The 29th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 28 to April 7, 1806, during the second year of Morgan Lewis'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 1799, the Legislature enacted that future Legislatures meet on the last Tuesday of January of each year unless called earlier by the governor.
State Senator John Broome had been elected lieutenant governor, leaving a vacancy in the Southern District.
In 1805, Jefferson and Lewis counties were split from Oneida County. In 1802, St. Lawrence had been formed from parts of Clinton, Herkimer and Montgomery counties, but had not been sufficiently organized to hold separate elections. Now these three counties were joined in one Assembly district which was apportioned one seat, taken from Oneida.
At this time the politicians were divided into two opposing political parties: the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans.
In 1805, the 28th Legislature had chartered the Merchant's Bank of New York which had been founded by Federalists in competition to the Democratic-Republican Bank of the Manhattan Company. The Democratic-Republican majority of the 27th Legislature had not only refused to grant a charter, but actually ordered the Merchant's Bank to shut down by May 1805. During the next session, the bank bribed enough legislators to have the charter approved, although the Democratic-Republican leaders advocated strongly against it. Gov. Morgan Lewis spoke out in favor of granting the charter what was resented by the party leaders DeWitt Clinton and Ambrose Spencer, and soon led to the split of the party into "Lewisites" and "Clintonians".
The State election was held from April 30 to May 2, 1805. Senator Ezra L'Hommedieu (Southern D.) was re-elected. Peter C. Adams, James G. Graham (both Middle D.), Adam Comstock, John Veeder, Joseph C. Yates (all three Eastern D.), Nathaniel Locke and John Nicholas (both Western D.) were also elected to full terms in the Senate. DeWitt Clinton (Southern D.) was elected to fill the vacancy. All nine were Democratic-Republicans.
The Legislature met at the Old City Hall in Albany on January 28, 1806; and adjourned on April 7.
Clintonian Alexander Sheldon was re-elected Speaker.
On March 15, 1806, DeWitt Clinton offered a resolution in the Senate for the expulsion of Ebenezer Purdy for the reason that he had been bribed and that he had attempted to bribe Stephen Thorn and Obadiah German during the controversial chartering of the Merchant's Bank of New York during the previous session. Purdy resigned his seat on the next day, before the Senate could take a vote on the issue.The Southern District (6 seats) consisted of Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk and Westchester counties.
The Middle District (8 seats) consisted of Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Columbia, Delaware, Rockland and Greene counties.
The Eastern District (9 seats) consisted of Washington, Clinton, Rensselaer, Albany, Saratoga, Essex and Montgomery counties.
The Western District (9 seats) consisted of Herkimer, Ontario, Otsego, Tioga, Onondaga, Schoharie, Steuben, Chenango, Oneida, Cayuga, Genesee, Seneca, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.
The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued in office as members of this Legislature.Clerk: Henry I. Bleecker
The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued as members of this Legislature. Abraham Van Vechten changed from the Senate to the Assembly.Clerk: Solomon Southwick
Sergeant-at-Arms: Thomas Donnelly
Doorkeeper: Benjamin Whipple