The 76th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 4 to July 21, 1853, during the first year of Horatio Seymour'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 Whig Party.
The New York state election, 1852 was held on November 2. Horatio Seymour (D) was elected Governor, defeating the incumbent Washington Hunt (W). Lt. Gov. Sanford E. Church (D) was re-elected. The other two statewide elective offices up for election were also carried by the Democrats.
The Legislature met for the regular session at the Old State Capitol in Albany on January 4, 1853; and adjourned on April 13.
William H. Ludlow (D) was elected Speaker with 85 votes against 39 for Jeremiah Ellsworth (W). John S. Nafew (D) was elected Clerk of the Assembly with 86 votes against 40 for the incumbent Richard U. Sherman (W).
On January 19, William McMurray (D) was elected President pro tempore of the Senate.
On April 13, Governor Horatio Seymour called a special session of the Legislature, to conclude the unfinished business of the regular session.
On April 14, the Legislature met for a special session; and adjourned on April 15.
On May 24, the Legislature met for another special session; and adjourned on July 21.
On July 1, Russell Smith (D) was elected Speaker pro tempore, to preside over the Assembly during the absence of Speaker Ludlow.
On July 8, the Assembly impeached Canal Commissioner John C. Mather.
On July 21, near the end of the session, Edwin D. Morgan (W) was elected President pro tempore of the Senate.
On July 27, the New York Court for the Trial of Impeachments (consisting of the State Senate and the New York Court of Appeals), met at Albany, for the first time in State history. Assemblymen Marshall B. Champlain, Arphaxed Loomis, John McBurney, Solomon B. Noble (all four Democrats), Orlando Hastings, Walter L. Sessions and Daniel P. Wood (all three Whigs) appeared as the Managers to prosecute the impeachment. Congressman Rufus W. Peckham (D) appeared for the Defence. After organizing, the Court adjourned.
On August 16, the Impeachment Court met for the trial which lasted until September 16 when Mather was acquitted.
The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued in office as members of this Legislature.Clerk: Ira P. Barnes
Sergeant-at-Arms: Charles Lee
Doorkeeper: A. N. Beardsley
Assistant Doorkeeper: George Read
The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued as members of this Legislature.
Party affiliations follow the vote on Speaker.Clerk: John S. Nafew
Sergeant-at-Arms: John P. Phelps
Doorkeeper: George D. Wooldridge
First Assistant Doorkeeper: Hugh Clary
Second Assistant Doorkeeper: S. A. Brown