Wednesday, February 15, 2012

1879, The centennial celebrations of the state of New York:

1879, The centennial celebrations of the state of New York: By Allen C. Beach,  

The centennial celebrations of the state of New York: prepared pursuant to a Concurrent Resolution of the Legislature of 1878, and Chapter 391 of the Laws of 1879. By Allen C. Beach, Secretary of State, ALBANY: Weed, Parson & Co. 1879


Address Of William Dorsheimer, 425 
"Thomas G. Alvord, 429 
'' Erastus Brooks, ------- 433 
List Of Illustrations. 
George Clinton, Frontispiece. 
Old Senate House At Kingston, 25 
Gen. Herkimer, . 57 
Scene Of Oriskany Battlefield At Present DayEast Ravine. 91 
Scenr Of Oriskany Battlefield At Present DayWest Ravine, 127 
Old Fort At Schoharie, With Monument тo David Williams, 194 
Philip Schyler, 232 
The Scene Of Burgoyne's Surrender At Present Day, - - 301 
The Old Capitol, --- 387 
Old Senate Chamber, ----.-.--. 391 
Old Assembly Chamber, 395 
Governor's Room,  ...... 398 
Old Court Of Appeals Room, 401 
The New Capitol, -- - - 403 
Assembly Chamber, ---------- 415 
Grand Corridor, 430 
Grand Staircase, -------- - - . 438

Тhe New Capitol.

The inadequacy of the old Capitol to the requirements of the State resulted, after a great amount of discussion, in the project of a new Capitol. The first legislative action of any kind in relation to the subject was had on April 24, 1863, when James A. Bell, senator from the 18th district, offered by unanimous consent the following resolution in the Senate, on behalf of the committee on public buildings.

Resolved, That it be referred to the trustees of the Capitol and the chairman of the committee on public buildings (to act in conjunction with a committee of the Assembly, if appointed), to procure suitable plans for a new capitol, with adequate accommodations for the several purposes for which the same is needed, and to report to the next legislature.''

The resolution was adopted. The trustees of the new Capitol at that time were Horatio Seymour, Governor; David R. Floyd-jones, Lieutenant-Governor; Theophilus C. Callicot, Speaker; Horatio Ballard, Secretary of State; Lucius Robinson, Comptroller, and John Cochrane, Attorney-General. John V. L. Pruyn was chairman of the committee on public buildings. These gentlemen, except the speaker and secretary of state, made a report at the succeeding session, under date of March 1, to the effect that they had procured the plans designated, and that of Messrs. Fuller and Jones "was much more elaborate, and reflects credit on their ability and taste; not only are the interior arrangements very complete, but the proposed front is one of great merit." They presented also copies of their directions to architects for making the plans, wherein they state that the building should contain suitable rooms for the governor and staff, senate, assembly, court of appeals, State library, superintendent of public instruction and the keeper of the Capitol. It was suggested in the propositions that plans should be made with reference to the square about the old building, as the site for the new one.

Early in the session of 1805 a resolution was adopted in the senate, appointing a committee of three Senators William Laimbeer, Jr., O. M. Allaben and Charles J. Folger), to ascertain by correspondence with various municipalities of the State, on what terms the grounds and buildings necessary for a new Capitol and public offices could be obtained. The committee met soon afterward and sent a circular to various cities and villages of the State, embodying the matter of the resolution. Among the responses to the circular were all sorts of propositions, from all sorts of places. New York city offered to give a site in the Battery, City Hall Park, Tompkins Square, Central Park or in any public place, and erect all the buildings necessary free of expense to the State, and, in addition, to furnish one hundred feet square on Fifth avenue, opposite Central Park, and erect thereon a suitable house for an executive mansion. Yonkers, Saratoga Springs, Athens on the Hudson, Whitestown, Argyle, Sing Sing, Fulton and Margaretville also made handsome offers, while Buffalo, Oswego and Utica sent polite notes declining to make any propositions. The village of Sandy Hill, Washington county, rejected the circular with strong indignation, its president announcing in his reply that "if the time has come when our Capitol is to go to the highest bidder, like most every thing that has any connection with our present legislation, then I would plainly and frankly say that our people are not the ones to offer large bribes or inducements for the purpose of building up their place or people to the detriment and inconvenience of all the rest of the people of the State." Mayor Eli Perry, for the corporation of Albany, agreed to convey to the State the block known as Congress Hall block or any other lands in the city required for that purpose.

Upon the report of the committee an act was passed May 1, 1865 (chapter 648) entitled " An Act authorizing the erection of a New Capitol." This act required that whenever, within three years, the city of Albany shall convey to the State, in fee-simple and unincumbered, the parcel of land generally known as Congress Hall block, the governor shall nominate, and with the consent of the senate appoint a board of three commissioners to be known as the " The New Capitol Commissioners " for the purpose of erecting a new capitol for the use of the executive, legislative and judicial departments, and such other purposes as may be connected therewith. The act further states that the new capitol shall be located upon the site of the present capitol, and certain grounds adjacent thereto, and " built of such material and in such manner in all respects as will best promote the public interest and secure the completion of a substantial and commodious edifice." The same act appropriates $10,000 for the commencement and prosecution of the work. In February, 1866, Governor Fenton sent a communication to the legislature announcing that Albany had complied with the conditions of the act just quoted, and he recommended that the prosecution of the work should be undertaken without unnecessary delay. Thereupon, April 14, 1866, an act was passed (chap. 583) ratifying and confirming the location of the capitol and site of the capitol building at Albany, and on May 3, 1866, Hamilton Harris and John V. L. Pruyn of Albany, and O. B. Latham of Seneca Falls, were appointed and confirmed as " The New Capitol Commissioners." The commissioners at once proceeded to their work. 

On April 22d, 1867, "An act appropriating moneys for the building of a new capitol" was passed appropriating $250,000 for the purpose, but providing that "no part of the amount hereby appropriated shall be expended, nor shall the capitol commissioners incur any expense on account of said capitol until a plan of the capitol shall be adopted and approved by them, and approved by the governor, not to cost more than four millions of dollars when completed." A large number of plans were submitted, from which that of Thomas Fuller was accepted, and the building was begun under that plan, Mr. Fuller being appointed architect. Mr. Latham, one of the commissioners, dissented from the views of the commissioners regarding the plan adopted and tho general method of conducting the work, and on Feb. 13, 1868, he forwarded a memorial to tho senate (Senate Document No. 27), making complaint against his associate commissioners, that the designs and plans adopted were not the best that were offered,and after detailing the points wherein the plans were deficient, stating that "under the act the whole matter was left to the controlling judgment of two commissioners, neither of whom is a builder or an architect." In a communication to the governor, Mr. Latham declared that the design which had been accepted showed "a want of harmony," and proceeded likewise in detail to show the "errors" of the design. April 10, 1869, Mr. Latham presented another memorial, declaring himself opposed to the designs adopted, and charging that competitors had not been permitted to come before the board of commissioners to explain and elucidate the plans submitted by them. These complaints were investigated by committees of both houses, but no report was rendered by either committee, while the desired appropriations continued to be made without qualification. In the meantime, au act passed May 19, 1868, appropriating an additional $250,000 for the new capitol, had made a change in the board of commissioners, adding to the three gentlemen then acting, the names of James S. Thayer, Alonzo B. Cornell, William A. Rice, James Terwilliger and John T.Hudson. The same act authorized the commissioners to take as additional land for the site of the new capitol one-half of the block of land adjoining the Congress Hall block on the west, and to change the plans in their discretion, but not to proceed to construction if the cost involved more than four millions. On the 9th of December, 1867, the work was commenced by clearing the grounds of buildings, but was delayed for one year in order to procure the additional land authorized by the last act. On July 7, 1869, the first stone of the foundation was laid. The excavations for the foundation were made to an average depth of ir^JV feet below the surface, through sand and clay. On May 6, 1869, the $250,000 previously appropriated was applied to payment for the lands taken for the purposes of the new capitol, and on May 10, 1869, $125,000 was further appropriated, and an unexpended balance of the same amount was re-appropriated.

The Plans.

After a number of attempts to secure unanimous agreement between the Capitol Commissioners, the Land Commissioners and the Governor, in the choice of a plan for the new building, the plans of Messrs. Fuller and Gilman were approved on the 7th of December, 1867, and on August 14th, 1868, the new Board approved said plans with certain modifications made by Mr. Thomas Fuller. In March, 1868, Mr. Fuller submitted a detailed estimate of the cost of the building, placing the amount at $3,924,665. On October 13, of 1868, Hon. Van E. Richmond, State Engineer, and William J. McAlpin, ex-State Engineer, reported that they had reviewed the plans and estimates of Mr. Fuller, and that they were of opinion that the new capitol could be completed on the plans adopted by the Board for $4,125,000, and for less than $4,000,000 if the work should be done entirely by contract.

The following is a description of the grounds and building, according to the plans then adopted. (Senate Doc. 13, 1870.)
The Capitol square embraces all of the land between Eagle street on the east, and a new street which has been opened on the west; and between Washington avenue on the north and State street on the south, being 1,034 feet long by 330 feet wide, containing seven and eighty-four one-hundredths acres. The elevation of the new street on the west is 155 feet above the level of the Hudson, and the ground falls off to the eastward fifty-one feet. The grades of the streets on the north and south sides are nearly on the same elevations. The building will occupy 290 feet of the width of the grounds between Washington avenue and State street, and the center of the north and south facades will be placed in the line of the center of Hawk street, leaving an open space of 136 by 330 feet on the west. When the building is completed, the old Capitol, Library, and Congress Hall will be removed, leaving a park on the east of 472 feet long and 330 feet wide, or a little more than two and one-half acres. The basement floor will be placed at an elevation of two steps above the grade of Washington avenue, at the north central entrance.

Тhe Building.

In the exterior composition of the design there is a general adherence to the style of the pavilions of the New Louvre, of the Hotel de Ville of Paris, and the elegant Hall or Maison de Commerce recently erected in the city of Lyons. Without servile imitation of any particular example, the architects have produced a composition in the bold and effective spirit which marks the most admired specimens of modern civil architecture. The terrace which forms the grand approach to the east or principal front, will form an item of striking architectural detail, nowhere else attempted on such an extensive scale, at least in America. The exterior is 290 feet north and south, and 390 feet east and west. The floor immediately above the level of the plateau of the terrace will be entered through the porticos on Washington avenue and State street, and through a carriage entrance under the portico of the east front. The first, or main entrance floor will be reached by a bold flight of steps on the east front and also on the west leading through the porticos to the halls of entrance, each having an area of sixty by seventy-four feet, and twenty-five feet in height. Communicating directly with these halls are two grand staircases which form the principal means of communication with the second and most important floor. On the left of the east entrance hall are a suite of rooms for the use of the Governor and his secretaries and military staff. On the right are rooms for the Secretary of State and Attorney-General, with a corridor leading to the rooms appropriated for the Court of Appeals, which is seventy by seventy-seven feet. On the second or principal floor are the chambers for the Senate and Assembly, and for the State Library, all of which (in elevation) will occupy two stories, making forty-eight feet of height. Rooms for the committees and other purposes will occupy the remainder of these floors. The Senate chamber will he seventy-five by fifty-five feet on the floor, with a gallery on three sides of eighteen feet width. The Assembly chamber will be ninety-two by seventy-five feet on the floor, and surrounded by a gallery similar to that of the Senate chamber, and which, in both, largely increases the areas of the upper portion of these chambers. The library will occupy the whole of the east front of these two stories, and will be 283 feet long and fifty-four feet wide. These chambers will all be lighted from the roof, and also by windows in side walls. The main tower will be sixty-eight feet square and about 300 feet in height. In the center of the building will bean open court of 137 by ninety-two feet, the inclosing walls of which will be treated in the same manner as the exterior fronts, and this court should ultimately have its fountains and statuary.

On January 14, 1871, Amasa J. Parker, Jr., the assistant treasurer of the new capitol commission, made a report showing that the entire expenditure by the commissioners since the commencement of the work to Dec. 31, 1870, had been $1,612,734.98.

The Corner-stone.

The corner-stone of the new capitol was laid with great ceremony on June 24, 1871. The exercises included an introductory address by Hon. Hamilton Harris, a reading by Hon. William A. Rice of a list of the Historical Documents and memorials to be placed in the corner stone, an address by his excellency John T. Hoffman, governor of the State, and the usual masonic ceremonies of laying the cornerstone by the Grand Lodge of free and accepted masons of New York, Most Worshipful John H. Anthon, grand master, conducting the services. The event was chronicled with great display by the newspapers of the day. Although the weather was stormy and a heavy shower was falling, the civic and military display covered all the ground about Washington avenue, Eagle street and State street, while civilians with upraised umbrellas dotted every available stoop and sidewalk.

Changes Of Commissioners.

Another change was made in April, 1871, of the new capitol commissioners and the board now stood as follows: Hamilton Harris, of Albany, William C. Kingsley, of Brooklyn, William A. Rice, of Albany, Chauncey M. Depew, of New York, Delos De Wolfof Oswego, and Edwin A.Merritt, of Potsdam.

The work on the building proceeded as usual, with occasional delays because of small appropriations and obstructions thrown in the way by the comptroller.

For six months in 1874, the work was entirely suspended for want of an appropriation, and the commission were compelled to borrow $800,000 from the National Commercial Bank of Albany to continue the work deemed absolutely necessary.

In a report made January 4, 1875, the commissioners state that the total amount of receipts by the commission from the commencement of the work to the 1st day of January, 1875, was $5,158,198.26.

Investigation Of The Work Of The Commission. 

On May 20, 1875, the finance committee of the Senate having been directed by resolution of the Senate to investigate the expenditures of the new capitol commissioners, made a report of exceeding length including all the testimony taken (Senate Doc. No. 95, 1875). In this report various statements were made derogatory to the methods of the new capitol commissioners, and the committee reported as their conclusions, in the following terms:

The committee are of the opinion that the system under which the work of the new capitol has been carried on up to June, 1874, is not a wise one. Other public buildings, not, however, incurring the expenditure of so large sums of money, have been undertaken and carried on by the State under the same system of commissions. Some of the best men in the State have held positions in such commissions, and yet your committee has found, in the investigation of their affairs, that the work has been carried on under them with great disadvantage to the State; and in this investigation, as in the investigation of the affairs of those commissions, we find nothing involving the personal integrity of the commissioners.

In this new capitol work, the system of management under the different commissions has been substantially the same. The commissioners have been gentlemen of various pursuits in life, serving without compensation, attending the stated meetings of the board, and having a general oversight of the business, but giving it no constant or special attention; but it was a business of which they had no practical knowledge,.and in which they had no experience. The detail of the business and its immediate management has been left to others, with responsibility so divided and sub-divided, that there was no one who considered himself responsible for any negligence or mismanagement which resulted. Hence, it is claimed on the part of the commissioners that the faults complained of have come, to a great extent, from the system, and that under it the responsibility for all that has gone wrong should not be ascribed to them, or those of them residing remote from the place where the work is going on, and where it could not have their personal oversight.

We think the direct management of the business of carrying on such a work should be in the hands of one responsible man, who should be a practical builder, of large experience, who understands the business, and who should devote his entire time to it; such a man, with the aid of his experience, can manage the business with far more advantage to the State than any commission possibly could.

Under such a system, honestly and economically administered, the work of the New Capitol would have been much further advanced, and that portion which has thus far been erected might have been accomplished with a saving of at least a million of dollars. The results of the past year, under the partial change that has been made, confirm the committee in this opinion.

This report was signed by D. P. Wood, S. S. Lowery, J. H. Selkreg and John C. Jacobs.

In February, 1875, Hon. Hamilton Harris, the chairman of the new capitol commissioners, resigned that position after nearly ten years of service.

His interest in the work, however, did not cease, and it was his fortune, after his resignation as a commissioner, to be called to take part in the conduct of the work upon the building by his appointment in January, 1876, (being then a senator) to the chairmanship of the Finance Committee, which position he still holds. It was also his fortune after taking an important part in the inception of the building to offer a resolution sixteen years afterward, providing for commemorative exercises on its occupation. In a law of the same year passed June 21 (chap. 634), the entire old Board of Commissioners was abolished, and a new Board composed of the Lieutenant-Governor, Auditor of the Canal Department and Attorney-General was constituted instead. These were William Dorsheimer, Daniel Pratt, and Francis S. Thayer. The act further stated as follows:

Before any portion exceeding fifty thousand dollars of the sum by this act appropriated for the construction of said New Capitol shall be expended, full detailed plans and specifications of the story of said building containing the legislative halls thereof shall be made and approved, in writing by said Lieutenant-Governor, the Auditor of the Canal Department and Attorney-General, and not more than one-half of the said appropriation shall be expended before full detailed plans and specifications of the whole of the remainder of said building shall be made and approved m writing, by the said Lieutenant-Governor, the Auditor of the Canal Department and Attorney-General, and when so approved they shall not be altered or departed from except by the concurrent written consent and approval of said Lieutenant-Governor, the Auditor of the Canal Department and Attorney-General, which said consent and approval shall be indorsed upon a plan accompanied by specifications, which shall fully and distinctly state the extent of such alteration, and the manner and extent the expense of said building will be affected by such alteration.

The amount appropriated was one million dollars. On December 31, 1875, the new Commissioners, except Mr. Thayer, made a report as follows (Senate Doc. No. 13, 1876):

This provision of the law imposed upon the commission a task, for the proper performance of which great care and special knowledge was required.The new capitol had been the subject of much criticism by committees of the legislature, by professional critics, and by the general public. It was alleged to be improperly and carelessly built; that much of the material used was poor and untrustworthy; that the arrangements of the building were not convenient for the uses intended; that some of the rooms, like the legislative halls and the governor's reception room, were inconveniently large; that the approaches were not suitable for a public building in the climate of Albany; that the design, as a work of art, was faulty, and the edifice, when finished, would be a subject of regret, by reason of its inartistic and extravagant architecture. Upon all of these particulars, the commission felt it necessary to seek the advice of men of skill, and competent to pronounce upon such matters. It is obvious that the plans and specifications for so great a structure will present many questions as to heating, ventilation and construction, which a board of public officers, who were not chosen with reference to such labor, would be ill- qualified to decide. The cost of the capitol had already greatly exceeded the original estimates. The architect's estimates, submitted to the legislature before the new capitol was begun, placed the cost of it at a little less than four millions of dollars. When the present commission entered upon their duties, the building had already cost the sum of $5,665,963.60 and the walls were then raised to the floor of the principal story. At that time it was said that the architect estimated the cost of completion at between seven millions and eight millions of dollars. It seemed to the commission to be an important duty to ascertain what the building would in truth cost, and to report the same to the legislature, in order that the work might go forward with a proper reference to expenditure, and that the legislature might determine upon the time within which the structure should be completed, and devise some consistent system of carrying on and administering the work. Besides, estimates were necessary to enable the commissioners to determine upon the plans and specifications, as they were not willing to lay out of view all consideration of expense, and to go forward without reference to the ultimate cost of the building. For manifest reasons it was desirable that the estimates of cost should be obtained from persons who should occupy an impartial attitude with reference to the structure, and who, by their skill and public reputation, should give assurance to the legislature and the people of the State, that the estimates had been thoroughly and honestly made.

Upon all of these considerations, the commission determined to call to their aid a suitable number of skilled advisers. The gentlemen selected for this important service were Frederick Law Olmsted, Leopold Eidlitz, and Henry H. Richardson, all of the city of New York. The two gentlemen last named are architects of excellent professional standing, and Mr. Olmsted is well known for long and honorable service in connection with the Central park in New York, and with similar works in Brooklyn, Buffalo, and other cities.

On January 1, 1876, the personnel of the commission was changed by the appointment of George W. Schuyler, auditor of the Canal Department, in place of Mr. Thayer, and the inauguration of Charles S. Fairchild as Attorney-General, having been elected in the previous November to succeed Mr. Pratt. The second act, passed in 1876 (chap. 2) repealed that part of the act of 1875 requiring that "not more than one-half the said appropriation shall be expended before full detailed plans and specifications of the whole of the remainder of the said building shall be made and approved in writing" by the New Capitol Commissioners, and the same law states that:

§ 2. The commissioners of the New Capitol are hereby required to determine upon and adopt full detailed plans and specifications of the whole of the remainder of the New Capitol building yet to be built beyond the Legislative story, and to report their determination to the Legislature within sixty days from the passage of this act. (Chap. 2, 1876.)

A later law (chap. 193, the Supply Bill), passed May 1, contains the following provisions, after imposing a tax on the State of $800,000:

The Commissioners are hereby directed to report to the Legislature at the opening of its next session full detailed plans and specifications for the completion of the whole work by contract or contracts. The New Capitol Commissioners shall cause the work on the New Capitol building to be progressed with such diligence as shall insure its readiness for full occupancy by the first day of January, eighteen hundred and seventy-nine, and if practicable, to complete and render tenantable some portion thereof at an earlier date. The general plan for the exterior of the New Capitol according to which the building has thus far been constructed having been adopted with the approval of the Commissioners of the Land Office and the Governor, in pursuance of law, the same shall not be changed or modified, except upon like approval of the Governor and a majority of the Commissioners of the Land Office.

On March 3.1876, Lieutenant-Governor Dorsheimer submitted a report of the advisory board of architects, recommending various changes in the general design, and making new plans and estimates for the building. In this report they make an estimate of what the work will cost according to the plans of the previous architect, and find it to be $4,826,039. They also add a summary of estimates as to the cost under their proposed modification, amounting to $4,501,039. To this they add detailed estimates for the complete fitting and furnishing of the building, amounting to $2,182,070. In conclusion they say:

The building may be made available for use by an additional expenditure of $4,400,000, over and above the amount already expended, and if the appropriations for the ensuing two years are sufficient to cover the above-mentioned amount, the building may be occupied at the opening of the session of the year 1878.

On March 22, the new capitol commissioners announced to the legislature that they had adopted and determined upon the plans submitted by the advisory board, and that the new building would be ready for occupation on January 1, 1879. The governor and commissioners of the land office had agreed to these plans on March 21st, the day preceding. On March 23, 1877, the joint finance committee of the two houses of the legislature of which Hon. Hamilton Harris, who had been chairman of the new capitol commission for so long a time, was the chairman, made a report (Senate Document No. 44, 1877) strongly remonstrating against the proposed changes, and urging a return to the original design. A minority of the joint committee made the following report:

In the judgment of the undersigned, the commission has not exceeded its authority, but has rendered the State service of great value in overcoming glaring defects of portions of the old plan, and in laying before the Legislature in 1876 an estimate of the total cost of completing the building, which is now verified by actual bids, from competent contractors secured by proper bonds, so that whether this work is hereafter done in part or entirely by contract the State has, for the first time in its history, the assurance of knowing what it will cost.  
                                                                                                                            S. H. HAMMOND.

To this was added the following:

I concur generally in the above, but do not wish to be regarded as expressing confidence in the estimate of the cost of completing the building made by either of the disagreeing architects. On the contrary, I am satisfied that the building, complete in every way, will cost at least $10,000,000 more than has been already expended.                                                    JOHN C. JACOBS.

In response to the remonstrance of the joint finance committee, the two houses passed in the supply bill of that year the following clause:

The new capitol commissioners are hereby directed to build and complete the exterior of the new capitol building in the Italian renaissance style of architecture adopted in the original design, and according to the style in which the building was being erected prior to the adoption of the so-called modified design.

The personnel of the commission was again changed on January 1, 1878, by the inauguration of Augustus Schoonmaker, Jr., as Attorney-General in place of Mr. Fairchild.

The building was rendered ready for occupancy by the legislature on Jan 1, 1879, under these directions. On May 14, 1878, the following concurrent resolution offered by Mr. Alvord of Onondaga was passed in the two houses:

Resolved, That from and after the first day of January, in the year eighteen hundred and seventy-nine, the new capitol building in the city of Albany shall be and the same is hereby declared to be The Capitol of the State of New York.

Some question arose as to the sufficiency of a concurrent resolution, rather than a law, to designate what shall be the capitol of the State, but the attorney-general rendered an opinion upholding the adequacy of the resolution and at the next session of the legislature, Jan. 7, 1879, the new capitol was formally occupied as the capitol of the State. The assembly chamber, the committee rooms of the two houses, and the governor's rooms were all ready for occupation, and the room intended for the court of appeals was fitted up for the senate. These were all occupied as designed, except the governor's room, which was unoccupied, the governor preferring to remain in the executive room in the old capitol.

The proceedings on the formal occupation of the new capitol were simple. Both bodies gathered in the Assembly chamber of the old capitol, when the Senate, headed by Lieutenant-Governor Dorsheimer and Attorney-General Schoonmaker, escorted the members of the Assembly to their new quarters. On reaching the Assembly chamber, Lieutenant-Governor Dorsheimer took the chair, and after calling both bodies to order, said:

The Senate has escorted the Assembly from the old capitol to the new one; and now in this presence I declare these chambers formally transferred to the Legislature. The Senate will now retire to its own room.

The Senate then met in its chamber, and after prayer by the chaplain, Rev. E. Halley, D. D., the President, Lieutenant-Governor Dorsheimer, spoke as follows:

Senators — I have during the last four years been so closely associated with the construction of the building, the partial completion of which we this day celebrate, that I do not find any language in which it would be appropriate for me to address you. I will, therefore, simply trespass upon your patience long enough to express the hope that you will find the arrangements that have been made for you comfortable and satisfactory, and also that the most agreeable and friendly relations which I have heretofore enjoyed with each and all of you, may continue to the end of my term of office. Gentlemen, I welcome you to the temporary Senate chamber.

Regular legislative business was then proceeded with.

The Assembly was called to order by Edward M. Johnson, clerk of the previous Assembly, and a prayer appropriate to the occasion was offered by the Rev. Irving Agee, D. D., of Albany. The members present then took the oath of office, and adjourned until next day.

Owing to the detentions occasioned by a severe snow storm, the House did not organize until Thursday, the 9th, when Hon. Thos. G. Alvord, of Onondaga, was elected speaker, and Edward M. Johnson, of Otsego, clerk.

The Reception In Honor Of The Event.

A reception given by citizens of Albany took place in the new capitol on the evening of the 7th of January. Several thousand invitations were issued, and a large and brilliant company, which included many distinguished citizens of this and other States, was assembled. The total number in attendance was estimated at upward of 8,000, a large proportion of whom were ladies. Music was furnished by Austin's orchestra of Albany, in the main hall, and Gilmore's band of New York, in the Assembly chamber. Refreshments were served under a canopy in the open central court by Charles E. and Warren Leland.

His honor, Michael N. Nolan, mayor of Albany, assisted by the committee of citizens, received the guests in the room assigned to the use of the governor. Among those present during the evening were Hon. David M. Key, Postmaster-General; Governor Lucius Robinson, and his Staff, the latter in uniform; Ex-governor Horatio Seymour; ex-Governor John T. Hoffman; all the present State officers, and numerous ex-State officers; Judges of the Court of Appeals, and Justices of the Supreme Court; Members and ex-Members of Congress; Members and ex-Members of the Senate; Members and ex-Members of the Assembly; together with eminent jurists, divines, journalists, publicists, and men of prominence in various walks of life. Letters of regret were received from President Hayes; Vice-President WheelerWm. M. Evarts, Secretary of State; John Sherman, Secretary of the Treasury; the Marquis of Lome, Governor-General of Canada; Cardinal МcCloskey ; ex-Secretary of State Hamilton Fish; General W. T. Sherman; ex-Governor Samuel J. Tilden; ex-Governor Myron H. ClarkWm. H.Vanderbilt, and many others who were unable to attend.

The details of the reception were in charge of the following


Mayor M N. NOLAN, Chairman. 'CHARLES E. SMITH, Secretary. DUDLEY OLCOTT, Treasurer


The event of the opening was further commemorated by a ball given by the Albany Burgesses corps and Old Guard, at Martin Opera House, which was largely attended and very successful.

The Cost.

From the books of the comptroller of the State, the following statement is taken of the actual amounts paid toward the building of the new capitol to the 1st of August, 1879.

No comments: