59th New York State Legislature

59th New York State Legislature

The Old State Capitol (1879)

Duration: January 1 – December 31, 1836

President of the State Senate: Lt. Gov. John Tracy (D)
Temporary President of the State Senate:
Speaker of the State Assembly: Charles Humphrey (D)
Members: 32 Senators
128 Assemblymen
Senate Majority: Democratic (28-4)
Assembly Majority: Democratic

1st: January 5 – May 26, 1836
<58th 60th>

The 59th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 5 to May 26, 1836, during the fourth year of William L. Marcy's governorship, in Albany.


Under the provisions of the New York Constitution of 1821, 32 Senators were elected on general tickets in eight 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.

State Senator John Sudam died on April 13, 1835; and State Senator John G. Stower resigned on September 29, 1835; leaving vacancies in the Second and Fifth District.

Canal Commissioner Michael Hoffman resigned on May 6, 1835. On May 9, the Legislature elected Heman J. Redfield to succeed Hoffman, but Redfield declined to take office. During the recess of the Legislature, Gov. Marcy appointed John Bowman to fill the vacancy temporarily.

At this time there were two political parties: the Democratic Party and the Whig Party.


The State election was held from November 2 to 4, 1835. State Senator Chauncey J. Fox (8th D.) was re-elected. Henry Floyd-Jones (1st D.), John Hunter, Ebenezer Lounsbery (both 2nd D.), James Powers (3rd D.), David Spraker (4th D.), Micah Sterling (5th D.), George Huntington (6th D.), John Beardsley (7th D.) and Assemblyman David Wager (5th D.) were also elected to the Senate. Fox was a Whig, the other nine were Democrats.


The Legislature met for the regular session at the Old State Capitol in Albany on January 5, 1836; and adjourned on May 26.

Charles Humphrey (D) was re-elected Speaker.

Upon taking their seats in the Senate, Hunter and Lounsbery (2nd D.), and Sterling and Wager (5th D.), drew lots to decide which one of the two senators elected in each district would serve the short term, and which one the full term. Lounsbery and Wager drew the short term, and Hunter and Sterling the full term.[1]

On January 6, Attorney General Greene C. Bronson was appointed to the New York Supreme Court.

On January 9, the Legislature confirmed Gov. Marcy's recess appointment of John Bowman as Canal Commissioner.

On January 12, the Legislature elected Congressman Samuel Beardsley to succeed Bronson as Attorney General.

On February 1, the Legislature re-elected Secretary of State John A. Dix, State Comptroller Azariah C. Flagg and State Treasurer Abraham Keyser.

On May 20, State Senator John C. Kemble resigned after accusations of fraudulent and corrupt stock trading.

On Saturday, May 21, the Senate rejected a motion to expel Isaac W. Bishop, and adjourned.

On Monday morning, May 23, at the beginning of the session, State Senators Samuel Young and Myndert Van Schaick resigned their seats, stating they would not sit together with persons who refused to expel Bishop after finding him "guilty of moral and official misconduct." About half an hour later Bishop resigned his seat too.

Later on May 23, the Legislature passed "An act authorizing the appointment of an additional acting Canal Commissioner," and on May 25, the Legislature elected William Baker to the office.

On May 23, the Legislature also re-apportioned the Senate and Assembly districts, according to the State census of 1835. Queens and Suffolk counties were transferred from the First to the Second District; Delaware County from the Second to the Third; Herkimer County from the Fifth to the Fourth; Otsego from the Sixth to the Fifth; Allegany, Cattaraugus and Livingston counties from the Eighth to the Sixth; and Cortland County from the Sixth to the Seventh. The total number of assemblymen remained 128. The new county of Chemung was apportioned one seat. Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Kings, Niagara, Oswego and Steuben counties gained one seat each; New York County gained two; and Cayuga, Dutchess, Herkimer, Oneida, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Seneca, Tioga, Tompkins, Washington and Westchester counties lost one seat each.[2]

The Democratic state convention met on September 14 at Herkimer and nominated Gov. Marcy and Lt. Gov. Tracy for re-election; and an electoral ticket pledged to Martin Van Buren for President and Richard M. Johnson for Vice President.

The Whig state convention nominated Jesse Buel for Governor, and Gamaliel H. Barstow for Lieutenant Governor; and an electoral ticket pledged to William Henry Harrison for President.

The Equal Rights Party state convention met on September 15 at Utica; Robert Townsend Jr. was Chairman. They nominated Isaac S. Smith, of Buffalo, for Governor; and Moses Jaques, of New York City, for Lieutenant Governor.

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. David Wager changed from the Assembly to the Senate.

District Senators Term left Party Notes
First Myndert Van Schaick* 1 year Democrat resigned on May 23, 1836
Charles L. Livingston* 2 years Democrat
Coe S. Downing* 3 years Democrat
Henry Floyd-Jones 4 years Democrat
Second Ebenezer Lounsbery 1 year Democrat elected to fill vacancy, in place of John Sudam
Leonard Maison* 2 years Democrat
John P. Jones* 3 years Democrat
John Hunter 4 years Democrat
Third Peter Gansevoort* 1 year Democrat
John C. Kemble* 2 years Democrat resigned on May 20, 1836
Abraham L. Lawyer* 3 years Democrat
James Powers 4 years Democrat
Fourth Samuel Young* 1 year Democrat also a Canal Commissioner and First Judge of the Saratoga Co. Court;
resigned on May 23, 1836
Isaac W. Bishop* 2 years Democrat resigned on May 23, 1836
Jabez Willes* 3 years Democrat
David Spraker 4 years Democrat
Fifth David Wager* 1 year Democrat elected to fill vacancy, in place of John G. Stower
Francis Seger* 2 years Democrat
Abijah Beckwith* 3 years Democrat
Micah Sterling 4 years Democrat
Sixth John F. Hubbard* 1 year Democrat
Ebenezer Mack* 2 years Democrat
Levi Beardsley* 3 years Democrat
George Huntington 4 years Democrat
Seventh Samuel L. Edwards* 1 year Democrat
Thomas Armstrong* 2 years Democrat
Chester Loomis* 3 years Democrat also Postmaster of Rushville
John Beardsley 4 years Democrat
Eighth John Griffin* 1 year Whig
Albert H. Tracy* 2 years Whig
Isaac Lacey* 3 years Whig
Chauncey J. Fox* 4 years Whig


State Assembly


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 as members of this Legislature.

District Assemblymen Party Notes
Albany Daniel Dorman
John C. Schuyler
William Seymour Democrat
Allegany Calvin T. Chamberlain Democrat also Postmaster of Cuba
Broome Judson Allen Democrat also Postmaster of Harpursville
Cattaraugus David Day
Cayuga Dennis Arnold Democrat
Charles E. Shepard Democrat
Richard L. Smith Democrat
William Wilbur Democrat
Chautauqua Thomas B. Campbell Whig
Richard P. Marvin Whig in November 1836, elected to the 25th U.S. Congress
Chenango William Knowlton
Nicholas B. Mead
Squire Smith Democrat
Clinton Lemuel Stetson* Democrat
Columbia Charles B. Dutcher
Peter Groat Jr.
Adam I. Shaver
Cortland Cephas Comstock Whig
Chauncey Keep Whig unsuccessfully contested by Lewis Riggs (D)[3]
Delaware John Griffin
James W. Knapp
Dutchess Abijah G. Benedict
Cornelius H. Cornell
Wiliam Eno
Stoddard Judd* Democrat
Erie George P. Barker Democrat also D.A. of Erie Co.
Wells Brooks
Essex Thomas A. Tomlinson* Whig
Franklin Luther Bradish Whig
Genesee Samuel Richmond* Whig
Charles O. Shepard Whig
Amos Tyrrel Jr.* Whig
Greene Ambrose Baker
Luke Kiersted
Hamilton and
Henry V. Berry
Joseph Blair Democrat
Jacob Johnson
Herkimer Stephen Ayres
Frederick Bellinger
Thomas Hawks
Jefferson Lowrey Barney
Richard Hulbert Democrat
Otis P. Starkey
Kings John Dikeman
Lewis Charles Dayan* Democrat
Livingston Charles H. Carroll Whig
George W. Patterson* Whig
Madison Ephraim Gray
William J. Hough* Democrat
John B. Yates Democrat also First Judge of the Madison Co. Court;
died on July 10, 1836
Monroe Horace Gay
Micajah W. Kirby Democrat
Joseph Sibley Democrat in November 1836, elected a presidential elector
New York Charles P. Clinch* Democrat
Ezra S. Conner
Peter A. Cowdrey
Francis B. Cutting Democrat
Thomas Herttell* Democrat
John J. Morgan Democrat
Benjamin Ringgold* Democrat
George Seaman
George Sharp
Jesse West
Prosper M. Wetmore* Democrat
Niagara Hiram Gardner Democrat in November 1836, elected a presidential elector
Oneida Henry Graves
John W. Hale
William Knight
Jared C. Pettibone
John Stryker
Onondaga Daniel Denison Democrat
David Munro Democrat in November 1836, elected a presidential elector
Sandford C. Parker* Democrat
John Wilkinson* Democrat also Postmaster of Syracuse
Ontario Amos Jones Whig
Henry Pardee Whig
Mark H. Sibley* Whig in November 1836, elected to the 25th U.S. Congress
Orange Charles Borland, Jr. also D.A. of Orange Co.
Robert Sly
Thomas Van Etten
Orleans John Chamberlain
Oswego Orville Robinson Democrat also Surrogate of Oswego Co.
Otsego Albert Benton
Sumner Ely
Ivory Holland Democrat
Lyman J. Walworth
Putnam Moses C. Robinson
Queens Jarvis Jackson Democrat
Rensselaer David L. Seymour Democrat
Alexander O. Spencer
John J. Viele
Nathan West
Richmond John Garretson Jr.
Rockland Daniel Johnson
St. Lawrence Preston King* Democrat
William S. Paddock* Democrat
Saratoga David Benedict
Joel Lee
Samuel Stimson
Schenectady John B. Duane
Schoharie Hiram Walden Democrat
Alvin Wilkins
Seneca Henry Simpson
John G. Tubbs
Steuben Lemuel B. Searles
Henry Switzer
Suffolk Charles A. Floyd Democrat
Nathaniel Topping
Sullivan Samuel G. Dimmick
Tioga Elijah H. Goodwin
William H. Sutton
Tompkins William R. Fitch
George B. Guinnip Democrat
Charles Humphrey* Democrat re-elected Speaker
Ulster Jacob Chambers
Herman M. Romeyn
Warren William Griffing
Washington Aaron Barker
Alexander Robertson
Stephen L. Viele
Wayne Robert Alsop
Reuben H. Foster
Westchester William Fisher Democrat
Horatio Lockwood* Democrat
Prince W. Paddock* Democrat
Yates Mordecai Ogden Democrat



  1. see Journal of the Senate (59th Session) (1836; pg. 4)
  2. see Laws of the State of New York (59th Session) (1836; Chapter 436, pg. 653ff)
  3. see A Compilation of Cases of Contested Elections to Seats in the Assembly of the State of New York (1871; pg. 113–116)


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