  2. ^ Laws of New York (1846; "An Act for the apportionment of the members of the Assembly of this State"; pg. 48ff)
  3. ^ Laws of New York (1846; "An Act for the arrangement of Senate Districts"; pg. 468f)
  4. ^ see Journal of the Assembly (70th Session) (1847; VOL. II, pg 1836f)
  5. ^ see Journal of the Assembly (70th Session) (1847; Vol. I);
    and tickets in New York Co. in Miscellaneous Documents printed by order of the House of Representatives (1848; pg. 43ff)
  6. ^ see A Compilation of Cases of Contested Elections to Seats in the Assembly of the State of New York (1871; pg. 182-206)
  7. ^ see A Compilation of Cases of Contested Elections to Seats in the Assembly of the State of New York (1871; pg. 180ff)


  • The New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough (Weed, Parsons and Co., 1858) [pg. 109 and 441 for Senate districts; pg. 135f for senators; pg. 148f for Assembly districts; pg. 232ff for assemblymen]

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