The 21st New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 2 to April 6, 1798, during the third year of John Jay's governorship, in Albany.
Under the provisions of the New York Constitution of 1777, amended by the re-apportionment of March 4, 1796, Senators were elected on general tickets in the senatorial districts for four-year terms. They were divided into four classes, and every year about one fourth of the 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 March 1786, the Legislature enacted that future Legislatures meet on the first Tuesday of January of each year unless called earlier by the governor. In 1797, Albany was declared the State capital, and all subsequent Legislatures have been meeting there ever since.
On January 24, 1797, State Senator Philip Schuyler was elected to the U.S. Senate, leaving a vacancy in the Eastern District.
In 1797, Delaware County was created from parts of Ulster and Otsego counties, and was apportioned two seats in the Assembly, one each taken from Ulster and Otsego.
At this time the politicians were divided into two opposing political parties: the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans.
The State election was held from April 25 to 27, 1797. Senators Ezra L'Hommedieu (Southern D.), Ebenezer Clark, Anthony Ten Eyck, Jacobus Van Schoonhoven (all three Eastern D.), Thomas Morris and Michael Myers (both Western D.) were re-elected. John Addison, Peter Cantine Jr., James G. Graham (all three Middle D.) and Seth Phelps (Western D.) were also elected to full terms in the Senate. Senator Zina Hitchcock (Eastern D.) was re-elected, but only to a two-year term to fill the vacancy.
The Legislature met on January 2, 1798, at the Old City Hall in Albany, New York; the Senate adjourned on April 5, the Assembly on April 6.
Federalist Dirck Ten Broeck was elected Speaker with 59 votes against 42 for Dem.-Rep. William Denning.
On January 3, 1798, Philip Schuyler (Fed.) resigned from the U.S. Senate. On January 11, the Legislature elected New York Supreme Court Justice John Sloss Hobart (Fed.) to fill the vacancy. Hobart vacated his seat on April 16, 1798, when he was appointed to the United States District Court for the District of New York, and on May 5 Gov. John Jay appointed William North (Fed.) to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy temporarily.The Southern District (9 seats) consisted of Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk and Westchester counties.
The Middle District (12 seats) consisted of Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Columbia and Delaware counties.
The Eastern District (11 seats) consisted of Washington, Clinton, Rensselaer, Albany and Saratoga counties.
The Western District (11 seats) consisted of Montgomery, Herkimer, Ontario, Otsego, Tioga, Onondaga, Schoharie and Steuben counties.
The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued in office as members of this Legislature.Clerk: Abraham B. Bancker
The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued as members of this Legislature.Clerk: James Van Ingen
Sergeant-at-Arms: Robert Hunter
Doorkeeper: Peter Hansen