96th New York State Legislature

The 96th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 7 to May 30, 1873, during the first year of John A. Dix's governorship, in Albany.

96th New York State Legislature
95th 97th
Old State Capitol at Albany NY.jpg
The Old State Capitol (1879)
Legislative bodyNew York State Legislature
JurisdictionNew York, United States
TermJanuary 1 – December 31, 1873
PresidentLt. Gov. John C. Robinson (R)
Temporary PresidentWilliam B. Woodin (R)
Party controlRepublican (21-4-4-2)
SpeakerAlonzo B. Cornell (R)
Party controlRepublican (92-34-2)
1stJanuary 7 – May 30, 1873


Under the provisions of the New York Constitution of 1846, 32 Senators and 128 assemblymen were elected in single-seat districts; senators for a two-year term, assemblymen for a one-year term. The senatorial districts were made up of entire counties, except New York County (five districts) and Kings County (two districts). The Assembly districts were made up of entire towns, or city wards,[1] forming a contiguous area, all within the same county.

In his annual message to the 95th Legislature, Gov. John T. Hoffman suggested that a bi-partisan Constitutional Commission of 32 members should be formed. The commission had four members from each judicial district, appointed by the Governor, and confirmed by the State Senate, equally divided between Democrats and Republicans. The Constitutional Commission met on December 4, 1872.

At this time there were two major political parties: the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. A faction of the Republican Party assumed the name of Liberal Republican Party and nominated a fusion ticket with the Democrats, supporting Horace Greeley for president. The Democratic/Liberal Republican state ticket had Francis Kernan (D) for Governor and Chauncey M. Depew (LR) for Lieutenant Governor.


The 1872 New York state election was held on November 5. Republicans John A. Dix and John C. Robinson were elected Governor and Lieutenant Governor. The other three statewide elective offices up for election were also carried by the Republicans. The approximate party strength at this election, as expressed by the vote for Governor, was: Republicans 446,000 and Democrats/Liberal Republicans 392,000.


The Legislature met for the regular session at the Old State Capitol in Albany on January 7, 1873; and adjourned on May 30.

Alonzo B. Cornell (R) was elected Speaker with 91 votes against 35 for John C. Jacobs (D).

William B. Woodin (R) was elected president pro tempore of the State Senate.

On January 21, the Legislature re-elected U.S. Senator Roscoe Conkling (R) to a second six-year term, beginning on March 4, 1873.[2]

The Constitutional Commission adjourned sine die on March 15, 1873. The proposed amendments to the Constitution were then debated by the Legislature, and those approved were submitted to the voters for ratification at the next state elections. At the New York state election, 1873, the voters were asked if the Judges of the Court of Appeals, and the County Judges throughout the State, should be appointed instead of being elected, which was answered in the negative.

State SenateEdit


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.

Note: Palmer, Harrower and Allen had been elected as Republicans in 1871, but had joined the Liberal Republicans in 1872, and were barred from the Republican caucus.

District Senator Party Notes
1st Townsend D. Cock* Democrat
2nd John C. Perry* Republican
3rd Henry C. Murphy* Democrat
4th (William M. Tweed)* Democrat did not take his seat;
unsuccessfully contested by Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa[3]
5th Erastus C. Benedict* Republican
6th Augustus Weismann* Republican
7th James O'Brien* Reform Democrat
8th Daniel F. Tiemann* Reform Democrat
9th William H. Robertson* Republican
10th Edward M. Madden* Republican
11th Abiah W. Palmer* Liberal Rep. voted for Conkling as U.S. Senator
12th Isaac V. Baker Jr.* Republican
13th Charles H. Adams* Republican
14th William F. Scoresby* Lib. Rep./Dem.
15th Webster Wagner* Republican
16th Samuel Ames* Republican
17th Wells S. Dickinson* Republican
18th Norris Winslow* Republican
19th Samuel S. Lowery* Republican
20th Archibald C. McGowan* Republican
21st William Foster* Republican
22nd Daniel P. Wood* Republican
23rd James H. Graham* Republican
24th Thomas I. Chatfield* Republican
25th William B. Woodin* Republican elected President pro tempore
26th William Johnson* Democrat
27th Gabriel T. Harrower* Liberal Rep. voted for Henry R. Selden as U.S. Senator
28th Jarvis Lord* Democrat
29th George Bowen* Republican
30th James Wood* Republican
31st Loran L. Lewis* Republican
32nd Norman M. Allen* Liberal Rep. voted for William M. Evarts as U.S. Senator


  • Clerk: Charles R. Dayton
  • Assistant Doorkeeper: James Franklyn Jr.
  • Stenographer: H. C. Tanner

State AssemblyEdit


The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued as members of this Legislature.

District Assemblymen Party Notes
Albany 1st Peter Schoonmaker Republican
2nd Henry R. Pierson Republican
3rd John W. Van Valkenburgh Democrat
4th George B. Mosher* Democrat
Allegany William W. Crandall* Republican
Broome William L. Ford* Republican
Cattaraugus 1st Commodore P. Vedder* Republican
2nd John Manley Republican
Cayuga 1st Leonard F. Hardy Republican
2nd Elijah E. Brown* Republican
Chautauqua 1st Francis B. Brewer Republican
2nd John D. Hiller Republican
Chemung Seymour Dexter Republican
Chenango Russell A. Young Republican
Clinton Smith M. Weed Democrat
Columbia 1st Benjamin Ray* Democrat
2nd Milton M. Tompkins* Democrat
Cortland George W. Phillips Republican
Delaware 1st William Lewis Jr.* Republican
2nd Matthew Griffin* Republican
Dutchess 1st James Mackin Democrat
2nd Jacob B. Carpenter Democrat
Erie 1st John O'Brien Republican
2nd George Baltz* Republican
3rd Franklin A. Alberger* Republican
4th John Nice Republican
5th Robert B. Foote Republican
Essex Franklin W. Tobey* Republican
Franklin John P. Badger Republican
Fulton and Hamilton Willard J. Heacock Republican
Genesee Elbert Townsend Republican
Greene Augustus Hill* Democrat
Herkimer Eleazer C. Rice* Republican
Jefferson 1st Elam Persons Republican
2nd Horatio S. Hendee Republican
Kings 1st James F. Donohue Democrat
2nd David C. Van Cott Republican
3rd Dominick H. Roche* Democrat
4th James Watt Republican
5th Albion P. Higgins Republican
6th Jacob Worth Republican
7th Frederick Cocheu Republican
8th Adrian M. Suydam Republican
9th John C. Jacobs* Democrat
Lewis Sidney Sylvester Republican
Livingston Archibald Kennedy* Republican
Madison 1st Edward C. Philpot Republican
2nd Joseph F. Crawford Republican
Monroe 1st George A. Goss* Republican
2nd Henry L. Fish Independent voted for Cornell as Speaker
3rd Leonard Burritt* Republican
Montgomery William J. Van Dusen* Republican
New York 1st James Healey* Democrat
2nd Dennis Burns Democrat
3rd James Hayes* Democrat
4th James Ryan Democrat
5th Michael Norton Democrat
6th Timothy J. Campbell* Democrat
7th George W. Clarke Republican
8th Solon B. Smith Republican
9th Stephen Pell* Republican
10th Jacob M. Patterson Republican
11th Alonzo B. Cornell Republican elected Speaker
12th William W. Cook* Democrat
13th Charles Blackie Republican
14th Charles G. Cornell Democrat
15th Joseph Blumenthal Democrat
16th Peter Woods Democrat
17th Andrew Blessing Democrat
18th Bernard Biglin Republican
19th James A. Deering Democrat
20th William S. Opdyke Republican
21st Charles Crary Democrat
Niagara 1st Isaac H. Babcock* Republican
2nd George M. Swain* Republican
Oneida 1st Nicholas A. White Republican
2nd Henry J. Coggeshall Republican
3rd Patrick H. Costello Republican
4th Daniel Walker Republican
Onondaga 1st William H. H. Gere Republican
2nd George Raynor Republican
3rd John I. Furbeck Republican
Ontario 1st Ambrose L. Van Dusen* Republican
2nd Cyrillo S. Lincoln* Republican
Orange 1st Augustus Denniston Republican
2nd Frank Abbott* Dem./Lib. Rep.[4]
Orleans Elisha S. Whalen Republican
Oswego 1st Daniel G. Fort* Republican
2nd Willard Johnson Democrat
3rd J. Lyman Bulkley Republican
Otsego 1st James Stewart Democrat
2nd John Cope Republican
Putnam William S. Clapp Independent voted for Cornell as Speaker
Queens 1st L. Bradford Prince* Republican
2nd James M. Oakley* Democrat contested by Theodore J. Cogswell[5]
Rensselaer 1st William V. Cleary Democrat
2nd John L. Snyder* Republican
3rd Castle W. Herrick* Republican
Richmond John Blake Hillyer Republican
Rockland William Voorhis Republican
St. Lawrence 1st Darius A. Moore* Republican
2nd Dolphus S. Lynde* Republican
3rd Parker W. Rose* Republican
Saratoga 1st George West* Republican
2nd George S. Batcheller Republican
Schenectady Daniel P. McQueen Republican
Schoharie Peter Couchman* Democrat
Schuyler Jeremiah McGuire Democrat
Seneca William W. Van Demark Democrat
Steuben 1st Thomas M. Fowler* Republican
2nd Stephen F. Gilbert Republican
Suffolk John S. Marcy* Republican
Sullivan George M. Beebe Democrat
Tioga Jerome B. Landfield Republican
Tompkins Anson W. Knettles* Republican
Ulster 1st Michael A. Cummings Democrat
2nd James H. Brown Republican
3rd Daniel D. Elting Republican
Warren James G. Porteous Republican
Washington 1st Edmund W. Hollister* Republican
2nd Eleazer Jones Republican died on February 10, 1873
William H. Tefft Republican elected to fill vacancy
Wayne 1st Edward B. Wells* Republican
2nd Lucien T. Yeomans* Republican
Westchester 1st William Herring Republican
2nd Amherst Wight Jr. Republican
3rd James W. Husted* Republican
Wyoming John N. Davidson* Republican
Yates Morris B. Flinn Republican



  1. ^ Except New York City where the wards were apportioned into election districts, and then some whole wards and some election districts of other wards were gerrymandered together into Assembly districts.
  2. ^ ALBANY.; Nomination of Roscoe Conkling as United States Senator in NYT on January 22, 1873
  3. ^ Tweed did not claim the seat, and his chair remained empty throughout the whole term. A resolution to vacate the seat, and then call a special election to fill the seat, was proposed, but no action was taken. O'Donovan Rossa, who had lost the senatorial election to Tweed, claimed the seat, but was not admitted; see THE STATE LEGISLATURE; Tweeds Empty Chair in NYT on March 5, 1873; and ALBANY; AN ASPIRANT TO TWEED'S SEAT in NYT on April 15, 1873
  4. ^ Abbott had been in the previous Assembly as a Republican. He joined the Liberal Republicans and was re-elected on the Democratic/Liberal Republican fusion ticket.
  5. ^ The Assembly Contest in the Second District of Queens County in NYT on January 14, 1873