1791 United States Senate election in New York

The 1791 United States Senate election in New York was held on January 19, 1791 by the New York State Legislature to elect a U.S. Senator (Class 1) to represent the State of New York in the United States Senate. The election was conducted by a system of approval voting.

1791 United States Senate election in New York

← 1789 January 19, 1791 1797 →
  Burr (cropped 3x4).jpg
Candidate Aaron Burr
Party Independent
Senate Vote 14–4
% Approval 77.78%
House Vote 32–27
% Approval 54.24%

U.S. senator before election

Philip Schuyler

Elected U.S. Senator

Aaron Burr
Independent Jeffersonian

Incumbent Senator Philip Schuyler was not re-elected. Aaron Burr, Attorney General of New York, won majority support in both the State Senate and State Assembly to succeed him.[1]


In July 1789, Philip Schuyler and Rufus King had been elected to the U.S. Senate. Schuyler had drawn the short term which would expire on March 3, 1791.

At the State election in April 1790, nominal Federalist majorities were elected to both houses of the 14th New York State Legislature, but many Federalists were friendly to the Democratic-Republican Governor George Clinton, party lines not being drawn very strictly.


Schuyler, the incumbent, and Benson were both Federalists. Burr was not affiliated with the Federalist Party but was considered a moderate member of the emergent Jeffersonian faction that would coalesce as the Democratic-Republican Party the next year.


Burr was declared elected after receiving a majority of "Yeas" in each chamber of the legislature. Schuyler and Benson were both rejected by the Assembly and no vote was taken on either in the Senate.

The incumbent Schuyler was defeated, despite the nominal majority of his party. Many of the Federalists took the opportunity to show their disapproval of both Schuyler's haughtiness and the financial policies of Alexander Hamilton, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and Schuyler's son-in-law. Besides, the Livingston faction of the Federalist Party felt betrayed after the election of Rufus King over their candidate James Duane in 1789, and now allied themselves with Clinton and later became Democratic-Republicans.

1791 United States Senate election result[2]
House Aaron Burr Philip Schuyler Egbert Benson
State Senate (23 members) Yea 14
Nay 4
State Assembly (65 members) Yea 32 27 24
Nay 27 32 35


After a one-day special session of the U.S. Senate on March 4, 1791, the 2nd United States Congress convened for the regular session on October 24, 1791 at Congress Hall in Philadelphia. On November 8, 1791, the State's Council of Appointments declared the office of attorney general vacant, and appointed Morgan Lewis to succeed Burr.


  1. ^ "A New Nation Votes". elections.lib.tufts.edu. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  2. ^ "A New Nation Votes". elections.lib.tufts.edu. Retrieved 2021-03-10.