Rahul Sharma (Editor)

1st New York State Legislature

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Members  24
Temporary President  Pierre Van Cortlandt
President  vacant
Members  70 (de facto 65)
1st New York State Legislature
Jurisdiction  New York, United States
Term  September 9, 1777 – June 30, 1778

The 1st New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from September 9, 1777 to June 30, 1778, during the first year of George Clinton's governorship, first at Kingston and later at Poughkeepsie.



The 4th Provincial Congress of the Colony of New York convened at White Plains on July 9, 1776, and declared the independence of the State of New York. The next day the delegates re-convened as the "Convention of Representatives of the State of New-York" and on August 1 a committee was appointed to prepare a State Constitution. The New York Constitution was adopted by the Convention on April 20, 1777, and went into force immediately, without ratification by popular vote.

Apportionment and election

The State Senators were elected on general tickets in the senatorial districts, and were then divided into four classes. Six senators each drew lots for a term of 1, 2, 3 or 4 years and, beginning at the following election in April 1778, every year one fourth of the State Senate seats came up for election to a four-year term.

Assemblymen were elected countywide on general tickets to a one-year term, the whole assembly being renewed annually.

On May 8, 1777, the Constitutional Convention appointed the senators from the Southern District, and the assemblymen from Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond and Suffolk counties—the area which was under British control—and determined that these appointees serve in the Legislature until elections could be held in those areas, presumably after the end of the American Revolutionary War. Vacancies among the appointed members in the Senate should be filled by the Assembly, and vacancies in the Assembly by the Senate.


The State Legislature met in Kingston, the seat of Ulster County. The State Senate met first on September 9, 1777, at the home of Abraham Van Gaasbeck, now known as Senate House, the Assembly met first on the next day at the Bogardus Tavern. At the approach of the British army, the State Legislature dispersed on October 7, and reconvened in Poughkeepsie on January 5, 1778, possibly at a house now known as Clinton House.


  • The Southern District (9 seats) consisted of Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk and Westchester counties.
  • The Middle District (6 seats) consisted of Dutchess, Orange and Ulster counties.
  • The Eastern District (3 seats) consisted of Charlotte, Cumberland and Gloucester counties.
  • The Western District (6 seats) consisted of Albany and Tryon counties.
  • Senators

    The asterisk (*) denotes members of the Constitutional Convention who continued as members of the Legislature.


  • Clerk: Robert Benson
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Stephen Hendrickson, elected March 11, 1778
  • Doorkeeper and Messenger: Victor Bicker
  • Assemblymen

    The asterisk (*) denotes members of the Constitutional Convention who continued as members of the Legislature.


  • Clerk: John McKesson
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Thomas Pettit
  • Doorkeeper: Richard Ten Eyck
  • References

    1st New York State Legislature Wikipedia

    Similar Topics
    One Soldier
    Ninni Bruschetta
    Surinder Shinda