80th New York State Legislature

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
80th New York State Legislature
Old State Capitol at Albany NY.jpg
The Old State Capitol (1879)

Duration: January 1 – December 31, 1857

President of the State Senate: Lt. Gov. Henry R. Selden (R)
Temporary President of the State Senate: Mark Spencer (D), from January 24
Speaker of the State Assembly: DeWitt C. Littlejohn (R)
Members: 32 Senators
128 Assemblymen
Senate Majority: Republican (17-9-4)
Assembly Majority: Republican (81-38-8)

1st: January 6 – April 18, 1857
<79th 81st>

The 80th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 6 to April 18, 1857, during the first year of John A. King's governorship, in Albany.


Under the provisions of the New York Constitution of 1846, 32 Senators were elected in single-seat senatorial districts for a two-year term, the whole Senate being renewed biennially. The senatorial districts (except those in New York City) were made up of entire counties. 128 Assemblymen were elected in single-seat districts to a one-year term, the whole Assembly being renewed annually. The Assembly districts were made up of entire towns, or city wards, forming a contiguous area, all in the same county. The City and County of New York was divided into four senatorial districts, and 16 Assembly districts.

At this time there were two major political parties: the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. The Know Nothing movement ran in the election as the "American Party."


The New York state election, 1856 was held on November 4. Republicans John A. King and Henry R. Selden were elected Governor and Lieutenant Governor. The other three statewide elective offices were also carried by the Republicans. The approximate party strength at this election, as expressed by the vote on Governor was: Republican 265,000; Democratic 198,000; and American 130,000.


The Legislature met for the regular session at the Old State Capitol in Albany on January 6, 1857; and adjourned on April 18.

DeWitt C. Littlejohn (R) was again elected Speaker with 79 votes against 35 for David R. Floyd-Jones (D), and 7 for Joseph B. Varnum, Jr. (A). William Richardson (R) was elected Clerk of the Assembly with 78 votes against 37 for John S. Nafew (D) and 7 for G. M. Stevens (A).

On January 24, Mark Spencer (D) was elected President pro tempore of the State Senate.

On February 3, the Legislature elected Preston King (R) to succeed Hamilton Fish as U.S. Senator from New York for a six-year term beginning on March 4, 1857.

On April 7, the Legislature elected Henry H. Van Dyck (R) to succeed Victor M. Rice as State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

On April 13, the Legislature re-apportioned the Senate districts, and the Assembly seats per county. Cayuga, Dutchess, Genesee, Greene, Montgomery, Onondaga, Orange, Otsego, Schoharie and Tompkins counties lost one seat each; New York, Oswego, Queens, Ulster and Westchester counties gained one seat each; Kings County gained four seats; and the new Schuyler County was apportioned one seat.[1]

On April 15, the Legislature passed "An Act to establish a Metropolitan Police District, and to provide for the government thereof." This act re-organized, and unified, the police forces in New York City, Staten Island, Kings County and Westchester County. The Metropolitan Police was headed by a Board consisting of five Commissioners (appointed by the Governor, and confirnmed by the Senate) and the Mayors of New York City and Brooklyn.[2] At first, Mayor Fernando Wood did not recognize the Metropoplitan Police, and refused to disband the Municipal Police. The struggle led to the New York City Police Riot, but after the New York Court of Appeals upheld the Legislature's police law, Mayor Wood quietly agreed to abide by it.

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.

Party affiliations follow the vote on U.S. Senator and Regent of the University.

District Senator Party Notes
1st James Rider* Republican
2nd Cyrus P. Smith* Republican
3rd Daniel E. Sickles* Democrat unsuccessfully contested by Thomas J. Barr (D);[3]
on November 4, 1856, elected to the 35th U.S. Congress
4th Joseph H. Petty* American
5th Mark Spencer* Democrat on January 24, elected President pro tempore
6th Erastus Brooks* American
7th John W. Ferdon* American
8th William Kelly* Democrat
9th Edward M. Madden* Republican
10th George S. Nichols* American
11th John W. Harcourt* American
12th Amos Briggs* American
13th Justin A. Smith* American
14th William Hotchkiss* American
15th Zenas Clark* Republican resigned, due to ill health, on February 13
Bloomfield Usher Republican elected to fill vacancy, seated on March 12
16th Frederick P. Bellinger* Republican
17th Joseph H. Ramsey* Republican
18th Addison M. Smith* American
19th Eaton J. Richardson* Republican
20th M. Lindley Lee* Republican
21st Gardner Towne* Republican
22nd James Noxon* Republican
23rd George W. Bradford* Republican
24th Samuel C. Cuyler* Republican
25th James Huntington* Republican
26th John K. Hale* American
27th John E. Paterson* Republican
28th Alonzo S. Upham* Republican
29th Sidney Sweet* American
30th John B. Halsted* Republican
31st James Wadsworth* Democrat
32nd John P. Darling Republican elected to fill vacancy, in place of Roderick White


  • Clerk: Samuel P. Allen
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Samuel R. Tuell
  • Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms: George W. Bedell
  • Doorkeeper: William Coppernall
  • Assistant Doorkeeper: Henry W. Shipman
  • Second Assistant Doorkeeper: Victor M. Dearborn

State Assembly


The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued as members of this Legislature. Richard U. Sherman, the Clerk of the Assembly during the previous Session, was elected a member.

Party affiliations follow the vote for Speaker.

District Assemblymen Party Notes
Albany 1st Richard Kimmey Democrat
2nd Adam Van Allen Republican
3rd John Evers Democrat took his seat on February 25
4th Franklin Townsend Democrat
Allegany 1st William M. Smith Republican
2nd James T. Cameron Republican
Broome Enos Puffer Republican
Cattaraugus 1st Alanson King Republican
2nd Rufus Crowley Republican
Cayuga 1st James J. Owen Republican
2nd Theodore M. Pomeroy Republican
3rd Hiram Tifft Republican
Chautauqua 1st Henry A. Prendergast* Republican
2nd Isaac George Republican
Chemung William T. Hastings Republican
Chenango 1st Ansel Berry Republican
2nd William H. Hyde Republican
Clinton Horace P. Perry Republican
Columbia 1st John Miller Democrat
2nd John T. Hogeboom Republican
Cortland Joseph Atwater Republican
Delaware 1st Barna R. Johnson Republican
2nd Warren Dimmick American
Dutchess 1st John H. Ketcham* Republican
2nd Franklin Dudley Republican
3rd Cornelius N. Campbell Democrat
Erie 1st Augustus J. Tiffany Republican
2nd George De Witt Clinton Democrat
3rd Horace Boies Republican
4th S. Carey Adams Republican
Essex Ralph A. Loveland Republican
Franklin George Mott Democrat
Fulton and Hamilton Patrick McFarlan Democrat
Genesee 1st Seth Wakeman* Republican
2nd John J. McPherson Republican
Greene 1st David Whiting Democrat
2nd Hezekiah Baldwin Republican
Herkimer 1st John H. Wooster Republican
2nd Harris Lewis Republican
Jefferson 1st Calvin Littlefield Republican
2nd Cleanthus P. Granger Republican
3rd Abner W. Peck Republican
Kings 1st John Hanford* Democrat
2nd Thomas Mulligan Democrat
3rd John H. Funk Democrat
Lewis Lucian Clark Republican
Livingston 1st Lyman Hawes Republican
2nd Alfred Bell Republican
Madison 1st Albert G. Purdy Republican
2nd Thomas P. Bishop Republican
Monroe 1st Jeremiah S. Baker Republican
2nd John T. Lacey Republican
3rd Robert Staples Republican
Montgomery 1st Matthew O. Davis Republican
2nd Hezekiah Baker Republican
New York 1st Daniel Mahen* Democrat
2nd Thomas Kivlen Democrat
3rd Andrew Sheehan Democrat
4th John D. Dixon* Democrat
5th John J. Reilly* Democrat
6th Nathaniel Roe Democrat
7th Henry J. Irving American
8th Thomas Charlock Democrat
9th Erastus W. Glover* Democrat
10th James S. Sluyter Democrat
11th James J. Reilly Democrat
12th Nicholas W. Mooney Democrat
13th Joseph B. Varnum, Jr. American
14th Robert B. Bradford Democrat
15th Arthur Woods* Democrat
16th Samuel T. Roberts Democrat
Niagara 1st Elisha Clapp Republican
2nd John Gould* Republican
Oneida 1st Richard U. Sherman Republican
2nd Peleg B. Babcock Republican died on April 2, 1857
3rd John Holstead Republican
4th Ingham Townsend Republican
Onondaga 1st John D. Rhoades Republican
2nd Sidney Smith Republican
3rd Elias W. Leavenworth Republican
4th Charles H. Meade Republican
Ontario 1st Samuel A. Foot* Republican
2nd Zoroaster Paul Republican
Orange 1st James R. Dickson Democrat
2nd George B. Cox Republican
3rd Erastus Stickney Democrat
Orleans Almanzor Hutchinson Republican
Oswego 1st DeWitt C. Littlejohn Republican elected Speaker
2nd Leonard Ames Republican
Otsego 1st Samuel H. Grant Democrat
2nd Charles W. Tallett Republican
3rd George M. Hollis Republican
Putnam Chauncey R. Weeks Republican
Queens David R. Floyd-Jones Democrat
Rensselaer 1st Darius Allen Democrat
2nd Volney Richmond Republican
3rd Ebenezer S. Strait American
Richmond Joshua Mersereau Democrat
Rockland James Westervelt Democrat
St. Lawrence 1st Emory W. Abbott* Republican
2nd Benjamin Squire* Republican
3rd Erasmus D. Brooks Republican
Saratoga 1st George G. Scott* Democrat
2nd Samuel J. Mott Republican
Schenectady Nicholas Barhydt Republican
Schoharie 1st Tobias Bouck Democrat
2nd William H. Crowe Democrat
Seneca Benson Owen Republican
Steuben 1st Robert B. Van Valkenburgh Republican
2nd George T. Spencer Republican
3rd Solon O. Thacher Republican
Suffolk 1st Edwin Rose American
2nd Abraham G. Thompson Democrat
Sullivan David B. Luckey American
Tioga David Rees Republican
Tompkins 1st Alexander Bower did not take his seat, due to illness
2nd Elias W. Cady Republican
Ulster 1st Martin Schutt American
2nd Albert Carpenter American
Warren Samuel Somerville Jr. Republican took his seat on January 14
Washington 1st Anson Ingraham Republican
2nd Henry W. Beckwith Republican
Wayne 1st Thomas Johnson Republican
2nd Joseph Peacock Republican
Westchester 1st Arnell F. Dickinson Republican
2nd Edmund G. Sutherland Democrat
Wyoming Cyril Rawson Republican
Yates Abraham V. Harpending Republican


  • Clerk: William Richardson[4]
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Norman P. Hitchcock
  • Doorkeeper: Nathan Newhafer
  • First Assistant Doorkeeper: Patrick Farrell
  • Second Assistant Doorkeeper: John Lewis


  1. see The Revised Statutes of the State of New York (1859; Senate pg. 149f, Assembly pg. 452f)
  2. see Laws of the State of New York (80th Session) (1857; pg. 200–219)
  3. The decision on the contested seat was postponed during the previous session, and decided in favor of Sickles on January 28, 1857.
  4. William Richardson (1822–1893), later an alderman in Brooklyn, and owner of the Atlantic Avenue Railroad; see Biography