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Attending in March and April.
John Morris Scott,
Abraham P. Lott,
Peter P. Van Zandt,
John Van Courtlandt,
William Denning 15
Abraham Ten Broeck,
ULSTER. Christopher Tappen, Matthew Rea, Matthew Cantine, Charles De Witt,
Arthur Parks. 5
WESTCHESTER. Pierre Van Courtlandt, Gouverneur Morris, Gilbert Drake, Lewis Graham,
Benjamin lS'ewkerle, h
John Sessions, '2
Peter Oleott. 2 KINGS AND RICHMOND.
It does not appear from any entry on the journals, or from any papers now to he found, that the memhers elected in these two counties, (if any) ever att 'nded the provincial congress, or the Convention, after the 30th June, I776. Before that period 1 lind that Messrs. Bancker and Lawrence were in the provincial congress, from Richmond; aoil in the month of June, 1710,1 find that Messrs. Journey, C onner, and Cortelyou were occasionally attending from Richmond, and Messrs. Lencrls, Polheinus, and Couenhoven, from Kings.
So that the whole numher elected to the Convention was lit)—the numher of those who attended while the Constitution was under consideration, is ,i6. But no inference unfavourahle to the patriotism or punctuality of the other 30 is justly to he drawn from the cireumstance of their non-attendance at this prriod; any more than against .Messrs. LMIommeilien and Tompkins, who attended hut two or three days, or against Messrs. Duer, Jonathan Piatt, and John Van Courtlandt, who attended hut four or five days during said time. For many of the memhers elected were soon after appointed to other offices, or sent on other urgent husiness, some of which required their occasional, and some their whole attention. Mr. Comfort Sands was, soon after the Convention met, appointed anditor general of the state, and in addition to that arduous duty, was afterwards dirvcted to act as paymaster-general. Mr. A. Vates, jun. and Mr. Tayler, (the present lientenant-governor) who attended hut eight or ten days of the aforesaid period, were on other important husiness; atone time as a committee from the Convention, waiting on General Washington, General M'Dougali, and other commanding officers, at their headquarters.
General Wondhull had heen slain on Long-Island, in the invasion of the British in August, 1776; some memhers were appointed to oversee the huilding of vessels; some to procure ammunition and arms; some to attend tlto ara mies; and some silting as a committee of safety, while the main hody were tle
• Tryon county consisted of the territory westward of the then county of Alhany,.Mid Charlotte county of all northward of the same. The former was afterwards called Montgomery, the latter Washington. Cumherland and Gloucester counties consisted of the territory, then called the New-Hampshire Grants, and now constituting the state of Vermont. The whole population of the stale at lliat time, did not exceed 200,000.
liherating as a Convention. The memhers from Queens were in general necessarily detained from the Convention hy the peculiar situation of Long-Island. Col. (afterwards Gen.) Bayley, of Gloucester county, was mostly employed in protecting and defending the frontier on Connecticut river against the Indians; and somc of the memhers of this Convention were at the same time delegates to the Continental Congress, especially Messrs. Jay, Duane, and R. R. Livingston. And there is little douht, thai all the difficulty relative to the names of the memhers of congress who signed the Declaration of Independence, and the others not signing it who were memhers, and who signed it, though not in their places on the 4th of July, (which has cansed so much newspaper discussion) could he solved at once, if all the facts in relation to the occasional nonattendance of some memhers, and ahsence of the signatures of others, could he minutety and truty ascertained.
The late chancellor Livingston is well known to have heen sent from congress into this state to prepare the minds of the people for the Declaration of Independence. Gen. George Clinton was sent hither from congress to take the field: and Mr. Jay was prohahly in congress when the Convention (6th Mareh) required the committee, of which he was chairman, to report their plan of government, and we find him attending thc Convention soon after the report was hrought in hy Mr. Duane, and from that time till the Convention dissolved. Col. Broome, Gen. Scott, and others were also in the field with their troops, except when the situation of the enemy safely permitted their attendance in the Convention.
Of this list of memhers of that Convention, I helieve hut seven or eight are now living. One of these has ohligingly given me his assistance in naming the sunivors, who are Messrs. Jay, Tayler, (our lientenant-governor,) J. C. Tompkins, (father of the Vice-President) Win. Panlding,) father of General XVm. Panlding, jun. of tlitscity) C. Sands, C. Tappen, and D. Gclston".
The original constitution of 1777, as engrossed hy the secretary, and signed hy the President, pro tempore, has lately heen deposited in the office of the secretary of state. It is in a shattered condition, with many interlineations and erasures. Some of the articles are written in the margin, and the -27th and 28th sections, as well as a part of the preamhle, are wanting, having heen written, as is supposed, on detached pieces of paper, which may hereafter he found among the original minutes.
By the politeness of Mr. Yates, secretary of state, the compilers have heen ahle to add the following interesting particulars, contained in a letter from John M'Kesson, Esq. under date of Novemher 3d, 1821 :—
"The constitution was passed on the evening of Sunday the 20th of April, the President, General Ten Broeck, heing ahsent, and the Vice-President, General Pierre Van Cortlandt, heing detained hy adverse weather on the opposite side of the river—General Leonard Gansevoort acting as President, pro tern.
The secretaries have concurred in stating, that they used all their influence to prevent the final question heing met that evening, the President and VicePresident heing ahsent, and as they wished to engross a proper copy for signature. Their remonstrance, however, was unavailing. The question was put and carried with hut one dissenting voice, and the draft under discussion, which had heen amended during the day, was signed hy the president, pro tern. The secretaries, indulging some feeling on the occasion, did not countersign said draft, which accounts for the original and the copies therefrom not having their attestation.
The same night the constitution was adopted, the Convention appointed Rohert R. Livingston, General Scott, Mr. Morris, Mr. Ahraham Yates, Mr. Jay, and Mr. Hohart, a committee to report a plan for organizing and estahlishing the form of government.
They next directed, that one of their secretaries should proceed to Fishkill, and have five hundred copies without the preamhle, and two thousand fire hundred with the preamhle, printed; and instructed him to give gratuitioi Ki the workmen to hare it executed with despatch. My deceased uncle undertook this duty.
They then resolved, that the constitution should be published at the Court House, in Kingston, on Tuesday morning, then next; of which the committee of Kingston were notified. This duty was performed by Robert Benson, the other secretary, from a plat-form erected on the end of a hogshead, VicePresident Cortlandt presiding. From this time to the 8th of May, the Convention were occupied for the public safety. On that day, they promulgated their ordinance for organizing and establishing the government, having in the mean time filled up provisionally the offices, necessary for the execution of the laws, distribution of justice, and holding elections."
committee oo, 38
di.cw>sion of, Z96. 356, 378—398,478—487
back to a select committee, 484
report of, 539
debate upon, 640—544
review of, 684—602
ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE,
at reported by the select committee, 652
•s adopted, 653
committee upon this subject
and foi three yean,
, on tbe elective franchise, 284, 366, 369
-—, on the appointing power,
speeches of, on the Legislative Depart
ment, 413, 421, 425, 427, 453,459
second proposition of, relative to sen-
chosen secretary of tbe convention,
remarks of, op tbe bill of rights,
oo tbe elective- franebise,
speeches of, on tbe judiciary, 613, 631
remarks of, on the revi«ory power, 78
on the elective franchise,
remarks of, on the executive depart-
remarks of, on bill of rights, 163 165
303, 329, 350
of the Slate of New-York.^of 1777, 9
as amended, 659
and distributed, 657
act recommending the, - -
amendments thereto, 25
meeting of, 27
proposition of, excluding members of
proposition of, relative to entails, lost, 580
holding certain offices, lost, 58i
service, .145, 14!
oo the bill of riglif, 169, 17:
directed ., i.e employed, '4','
the business of the Convention, 34
report of, 35
of thirteen, appointed upon the subject
01'senate districts, 478
report of, 498
to arrange the amendments^ and re-
discussion of their report, 625—648
adoption of the report. 628
of three, to consolidate the amend-
their report, S'V