Monday, February 6, 2012

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,

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, Parsons & Co., Printers. 1879

page 387

The Old Capitol.

For nearly ten years, the Capitol of New York was a small building situated on what is now the corner of Hudson avenue and Broadway in the city of Albany. The building was called the Stadt Haus, or City Hall. From an old cut of it to be found in Munsell's Annals of Albany it seems to have been an ordinary four story stone building with dormer windows and the Albanian gable ends, yet it contained for these ten years within its walls the municipal bureaus of the city, the courts of justice of the county, and the county jail as well as the Legislature. In its yard stood the whipping post and pillory. It is natural to suppose that the ofiicials were very much crowded. In 1803, the common council of Albany passed the following resolution, four members voting against it:

"Resolved, That a petition be presented to the Honorable the Legislature, from this Board, for an act authorizing the erection of a State and Court-house in the public square of this city, and that the present Court-house be sold toward defraying the expense thereof. That be a committee to prepare a petition and cause a map to be made of ground in the square sufficiently spacious and suitable for such purpose, and that they report an estimate of the sum necessary for such State and Court-house."

John Cuyler, Charles D. Cooper and Jno. V. N. Yates were appointed the committee under the resolution. On March 7th following they made their report. In it they stated that "in forming the estimate of expense, your commissioners have taken a sum for which theyconceive the contemplated State and Court-house might be finish in a plain and commodious manner with little or no decoration or ornament. Unwilling to lay any burdens on the county which might be deemed unnecessary, they have restrained from indulging themselves in a calculation upon too large or expensive a scale. They have there-fore estimated the expense at $30,000 only, to be raised as follows.

From the sale of the present court-house and ground belonging to it which they estimate at 17,500 Dolls.

The probable amount to be granted by the Legislature for furnishing apartments, etc., for them, the council, etc., 3,000 Dolls. There remains to be raised by tax on the city and county, 9,500 Dolls.

The report proceeds to say that little more than one dollar would be the average rate on each taxable inhabitant of Albany, and recounts the merits of the project as likely to enhance the value of property. It says: "The number of lots belonging to this Board which are near and about the public square are twenty-seven. It is not supposed that at present they would produce more than $15,000, at the rate of $500 each for twenty lots on the square and $750 for the seven in State street.

Yet it cannot be doubted that a State and Court-house erected in the square would increase this value, at least, 50 percent more, consequently the city would gain in regard to its public property at least $8,000 on this part of the subject." The report was adopted.*

(* For efficient aid and direction in eliminating these interesting items from the ancient records of the common council of Albany, the editor is indebted to Martin Delehanty, Esq., clerk of the common council of Albany for the last twenty years.)

The public square was then also called "Pinkster's Hill." It was especially noted for numerous fresh water springs, which bubbled forth at various places on its surface, and for the general prevalence of cool breezes.

In the February number of Harper's Magazine, in 1859, is contained an account of Pinkster's Plill, by one who announces himself as an old Knickerbocker. It says :

"The road, since my recollection, passed up the hill on the south side of St. Peter's and the fort, and in the rear of the latter it passed over Pinkster Hill, on which the State capitol now stands. Pinkster Hill! What pleasant memory of my boyhood does that name bring up. That hill was famous as the gathering place of all the colored people of the city and for the country for miles around, during the Pinkster festival in May. Then they received their freedom for a week.

They erected booths, where ginger-bread, cider, and apple-toddy were freely dispensed. On the hill they spent the days and evenings in sports, in dancing and drinking and love-making to their heart's content. I remember those gatherings with delight, when old King Charley, a darkey of charcoal blackness, dressed in his gold-laced scarlet coat and yellow breeches, used to amuse all the people with his antics. I was a light boy, and on one occasion Charley took me on his shoulders and leaped a bar more than five feet in height. He was so generously "treated" because of his feat, that he became gloriously drunk an hour afterward, and I led him home just at sunset. When I look into the State capitol now when the Legislature is in session, and think of Congress hall filled with lobbying politicians, I sigh for the innocence of Pinkster Hill in the good old days of the Wooly Heads.

On April 3d, 1804, the bill authorizing the erection of the public building (now the old capitol) finally passed the Legislature, and was approved by the council of revision, April 6th, 1804. It appears as chapter LXVII of the Laws of 1804, and is entitled "An Act making provision for improving Hudson's river below Albany, and for other purposes." After some preliminary declarations, it says :

"And whereas the situation of the present court-house in the city of Albany is found by experience to be highly inconvenient for the transaction of public business, and the corporation of the said city, having represented to the Legislature that they are willing to appropriate a lot of ground on the public square of the said city, for the site of a public building for the accommodation of the Legislature, and for a new City Hall, and have prayed that the present court-house, and the lot used with the same, might be sold, and the proceeds thereof applied toward erecting and finishing such new State house; therefore

Be it further enacted, That John Taylor, Daniel Hale, Philip S. Van Rensselaer, Simeon De Witt and Nicholas N. Quackenbush be and they are hereby appointed commissioners for the erecting and completing a public building in the city of Albany, on a lot to lie designated for such purpose, as is hereinafter mentioned, with sufBcieut and commodious apartments for the Legislature, the council of revision, the courts of justice, and for the common council of the said city upon such construction, and plan as by them shall be judged proper.

And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the said corporation, and they are hereby required, as soon as conveniently may be after the passing of this act, to proceed to the sale of the present court-house in the city of Albany, and the ground thereto appertaining for the best price, and on the best terms they can procure for the same, and on such sale to convey the said house and ground to the purchaser or purchasers in fee simple ; and that the monies arising from such sale shall be paid to the said commissioners, in such manner and at such time or times as they shall require, the same to be applied by them toward effecting the object intended l)y this act. Provided, however. That nothing herein contained shall be held or construed to authorize the said corporation so to sell and dispose of the premises, as to admit the purchaser thereof to go into actual possession before the new State house shall be completed, until which time the present court-house shall be occupied and appropriated as the same hath heretofore been done.

And be it further enacted. That the supervisors of the city and county of Albany shall cause to be raised, levied and collected by a tax on the free-holders and inhabitants of the county of Albany, exclusive of the said city, three thousand dollars, and by a tax on the freeholders and inhabitants of the said city, a further sum of three thousand dollars; which sums shall be raised, levied and collected in the same manner as the contingent charges of the said county are by law directed to be raised, levied and collected, which sums, when raised, shall be held to the order of the said commissioners for the purposes aforesaid.

And he it further enacted, That the managers of the lotteries hereinbefore mentioned shall cause to be raised by lottery the further sum of twelve thousand dollars, in such manner as they or a majority of them shall deem proper, which sum when raised the said managers shall pay unto the said commissioners for the purposes aforesaid."

The law concludes with provisions for bonds to be executed by the commissioners, in $30,000 each, and for the filling of vacancies in their number should any occur, by "the person administering the government of this State."

The title of this law it will be seen has no reference to the erection of a capitol, except in the extremely indefinite terms "for other purposes."

Under the Constitution of 1777, such cases were very frequent, and it is a matter of record that Aaron Burr obtained the passage of an act ostensibly for the purpose, as its title indicated, "to supply New York city with pure and wholesome water," under the provisions of which the Manhattan Bank at No. 40 Wall street, New York city, was incorporated. It is not immediately within the domain of the present subject, yet it may be interesting to state that the Manhattan Bank at present maintains a reservoir in one of the most thickly populated parts of New York city, merely to carry out the provisions of that act.*

(*The editor of this present volume recently received a note from Mr. James R, Morrison, president of the Manhattan Bank describing in detail the water-works which the corporation continues to maintain in Center-street between Reade and Duane, in order to meet the provisions of its original charter. The reservoir, an iron tank 41 feet high, is supplied with water by steam power from seven connected wells in the adjoining streets, at the present day, under a contract.)

Under the lottery system at that time, all the public improvements of the State were conducted. The system was established originally by virtue of "An act for the encouragement of literature," for the purpose of founding the common school fund, which is now the most sacred public trust of the State, and under its provisions. Union, Hamilton, and Columbia colleges were largely endowed. The system also extended to the laying out of roads and highways, the improvement of rivers, the building of bridges, the encouragement of the arts and sciences, and every thing which might bo termed a State project. The Constitution of 1821 finally abolished the system and prohibited any lottery within the State borders.

It will be seen by tlie act above that the original appropriation for the okl ca]iitol was $24,000, to which must be added the proceeds of the sale of the Stadt Haus, which amounted to $17,200 more. With this sum the commissioners proceeded promptly to work, and on April 23, 1806, the corner stone of the building was laid. Philip S. Van Rensselaer, then mayor of 'tlie city, performed the exercises in the presence of quite an imposing assemblage, including the chancellor (John Lansing, Jr.), the judges of the Supreme Court, the members of the city corporation, the commissioners of the capitol, and other officials. The papers of the day do not state whetlier any memorials of the time were deposited in the corner stone, and it is a very curious thing that it is uncertain to the present day whether any memorials at all were so deposited. The custom of depositing memorials in corner stones was then in vogue, because the newspapers of that day mention the fact of sucli deposits in the corner stones of other buildings under-going erection in Albany at that time. The event of laying the corner stone of what was admitted to be one of the most imposing and important edifices in the country, is thus modestly chronicled by the Albany Daily Advertiser:

"On Wednesday, the 23d of April, the corner-stone of the State House was laid by Hon. Philip S. Van Rensselaer, in presence of the Chancellor, Judges of the Supreme Court, members of the corporation, State House Commissioners and other citizens. The site on which this edifice is to be erected is at the head of State street, on the west side of the public square. It is to be built of stone, one hundred feet by eighty, on an improved plan, embracing much elegance with great convenience and durability."

In March, 1807, the first report of the commissioners was made to the Legislature. It appears in the Assembly Journal of that year, under date of March 5th. It says: "The commissioners, for erecting a building for public purposes in the city of Albany, report:

"That, in prosecuting the duties of their appointment, they have expended $33,200, and have on hand, of the materials purchased with money out of that sum, to the amount of $8,750. The architect estimates that to inclose the building will still require about $16,000; to complete the interior $20,000. The portico with steps of freestone, columns of marble and pediment of wood, $6,800. Total, $42,800.

This estimate contemplates a wooden cornice around the building and a shingle roof. If the cornice be made of stone and the roof of slate, $10,000 more will be required.' "

In accordance with the suggestion of the commissioners, the Legislature soon afterward appropriated $20,000 further toward the erection of thebuilding, the sum, as usual, to be raised by a lottery. In March, 1808, the commissioners made another report, showing that the total amount received from all sources was $69,600, of which they had expended for the work in hand 867,688. They announced also that they were of opinion that $25,000 was needed to finish the building.

The Legislature promptly passed a bill appropriating the needed $25,000. In 1809 $5,000 was appropriated for furnishing the new building, and in another bill $500 was appropriated "for the completion of the public building in the city of Albany, which building shall hereafter be known as theCapitol." Previous to this, every building for the accommodation of the State government had been known as the State House. In April, 1810, $4,000 was appropriated again toward finishing the building, and in 1811 the same amount was also appropriated. In 1814 the commissioners considered their work finished and rendered their final accounts. From this it is shown that the expense of erecting the old building amounted to $110,685.42, and was defrayed as follows:

Paid by the State $73,485 42

Paid by Albany city 34,200 00

Paid by Albany county 3,000 00

Total. $110,685 42

In section 48 of the supply bill for 1814, it is provided that the comptroller shall allow to the commissioners of the "publick building" one per cent out of the moneys expended, as a compensation for their services. Albany city and county, of course, held an interest in the grounds and buildings under the law, and they continued to do so until 1829, when (May 5, 1829) an act was passed authorizing the payment of $17,500 to the city and county, on condition that all rights and interests in the capitol and the park should be released. The terms were accepted, and since that time Albany (city or county) has had no right or interest in the Capitol or Capitol Park, except that of police surveillance, which is voluntarily contributed.

The building was considered, when completed, an edifice of great pretensions. Travelers and tourists described it in language of excessive admiration. Professor Silliman, in 1813, spoke of it as "a large, handsome building, the furniture exhibiting a good degree of splendor." Mr. Horatio Gates Spafford described the building in detail in 1823, and said of the senate and assembly chambers, which were then on the same floor: "In the furniture of these rooms there is a liberal display of public munificence,and the American eagle assumes almost imperial splendor." Mr. Spafford's description, except for the rear additions which have been made, will stand almost good at the present day. He said:

"It stands at the head of State street, adjoining the Public park, and on an elevation of 130 feet above the level of the Hudson. It is a substantial stone building, faced with freestone taken from the brown sandstone quarries on the Hudson below the Highlands. The walls are 50 feet high, consisting of two stories, and a basement story of 10 feet. The east, or main front, is adorned with a portico of the Ionic order, tetrastile, the entablature supporting an angular pediment, in the tympanum of which is to be placed the arms of the State.* (* See appendix — Note 1.) The ceiling of the hall is supported by a double row of reeded columns; the floors are vaulted and laid with squares of Italian marble, diagonally checked with white and grey. The building is roofed with a double hip of pyramidal form, upon the center of which is erected a circular cupola, 20 feet in diameter, which contains a small bell for the use of the courts. On its dome is a statue of Themis, facing eastward: a carved figure of wood, 11 feet in height, holding a sword in her right hand, and a balance in her left."

It is even a matter of record that English travellers spoke of it in approving terms. With such pretensions advanced for the old building, how little could its originators have imagined that it would not outlive the allotted term of man, and how little could they have foreseen the progress of a State which in seventy years could grow beyond the uses of so magnificent an edifice!

Some question evidently arose toward the completion of the building as to the rights of Albany city and county and the rights of the State in its occupancy. On April 1, 1807, the common council of the city of Albany passed a resolution declaring that the sense of the Board is that when "compleated " the same public building shall "be used for the accommodation of the Legislature, the Court of Chancery, the Supreme Court, the Court of Common Pleas for this county, the Mayor's court and common council of this city, and such other purposes as may not be incompatible with the uses above expressly designated.''And in order to "confirm the said appropriation" it was ordered that a copy of the resolution should be filed with the secretary of State, and certified by the mayor.

The rooms of the Public Building, when it was first opened to public use, were occupied as follows: The governor's room was then on the south-east corner of the first floor, as it is now, except that an additional room projecting upon the main hall was added during the rebellion, because of the increased duty devolving upon the governor and his military staff. The council of revision met, it appears, in the governor's rooms. The apartments occupied by the adjutant-general now (in 1879) to which a similar additional room was added during the war, were devoted to the Albany Common Council. The assembly chamber was the same as in 1878, except that various additions have been made in the rear, while the senate chamber was to the left of the assembly chamber, as you enter from the main hall, and is at this date occupied by the department of public instruction. Until last summer, (1878), it was used as the post-office and cloak-room of the assembly. Where the present library of the court of appeals is, until lately the room of the court itself, was the gallery of the senate. When the senate chamber was removed to the large room on the second floor, a floor was constructed on the level of this gallery, and additional rooms thus secured to the building. In one of them the supervisors of Albany county held their meetings. On the upper floors originally, the supreme court, then the highest court of the State, occupied the main room, now occupied by the court of appeals, and occupied in 1878 by the senate. The other rooms were occupied by the court of chancery, the court of common pleas, the court of general sessions and the mayor's court. In the attic were placed the mayor's office, the rooms of the society of arts, the State library and the State board of agriculture, while in the "abasement" were the offices of the county clerk, the marshal of the city, and the rooms of the keeper of the capitol. There was not a committee room in the entire building. It can hardly be conceived that the building could ever have rendered adequate accommodation for such a number of public offices, but this arrangement continued until the completion of the city hall, in 1831, when the city and county offices were removed to that building. Varions changes have taken place since. The new State library was built under the law of 1851 , the society of arts was abolished and large additions were made to the rear of the building, for the better accommodation of the clerks and members of assembly. But none of the various additions kept the capitol up to the increase of the needs of the State. The sessions of the Legislature so overburdened it that part of old Congress Hall, a whole private residence and numerous apartments in the Delavan House and elsewhere were required for committee rooms. Indeed, with so many of the departments located in other buildings, the capitol itself was but a centre from which the various branches of the State government radiated, rather than a habitation in which they held their principal court. Nor did the various additions to the old building, deemed seventy years ago so magnificent, give it pace with more modern structures about it. The city of Albany, then the seventh in size in the Union, although with only 7,500 inhabitants, has since grown to a population of nearly 90,000 (although hardly now to be named among the large cities), and with this growth the ancient grandeur of the old capitol has been overtopped by several buildings within sight of it. The Cathedral, St. Peter's, St. Paul's and St. Agnes' churches, the city hall and the new State hall, all within a few blocks of it, far exceed it in magnificence, though none of them have an atom of its gray old picturesqueness, as it sits in the summer foliage and the winter snows a thing of equal honor and beauty, like a little old beldame among her grander sons.

In the quaint old chamber with sculptured cornices over the doors, deep wood-fire places and wide chimneys, here and there an odd looking modern improvement breaking forth upon its ancient surface, Daniel D. Tompkins, De Witt Clinton, Martin Van Buren, William L. Marcy,William H. Seward, Silas Wright, Hamilton Fish, Washington Hunt, Horatio Seymour, and others of as great renown have had their official habitations. That one room itself is a wonderful centre of historical associations. What consultations have been had there, and what strange plots and complications have been engineered there, is, of course, not within the historian's sphere, but that great state policies and great personal schemes have been bruited in the old chamber is beyond any question. The chief magistracy of the chief State in the Union has been well considered a long step toward the chief Magistracy of the Union of the States, yet strangely enough only one occupant of the governorship ever reached it.

In the governor's room, the Council of Revision, which had the veto power at present exercised by the governor alone, held its meeting in the early years of the building's history.

A history of the senate and assembly chambers would be, in effect, a history of the legislation of the State. Most of the great measures which have served to make the State great, found their utterances in these two chambers. The Erie canal project, the abolition of slavery in the State, and the important constitutional changes which were made in 1821 and 1846, received substance and cohesion in these rooms. There were, of course, many incidents hardly so important as these changes which also occurred within the walls of the senate and assembly chambers. The great constitutional conventions were held in the assembly chamber. La Fayette was feasted there in 1825; receptions to most of the State's distinguished visitors have been given there; the meetings of State agricultural, medical, military and other societies were annually held in it, and frequent political campaign gatherings have had their few hours of rant and rallying from its speaker's rostrum. An impressive scene of annual occurrence was the delivery of the governor's speech. Up to 1821 it had been customary for the governor upon being formally made acquainted with the fact that the two houses were organized and ready to proceed to business, to reply that at such an hour he would meet them in the assembly chamber. At that hour the senate would wait upon him, and he at their head with the lieutenant-governor would enter the assembly chamber, all the assembly standing as he entered, be received by the sergeant-at-arms and be formally announced by him to the speaker, who would then surrender his place to the governor, and the latter would read what is now known as his message. At the conclusion he would withdraw, accompanied by the senate, in the same impressive manner. In 1821, however, an extra-patriotic committee, appointed as was the custom to draw up an answer to the governor's speech, reported that the whole custom of gubernatorial speech-making was a "remnant of royalty and ought to be abolished." Although this was voted down, the next governor, Joseph C. Yates, contented himself with the message as delivered at the present day, and the most unusual presence in either house during a session now is that of the governor. The assembly chamber was also the meeting place of the legislative party caucuses which nominated candidates for governor, and announced the voice of the parties in the State in favor of candidates for the presidency.

In 1812, Governor Tompkins performed an act which was, and may have been justly, termed a "remnant of royalty." He dissolved the Legislature by a decree of prorogation. Perhaps this event was the most exciting in the history of the old capitol. A prorogation under the State organization had never been known before and has never been known since. The cause of the prorogation was the danger of the passage of a bill to charter the bank of America, which had been secured, as evidence seemed to show, by wholesale bribery and corruption. The passage of the bill by the two houses would have carried it to the Council of Revision where Governor Tompkins could have had no control over it, beyond his own vote. In order to prevent its passage, he therefore sent a message to the two houses, on the morning when the final vote upon its passage was to be taken, recapitulating the charges relative to bribery and corruption, and suggesting that time should be afforded for reflection and for consultation with the constituencies of members, and declaring the two houses prorogued for two months, until the 21st of May next, then to meet in the capitol at the city of Albany. The presiding officers of both houses at once declared those bodies adjourned. The scene of excitement that ensued extended itself to the city, and the town was in commotion. Blows and oaths were exchanged within the two chambers, and repeated in the public places. When the two houses reconvened after the prorogation, they resumed business where it had been cut off by the order of prorogation, and, notwithstanding the odor of uncleanness that the bill must have emitted, and notwithstanding the two months of reflection which had been permitted the members and their consultations with their constituents, the bill was passed finally, within three weeks from the re-opening of the session. A committee drew up a resolution declaring the prorogation unconstitutional and dangerous to the liberties of the people, but its consideration was set down for a day when neither house was likely to be in session, a method at that time in vogue of delicately dissenting.

During the visit of La Fayette to this country in 1825, a platform was erected over the main portico of the old capitol, on which he stood and received the people. The spikes inserted in the pillars to sustain the platform remain there at present a somewhat incongruous object to those unaware of their history. Another incongruous object which probably excites more curiosity than any thing else in the casual observer is a stone projection on the south east corner of the building, oval in form, and having twelve notches in its outer rim. Probably hardly more than a dozen men are aware that this is a sun dial, and not half a dozen can explain its history. It was however the production of a gentleman named Ferguson, who had a taste for such matters, and who made it from an engraving of the famous Scotch Ferguson's sun dial, as given in his "Lectures on Select Subjects in Mechanics, Hydrostatics, etc." The stone cutter Ferguson intended to make an exact working copy of the sun dial, as there represented, but the hour marks were painted on and for many years have been effaced by the action of the weather. Simeon DeWitt at that time surveyor general, and a commissioner of the capitol was so impressed with the worth of the dial that he consented to have it placed where it now is, and where it has stood since 1823. * (*See appendix -- Note 2.)

In 1843, the remains of Col. John Mills, who commanded the Albany volunteer regiment in the war of 1812, was permitted by a special act to be buried in the capitol park, and the Albany Republican artillery company, which represented the regiment, was allowed the privilege, which they asked, of erecting a monument over his remains. In their report accompanying the bill for this purpose, the committee of the assembly, to whom the matter was referred, detailed the services of Col. Mills, ending with his death in a gallant charge of his regiment at Sackett's Harbor, in 1813, and in relation to the proposed monument said: "The posthumous honors which a nation bestows on distinguished public services are the rewards which alone stimulate a lofty and generous ambition. It is thus that great and distinguished acts of devotion to the country, when cherished and commemorated by a grateful people, reproduce themselves in after generations. New York may proudly point to other sons who equally deserve the most distinguished

marks of honor, yet all concede that it would be worthily bestowed upon the devoted patriot and gallant soldier who fell in defense of his country, Col. John Mills."

The remains of the gallant soldier were interred with military rites and the great civic ceremonies in the park, and the monument was forgotten. To-day the place of his burial is not designated by even a head-stone.

Many efforts have been made to remove the capitol from Albany. In 1840, petitions poured into the Legislature bearing nearly 10,000 names, asking that some other location be designated and the capitol removed thereto, and declaring that "the capitol has long been detained at Albany by the same bad local feastings and other inlinences which formerly prevented the incorporation of any bank in whose stock certain inhabitants of Albany were not to have the lion's share." A committee reported in favor of taking the sense of the people upon the subject, and designating for their choice either Syracuse or Utica, but the bill for that purpose failed of passage. Attached to a minority report upon the question which discussed very fully the merits of Albany as a capitol are the names of Thomas Smith, C. D. Barton, and S. J. Tilden. In 1877, a strong feeling for a change in its location was aroused because of the large appropriation demanded for the building now in process of erection, and a bill to remove the capitol to New York failed of passage in the assembly by only a half dozen votes.

The old building which this article commemorates deserves a better fate than the demolition which is to be its portion within the next two or three years. Its historic value is hardly exceeded by the national edifices in Washington, and, as an eminent speaker says, perhaps the only infelicitous incident connected with the erection of the new capitol is the fact that the old one must pass away.

Page 400.



The arms of the State have never been placed there, possibly because there remains to the present day uncertainty as to what is the actual design of the State arms. Dr HENRY A. HOMES, State Librarian, writes as follows on the subject:

The first enacted general law of the State of New York. March 16, 1778, declared what were to be the arms and seal of the State.* (*Greenleaf's ed. vol. I, ch, 12 ) Several times since, in 1798, 1801, 1809, and 1813, new seals or modifications of the old seals have been authorized by law, but there is no evidence that the arms of the State were ever changed by law. The following is a general description of the arms, avoiding technical terms:

Shield---Upper portion a blue sky, with the sun rising behind three mountains, and at the base of the last the sea in calm. Crest---An eagle rising from a globe, with geographical delineations. Supporters---The figure of Liberty, in dress of gold and mantle of red hanging behind from her shoulders to her feet, the right hand clasping a staff crowned with a liberty cap, and her left pressing upon a jeweled crown. This is on the right. On the left, the figure of Justice, with dress and mantle like those of Liberty, her left hand holding a balance, and a sword pointed upward in her right hand. Both of these figures are standing, and the left hand of Liberty supports the shield.

Efforts are being made in the Secretary of State's office to secure correct pictures of the arms in their earliest form. There has been obtained an engraving of the arms, as found on a military commission issued by Governor George Clinton, within three months after the passage of the law of 1778. There is now painting in colors a copy of the arms from a flag displayed by a New York regiment, commanded by Gen Gansevoort at the surrender of Gen Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781, to be placed in the State Library, and in the Secretary's office. By chap. 634, of the Laws of 1875, a third early copy of the arms has been obtained from a window in St Paul's church New York. With the aid of all these, a standard representation of the State arms will be retained in the Secretary's office. The title pages of the annual editions of the Session Laws, down to 1815, bore a vignette of the State arms of the same general design as the three early copies mentioned, above, but in that year for the first time the vignette bore the figure of Justice seated and in 1819, the figure of Liberty was also for the first time seated. Evidently it was supposed that as the seals had been modified, the laws of heraldry, as regards the arms, might be disregarded, and the supporters be seated."

No 2 The following extracts from the minutes of the Common Council of Albany relative to the sun dial,have been brought to the attention of the editor by Mr Elisha Mack, of Albany, and will be found of interest:

At a meeting of the Common Council, held at the capitol in the city of Albany on the 27th day of May, 1822:

Present, His Honor the Mayor, and Recorder,

Aldermen. Gibbons, Hamilton, Phelps, Bleecker, Casaidy, L'Amoureux. Van Loon,

Assistants. Maher, Lansing, Davis, Costigan, Pemberton, Humphrey.

Resolved, That the Recorder with Messrs. Hamilton, Humphrey and Maher be a committee to ascertain the expense of setting up the Dial belonging to this Board, upon the Public Square.

At a meeting of the Common Council, held at the Capitol, in the city of Albany, on the 22d July. 1822: The committee to whom was referred a resolution to ascertain the expense of setting up a Dial belonging to this Board, upon the Public Square, report, that the same may be attached to a corner of the Capitol building, and the expense will be about $15.


Therefore —

Resolved, That the Board agree in said report.

Resolved, That the City Superintendent be directed to put the Dial at the southeast corner of the Capitol building, the expense not to exceed $15.

It appears in the book of minutes, from which the foregoing extracts were copied, that in the year 1822 Hon. Charles E. Dudley was Mayor, Estes Howe, Recorder, and Philip Hooker, City Superintendent and Surveyor.

The New Capitol.

The 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 acommittee 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 1865 a resolution was adopted in the senate, appointing a committee of three (Senators William Laimbeer, Jr., O. M. Allaben and Charles J. Forger), 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 andinconvenience 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 andJohn V. L. Pruyn of Albany, and O. B. La.tham of Seneca Falls, were appointed and confirmed as " The New Capitol Commissioners." Thecommissioners at once proceeded to their work.

On April 22d, 1S67, "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 ofsaid 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 ofdollars 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 oftwo 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. Lathampresented 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 themeantime, 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 adjoiningthe 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 toprocure 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 thechoice of a plan for the new building, the plans of Messrs. FulLer and Oilman were approved on the 7th of December, 1S67, 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. Me Alpin к, ex-State Engineer, reported that they had reviewed the plans and estimates of Mr. Fuller, and that they were of opinion that the newcapitol 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 thewidth 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 thecenter 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.

ТhЕ Buii/ding.

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 200 feet north and south, and 300 feet east and west. The floor immediately above the level of theplateau of the terrace will be entered through the porticos on Washington avenue and State street, and through a carriage entrance under the porticoof 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 theporticos 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 thesecond or principal floor are the chambers for the Senate and Assembly, and for the State Libran-, 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 andabout 300 feet in height. In the center of the building will bean open court of 137 by ninety-two feet, the inclosing walls of whieh will be treated in thesame 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 Harkis, 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 Lodgeof 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 stoopand 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, DÉlos De Wolf, of Oswego, and Edwin A.Merrftt, of Potsdam.

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

For six months in 1874, the work was entirely suspended for want of an appropriation, and the commission were compelled to borrow $800,000 fromthe 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 workto 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 theSenate 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 underthe same system of commissions. Some of the best men in the State have held positions in such commissions, and yet your committee has found, inthe investigation of their affairs, that the work has been carried on under them with great disadvantage to the State; and in this investigation, as inthe 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 andsub-divided, that there was no one who considered himself responsible for any negligence or mismanagement which resulted. Hence, it is claimed onthe 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 apractical 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. li. SelkEeg 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 theconduct 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 ofCommissioners 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 Licutenant-Governor, the Auditor of the Canal Department and Attorney-General, and not more than onehalf 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 thesaid 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 accompamed by specifications, which shall fully and distmctly state theextent of such alteration, and the manner and extent the expense of said buildmg will be affected by such alteration.

The amount appropriated was one million dollars. On December 3Í, 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 crities, 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 fora 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 illy 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 thepresent 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 thestructure should be completed, and devise some consistent system of carrying on and administering the work. Besides, estimates were necessary toenable 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 m connection with theCentral 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 Gkorok W. Schpyler, auditor of the Canal Department, in place of Mr. T Hater, and the inauguration of Charles S. Fairohild as Attorney-General, having been elected in the previous November tosucceed 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 andapproved 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 specitications for thecompletion of the whole work by contract or contracts. ***** Tbe New Capitol Commissioners shall cause the work on the New Capitol building tobe progressed with such diligence as shall insure its readiness for full occupany by the first day of January, eighteen hundred and seventy-nine, andif 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 theCommissioners of the Land Office.

On March 3.1876, Lieutenant-Governor Dorsheimer submitted areport of the advisory board of architects, recommending various changes in thegeneral 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 theplans 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 14,400,000, over and above the amount already expended, and if theappropriations for the ensuing two years are sufficient to cover the above-mentioned amount, the building may be occupied at the opening of thesession 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 theadvisory 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 Harkis, 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 thebuilding, 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 general!}' 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.



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 ofarchitecture 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, Je., as Attorney-General in place of Mr. Faikchild.

The building was rendered ready for occupancy by the legislature on Jan 1, 187У, under these directions. Ou May 14, 1878, the following concurrent resolution offered by Mr. Alvord of Onondaga was passed in the two houses:

Resohed, That from and after the first day of January, in the year eighteen hundred and seventy-nine, the new capitol building in the city ofAlbany 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 theattorney-general rendered an opinion upholding the adequacy of the resolution and at the next session of the legislature, Jan. 7, 1879, the newcapitol 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, whenthe Senate, headed by Lieutenant-Governor Dorsiieimer and Attorney-General Schoonmaker, escorted the members of the Assembly to their newquarters. On reaching the Assembly chamber, Lieutenant-Governor Dorsiieimer took the chair, aud 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 transferredto 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 loug enough to express the hope that you will find the arrangements that have been made for you comfortable and satisfactory, andalso that the most agreeable and friendly reiations which I have heretofore enjoyed with each and all of you, may continue to the end of my term ofoffice. Gentlemen, I weleome 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 bythe Rev. Irving M 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 llon. Thos. G. Alvord, ofOnondaga, 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 themain hall, and Gilmore's band of New York, in the Assembly chamber. Refreshments were served under a canopy in the open central court byCharles E. and Warren LelaÎtd.

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 thegovernor. Among those present during the evening were Hon. David M. Key, Postmaster-General; Governor Lucius RobinSon, and his Staff, thelatter 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 theSenate; 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

Wheeler; Wm. M. Evarts, Secretary of State; John Sherman, Secretary of the Treasury; the Marquis of Lome, Governor-General of Canada; Cardinal МcСьosкЕУ ; ex-Secretary of State Hamilton Fish; General W. T. Sherman; ex-Governor Samuel J. Tilden; ex-Governor Myron H. Clark; Wm. 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.






The New Capitol was occupied first by the legislature on Tuesday, January 7, 1879, the occasion being celebrated on the previous evening by agrand reception by the citizens of Albany within its walls. Some weeks later a formal commemoration was had, of which the following is a record taken from the proceedings of the two houses, as published by direction of the Legislature:


In Senate,

Jam1ary 23, 1879. On motion of Mr. Harris:

Resohed, iIf the Assembly concur), That a joint committee of three be appointed from each House to act in conjunction with the New Capitol Commissioners, and arrange for a formal ceremony to commemorate the departure of the Legislature from the Old to the New Capitol.

The President appointed as such committee on the part of the Senate, Senators Harris, Robertson and Goodwin.

In Assembly,

January 23, 1879.

Jiesolved, That the Assembly do concur in the resolution adopted by the Senate, relative to a formal ceremony to commemorate the departure of the Legislature from the Old to the New Capitol.

The Speakee appointed as the committee on the part of the Assembly, Messrs. Sloan, Hustkd and Brooks.

On the 2$th day of January the joint committee, to which the subject was referred, presented to the Legislature the following report, which was unanimously agreed to:

To ike Legislature:

Your committee appointed by joint resolution of the two Houses, on the 23rd d;iy of January, 1879, to consider the question of commemorating theremoval of the Legislature from the Old to the New Capitol, beg leave respectfully to report as follows:

We recommend that such removal be commemorated by the following observances:

The Senate and Assembly will meet in joint convention in the Assembly chamber, on the 12th day of February next, at seven and one-half o'clock, p. м.

The Governor and his military staff, the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and the associate judges thereof, and the State officers, will be invitedto be present.

The order of procedure for the joint convention will be as follows:

Introductory address by the Lieutenant-Governor.

Address by the Speaker.
Historical address by Euastus Brooks, member of Assembly.


We further recommend that a joint committee be appointed to carry out the
foregoing arrangement of procedure.
All of which is respectfully submitted.


Senate Committee.


Assembly Committee. January 28, 1879.

The committee appointed by the joint resolution of the two Houses to consider the question of commemorating the departure of the Legislature fromthe Old to the New Capitol, was continued to carry out the observances recommended in the above report.

In Senate, )

February 12, 1879. \

Seven o'clock and fifteen minutes, p. M. On motion of Mr. Hughes:

Resohed, That a committee of two be appointed to wait upon the Honorable the Assembly, and inform that body that the Sonate is prepared tomeet in joint assembly to commemorate the departure of the Legislature from the Old to the New Capitol, pursuant to concurrent resolution providing for the Shme.

The President announced as such committee Messrs. Hughes and Edick.

Messrs. Hubted and Holahan, a committee on the part of the Assembly, appeared in the Senate, and announced that the Assembly was prepared tomeet the Senate in joint assembly, pursuant to concurrent resolution of both Houses.

Messrs. Hughes and Edick, the committee appointed to wait upon the Assembly, reported that they had discharged that duty.

In Assembly, )

February 12,1879. f Seven o'clock and fifteen minutes, p. м. On motion of Mr. Husted:

Resolved, That a committee of two be appointed to wait upon the Honorable the Senate, and inform that body that the Assembly is ready to meet them in joint assembly, pursuant to concurrent resolution previously adopted by the two Houses.

The Speaker appointed as such committee Messrs. Husted and Holahan.

Messrs. Hughes and Edick, a committee appointed on the part of the Senate, appeared in the Assembly chamber and stated that they had been appointed on the part of the Senate to inform the Assembly that the Senate was ready to meet the Assembly in joint convention.

Messrs. Husted and Holahan, the committee appointed to wait upon the Senate, reported that they had discharged that duty.

The Senate then proceeded to the Assembly chamber, preceded by the Lieutenant-governor as President of the Senate.

The Lieutenant-governor then took the chair, by the side of the Speaker of the Assembly, and called the joint assembly to order.

Right Rev. William Croswell Doane, D. D., offered the following prayer:

Almighty God, who hast revealed Thyself unto us in Thy Holy Word as "our Judge, our Lawyer and our King," by whom alone "kings reign andprinces decree justice;" who "teachest Senators wisdom"; we pray Thee to look with Thy favor upon this house, which has been builded for framing, interpreting and administering law, whose " seat is the bosom of God, and her voice the harmony of the world."

Except the Lord build the bouse, their labor is but lost that build it. Protect Thou this house from unrighteousness, and these chambers from wrong.

Thou art set in the throne that judgest aright; give to Thy servants that sit on the seat of justice wisdom to minister true judgment unto Thy people.

Thou only magnifies! the law and makest it honorable; grant l hat Thy servants who assemble here may receive the law from Thy mouth, and lay up Thy words in their hearts.

To Thee only it appertained to punish and to pardon; make the magistrates to bear not the sword in vain, and yet in wrath to remember mercy.

Direct and prosper all the consultations of the two Houses of the Legislature for the enactment of just and equal laws, the preservation of liberty, thepunishment of evil-doers, and the praise of them that do well.

Bless Thy servants the Governor and the Licutenant-Governor of this Commonwealth; the officers of State and the judges. Enrich them with Thy heavenly grace; dispose and turn their hearts as it seemeth best to Thy godly wisdom, that, knowing whose ministers they are, they may above all things seek Thy honor and glory; and that we, duly considering whose authority they have, may faithfully serve, honor and humbly obey them.

Make us mindful of Thy mercies in the past, and faithful to the memories and traditions of truth and justice, of religion and patriotism, in those who have gone before us.

The Lord our God be with us as He was with our fathers. Let Him not leave us nor forsake us, that He may incline our hearts unto Him, to walk in all His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments which he commanded our fathers.

Direct us, О Lord, in all our doings with Thy most gracious favor, and further us with Thy continual help that in all our works begun, continued andended in Thee, we may glorify Thy holy name, and finally by Thy mercy obtain everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord, who hath taught us topray unto Thee, О Almighty Father, in His prevailing name and words:

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven; give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for Thine isthe kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The President presented the following communication, which was read by the Clerk of the Senate:


Executive Chamber,

Albany, February 12, 1879.

Hon. William Dorsheimer, Lieutenant-flwemor:

Dear Sir — I find, with extreme regret, that I shall be deprived of the privilege of listening to the addresses of yourself, Speaker Alvohd and Mr.Brooks, this evening, as I hoped to do. Every moment of my time is occupied with official duties of unusual urgency. I see, moreover, by themorning papers, that the ceremonies are expected to occupy three or four hours, and I am advised by my oculist that there would be a great dangerof entirely arresting the improvement going on with my eyes if I should expose them to the gas-lights in the Assembly chamber even for one-fourth of that time, and he protests against it most earnestly. I am, with great respect, yours, very truly,


Senator Robertson moved that a committee of two, one from each House, be appointed to wait upon the Judges of the Court of Appeals and the State officers, and inform them that the two Houses of the Legislature were met in joint convention, and prepared to receive them.

The President put the question whether the joint assembly would agree to said motion, and it was determined in the affirmative.

The President announced as such committee on the part of the Senate, Mr. Robertson.

The Speaker announced as such committee on the part of the Assembly, Mr. Penfield.

The committee then proceeded to the Executive chamber, and escorted the Judges of the Court of Appeals and State officers to the Assembly chamber, where they were received by the joint assembly, standing.

Mr. Speaker Alyord then introduced Lieutenant-Governor DorSheimer, who addressed the Assembly as follows:

Senators And Gentlemen Of The Assembly:

You have met in joint convention to commemorate the departure of the Legislature from the Old Capitol to the New one. As I understand your purpose, it is to recall the past, rather than 'to dwell upon the present, or to anticipate the future.

I have sometimes thought that reverence for places which are associated with the lives and achievements of the great is peculiar to modern times. But, without insisting upon so sweeping a statement, it may safely be said that the general education of the people, which is the chief glory of our century, was needed to awaken this feeling through great masses of men, and so make it powerful. In our day it has become a mighty force. A newbond between men and a cheap defense to nations. A treaty of peace which is negotiated by the memories and affections of mankind. It obliterates differences of race and language. It attaches to the cottage as well as to the palace; to the low roof which sheltered Shakespeare's cradle, and to theruins of the stately villa where Cicero sought retirement from strifes too rude for his temper; to the grotto in which Bruce cherished his great design,and to the elm tree in whose shade Washington first drew a rebellious sword; to the window out of which King Charles stepped to meet theheadsman, and to the wall on which Cromwell's head was shown; to the hall where the last Irish parliament resisted the persuasion of Grattan's oratory, and to the quaint building in Philadelphia where the declaration was signed; to the lofty Florentine fane which covers the tombs of Galileoand Michael Angelo, and to the hallowed pavement beneath which Spencer and Ben Johnson, Dryden and Chatham, Dickens and Macaulay, Pittand Fox arc buried. But how little is left to gratify a feeling so general and so tender? It is not long since Rome held the Mediterranean in her embrace, and to-day archaeologists dispute as to where the building was in which the Roman Senate sat and Caesar died. With ostentatious fountains and triumphant monuments, Paris has hidden the site of the guillotine. The tide of business has swept Temple Bar out of London. Hancock's house has disappeared from Boston, and historic names from the streets of Albany. A few pictures, a few statues, a few writings, hereand there a buildiug, and most of them in rain, are all that the mighty past'has left us, all that man has done to justify his proud hope that he is immortal.

It is a great misfortune that the building, which for seventy years has been the Capitol, must be taken away. That is the chief infelicity connected with the enterprise of building a New Capitol. Seventy years ago our country was resisting foreign encroachments by the Chinese device of an embargo. What a contrast that to the multitudinous powers upon land and sea with which to-day the Republic would confront a foe! Seventy years ago a few villages languished in the valley of the Hudson, and occasional settlements were scattered through the valleys of the Mohawk andDelaware. The rest of our territory was still the home of savage life and the abode of savage men. What a contrast that with the populous and busy commonwealth of to-day!

During these seventy years New York has risen from the fourth to the first place among American States. This was not by accident, nor caused by afortunate geographical position alone. It was, I think, worked out by wise statesmanship. New York owes her greatness to three lines of public policy sagaciously planned and persistently pursued; one material, one intellectual and one moral. I shall speak of these not in the order of historic succession, but in the order in which I have named them.

The policy which established the material prosperity of this State, was that by which channels of transportation between the east and the west were constructed, and have since been maintained and administered, not as sources of public revenue, but as instruments for the control of commerce. This gave us both the domestic and foreign trade, and to it we owe onr wealth. It was to be expected that a people who were the descendants of themerchants of England and Holland, would succeed iu the strife for commercial supremacy in this country.

The second great policy was that by which the State provided for the education of the people. This we owe to Holland. John of Nassau wrote to his brother William the Silent, these memorable words:

You must urge upon the States-General, that they should establish free schools, where children of quality, as well as of poor families, for a very small sum, could be well and Christianly educated and brought up. This would 1ю the greatest and most useful work you could ever accomplish for Godand Christianity, and for the Netherlands themselves. Soldiers and patriots, thus educated, with'a true knowledge of God and a Christian conscience; also churches and schoolhouses and printing presses, are better than all armies, armories, alliances and treaties that can be had or imagined in theworld.

These are noble sentences to have written amidst the tumult of Spanish war. A precious legacy to us from one of the fathers of our State.

All the patents issued by the States-General conveying lands in this colony, required that a school should be. maintained upon every grant, andso at the first schools were established.

On the 21st of January, 1784, soon after the conclusion of peace with England, Governor George Clinton addressed the Legislature as follows:

Neglect of the education of youth Is among the evils consequent on war. Terhaps there is scarce any thing more.worthy your attention than therevival and encouragement of seminaries of learning; and nothing by which we can more satisfactorily express our gratitude to the Supreme Being for His past favors ; since piety and virtue are generally the offspring of an enlightened understanding.

Accordingly at that session a bill was passed, dated May 1, 1784, which established the University.

In 1787 the first step toward the creation of a system of free schools was taken by the Regents of the University. A committee, of which John Jayand Alexander Hamilton were members, and of which James Duane, Mayor of New York, was the chairman, in their report used the following language:

But before your committee conclude, they feel themselves bound, in faithfuIness to add, that the erecting of public schools for teaching reading, writing and arithmetie, is an object of very great importance, which ought not to be left to the discretion of private men, but be promoted by public authority.

In 1795 the first "act for the encouragement of schools" was passed. By it twenty thousand pounds were annually appropriated for the term offive years, for the purpose of "encouraging and maintaining schools in the several cities and towns in this State, in which the children of theinhabitants, residing in the State, shall be instructed in the English language or be taught English grammar, arithmetie, mathematies and such other branches of knowledge as are most useful and necessary to complete a good English education."

Following this, after many unsuccessful attempts, in 1805 an act was passed to raise a fund for the encouragement of common schools.

The whole system was thus established: First, common schools to be supported by taxation. Second, academies to be encouraged by liberal annual grants. Third, the University to supervise and control the colleges, and seminaries of higher education. The head was made first, and it is to be observed that the University was so framed, that under its guardianship all the denominations, Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopalian, and Roman Catholie, might establish schools and colleges for the teaching of their tenets, but the University was of no sect, and knew no religious differences or distinctions.

This system of education has made ours an intelligent and liberal community. It has enabled us to easily take to ourselves and assimilate those who came to us from foreign lands. It gave us skill to use the advantages of our position and work out our marvellous prosperity. It gave to our legislation such excellence that our Constitutions have been the models upon which many States have been formed, and that our laws have been copied by the legislatures of every American, and ol many foreign countries. The geological survey of New York has given a nomenclature to thescience of geology, and our codification of the law has instructed the jurisprudence of every people to whom the common law is administered. Not only has New York influenced other States and nations; it has become the very type and representative of American civilization. A poet describes Kent as the "very England of England," and so we may say that here is the America of America.

The third muniment of our greatness has been the toleration of all races, creeds, opinions and churches. Religious hatred never governed here. There was never here any religious test to office or citizenship; nor was any man ever punished by this government on the score of his faith. We are so used to this blessing that we do not know its worth. But, when one recalls the fierce strifes of sect which filled Europe at a time when this colony weleomed every sect — when one recalls the gloomy superstitious amid which New England passed her childhood — when one recalls the great effort it cost England in our own day to relieve Ireland from a church to which the people were aliens, we may appreciate at its real value this theconsummate flower of Christian charity and statesmanship.

These three policies working in harmony have made New York great. Commerce has made her people rich; teaching has made them wise; and charity has taught them that to preserve their own freedom, they must secure liberty to others.

It does not need the vision of a prophet to see that these policies will be continued. You are the heirs of the past. It is your part to keep and add toyour great heritage. There can be no cause for fear. Whatever may be necessary to retain our commercial supremacy will be done. Our intellectual advancement will not be stayed. Schools of art have already been established, and the collection of libraries and museums has been begun. Special aptitudes can now be developed, and the artisan, however poor, may now learn the most subtle secrets of his craft. If Providence should ever give us one of those His most precious gifts—should ever raise up among us one of those men who only come rarely and after long intervals — one who might be to us what Aristotle was to Greece, Cicero to Rome, Michael Angelo to Italy, Cervantes to Spain, Goethe, to Germany, and Victor Hugo toFrance — a man strong enough, even though all other record were lost, to save and transmit the name and fame of a nation — should such an one be sent, we may believe that, as hitherto, the wonderful child will be found not on the couch of the rich, but upon the pallet of the poor. Shall it then happen that that immortal light shall be put out by the cold winds of penury, and that the fair flower of genius shall fade and wither amidst darknessand neglect? No, he will be sure to find that a generous country has prepared for him, even though he be the humblest of her children, an easy roadto learning, and "a broad approach to fame."

I need not say, that there is no danger that we will ever introduce here that spirit of intolerance, which has stained every page of European history.

Senators and gentlemen, the people of New York have been too busy with the present and future to think of the past, too much employed in makingand carrying out enterprises of government and business, to find leisure for the contemplation of what they or their ancestors have done. It needs an event like the present one to persuade us to turn and read the glowing record. He must be cold, indeed, who can cast his eyes upon the past without honorable pride, and without sorrow that it is necessary to take away the building in which these triumphs were won. We find one complete justification for the construction of a capitol of such durability, that we may expect it to last as long as there shall be any one to take an interest in it;and that is that those who shall come after us may never need to make the sacrifice of priceless associations which we are compelled to make. Thetraditions which shall gather here — the lives which here shall be given to generous and patriotic purposes — the eloquence which here shall teach noble lessons — the strifes through which each forward step shall here be taken — the measures which shall be framed he re to soften the hard conditions and level the cruel inequalities of fortune—all these will presently cover this aspiring vault with an Arabesque of sweet memories more delicate than any the hand has ever chiseled, and will spread upon its colors morr beautiful than any pencil can describe.

When our future shall be the past, it must be, that those who shall live then will rejoice that the capitol has been built so strong, that its associationsand its traditions will endure to the latest generation.

At the conclusion of his address, Lieutenant-Governor Doksheimkk resumed the chair, and introduced Mr. Speaker Thomas Gr. Alvord, who addressed the Assembly as follows:

Senators And Gentlemen Of The Assembly:

Owing to my official position, conferred upon me by the kindness of my fellowmembers, I have been selected by the committee of arrangements as one of the speakers on this memorable occasion, and they have sandwiched me between the gentleman who has just addressed you, and thegentleman who will make the closing speech. This is the cause of somewhat of embarrassment; for I follow the eminent lawyer, the wise statesman,the good executive officer — a gentleman from whose lips always drops the honey of eloquence; and I am to be followed by a gentleman who stands pre-eminent among his fellows as one of the most accomplished journalists of the day — a gentleman, in profound scholarship not inferior toany in our country. But inasmueh as a simple duty has been imposed upon me this evening1 I shall endeavor to discharge it with the least possible attempt at a speech beyond the bare statistical recital.

The committee have assigned to me the duty of reviewing the personnel of those who, in various capacities, have occupied the Old Capitol; and inthe performance of this task, I have found my way made easy by the able and eloquent discourse which you have just listened to. The eloquent speaker has given the results of the action of the people through its legislative and executive bodies. I propose briefly to review the men who, in their various official capacities, have successfully and well performed their work.

The Old Capitol — whose requiem we sing to-night, mingled with the joy that this New Capitol, rismg phoenix-like from its down-fall, is to be, in theeloquent language of the gentleman who preceded me, "perpetuated until legislatures and legislators will no longer be necessary"—that Old Capitol has had centered in it, and from its hall has come, all the wise legislation that has made our State a great and prosperous commonwealth.

Permit me somewhat to trespass on the province of the gentleman who is to succeed me, and to claim the privilege to relate a matter of history. TheOld Capitol was erected and first occupied at a period in our history when almost the whole of its occupants were men who had passed through thethroes of the Revolution— men who have stood pre-eminent in camp and in field; in the forum on all occasions defending and supporting the rightsof our fathers in the great struggle for American Independence. Those were the men who first met in the Old Capitol, the end of which we are tonight commemorating. And, fellow-legislators, it may be profitable to pass in review their acts, and the men who have been in the positions we occupy to-day.

We have, as the first Governor inaugurated in the Old Capitol, Daniel D. Tomp-. a name historical—grandly historical—not alone for his conceded executive ability, but also that in the war for our second independence, nt a time when the North—not then the South—threatened secession; in those days standing up boldly and manfully for the people's rights, he girded on with the sword of State the sword of battle, and led his column of our Statetroops, who, under his command, successfully and triumphantly fought in support of our great Union in its glorious struggle for sailor's rights andcommercial freedom.

Next comes De Witt Clinton, whose name and fame were known of all men long before he occupied the chair of state in the Old Capitol. Among many great acts performed, one stands out prominent in his history. It has been well and truthfully said, to-night, that the opening up of our highways ofcommerce was one of the great acts of the past that has won for us the title we hold, proudly and rightfully—the Empire State of the Union. Clinton has the reputation, and he has the right to claim it, of opening up that great water highway of commerce connecting the river of our State—theNorth, or Hudson's river—with the great lakes of the west. But just here, while I willingly accord to Clinton all that history and his surviving friends claim for him, I take personal—no, not personal, but local pride, in claiming for my county and people that Joshua Forman, one of its members of theAssembly in 1808—the year before the occupation of the Old Capitol—introduced, advocated and procured the passage of a measure appropriatingthe sum of $600—a large sum in the days of our fathers—for the purpose of a survey and examination as to the feasibility of constructing andoperating a canal from the western lakes to the tide-waters of the ocean, within the limits of our State; and following up that action, another ofOnondaga's sons—the Hon. James Geddes—as one of the first engineers and surveyors, employed, determined the practicability of the measure, which was afterward tested by the people under the guidance of Clinton in the completion of that great and world renowned water-highway—theErie canal.

Next comes Martin Van Buren. Is it necessary for me to recite any thing in regard to this man? No matter what might have been party feeling andparty animosity in his day, all must acknowledge that he was one of the great, one of the powerful, one of the strong men of our State and nation.

Marcy's name is a household word with all of us.

Seward—is it necessary at this time, when so shortly in the past he has gone to his flnal rest, for me to say aught to his memory—interwoven, as his life was, from its beginning to the end, with all that was beneficial and advantageous to the people—standing square on the ground that education should be given broad and widecast to the whole people—believing in and practicing the doctrine of equal rights in all matters of religious belief —and in the dark days of the republie, nobly supporting the bulwarks of the Constitution — claiming that the sinew, blood and treasure of thecountry, in putting down the great rebellion, should be freely expended for our salvation as a nation — his is a name ever to be remembered with pride, gratitude, and reverence, by the people of his native State.

Bouck—associated as he was, from an early day, with our great works of internal improvement--a man who was not hampered by Canal Boards andCanal Auditors, but, trusted by his people, and putting into his saddle-bags the money necessary to pay for work performed, mounting his old white horse, riding from one end to the other of the canals, not only to pay the workmen, but also to see that their •work was well and honestly done; andas a good and faithful servant, rendering

a just and true account for every cent expended—that man should be long and well remembered by the people of his State.

Silas Wright, John Young — I would consume more than the time allotted me, if I should dilate upon the history of these two gentlemen; they are apart and parcel of the State's history, and in the hurried manner that want of time demands, I^must leave the memory of their acts and virtues to your own recollection.

As Lieutenant-Governors, prior to 1846, again we have De Witt Clinton, and, among many worthies, a Root, a Bradish, a Dickinson, and a Gardner.

Of Governors, since 1846, we have Hamilton Fish, a name synonymous with honor and integrity, justly honored in the near path with still higher distinction in the annals of his country. A Hunt, a Seymour, who from the small beginning of member of Assembly, as you and I are now, my fellow-members, has risen, step by step, to the proud position he occupies to-day, and whose even feeling pulsates, and whose whole soul is tilled with anxiety for the further enlargement of the great proportions of the Empire State, in all that makes it glorious and powerful.

Then follow, acting each his part worthily and well, a King, a Morgan, the war Governor, a Hoffman, a Dix.

Under the new regime, we record as Lientenant-Governors, Hamilton Fish, Sanford E. Church, George W. Patterson, Henry J. Raymond, Henry R. Seiden, David R. Floyd-Jones.

We have many others who have aided to do the great work, of which our presiding officer has fitly spoken, but time will not permit any but a mere selection of prominent and historical names.

Flagg, Dix, John С. Spencer, Samuel Young, prior to 1846, were Secretaries of State. Marcy, Silas Wright, Flagg and Collier, were of the number ofComptrollers. Van Vechten, Martin Van Buren, Taleott, Bronson, Beardsley, Hall, Barker, John Van Buren, Attorney-Generals. Simeon De Witt was for half a century Surveyor-General.

Let us for a moment return to the old names, many contemporaneous with the earlier days, and who helped to build up the great commercial interestsof our State, and we find as Canal Commissioners, De Witt Clinton, Samuel Young, Henry Seymour, William C. Bouck, Jonas Earl and Michael Hoffman.

The Constitutions of 1821 and 1846, the first partially, and the last radically, changed the manner of the appointment and choice of many State andlocal officers; both of the conventions framing these constitutions held their sittings in the Old Capitol. Prior to the Constitution of 1821, theGovernor presided over and had a casting vote in the Council of Appointment, and this council made almost all of the officials, both military andcivil, as well for the counties as the State, and this, finally, reached over 15,000 in number. Up to that period, voters were required to possess acertain amount of property, and the same rule was applicable to certain officers. In 1821 the Constitution abolished the property qualification and theCouncil of Appointment, and gave to the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, nominations and appointments to office; among others, all judicial officers were thus made, except justices of the peace, whom the people were permitted to elect. The Constitution of 1846 broadened the elective rights of the people, and largely restricted the gubernatorial power of appointment; all these changes, these mile-stones inthe progress toward pure republican government, were made in the Old Capitol.

Among Secretaries of State since 1S46, we find the names of Morgan of Cnyuga, Leavemvorth of Onondaga, Headly, Jones, Depew and Nelson. As Comptrollers, Fillmore, Hunt, Church — his name we find frequently, and deservedly so, asan officer in the State government — Denniston, Robinson, Allen, J. M. Cook. As Attorney-Generals, Jordan, Ogdeu Hoffman, Tremain, Dickinson, Martindale, Pratt. As Canal Commissioners, Cook, Ruggles, Bruce, Hayt.

We come now to the legislative branch of our government, where, as said tonight by the Lieutenant-Governor, all the laws which laid the foundation for the greatness of our commonwealth were introduced, perfected and passed.

In the Senate prior to 1846, among other distinguished names, we notice De Witt Clinton, Livingston and Taylor; since that time, Lott, Jones, Sanford, Denniston, Clark, Young, Joshua A. Spencer, Hand, Porter, Hard, and a host of others, their worthy compeers.

I trust that I give offense to none by the failure to mention other names, for time and your patience forbid a further recital.

In the olden times of the Old Capitol we find as members of Assembly, among many others equally worthy, a Van Rensselaer, a Van Vechten, aCady, a Michael Hoffman, and a Loomis; and since 1846, our branch of the Legislature has held largely of the best and ablest men of the State.

In reference to the judiciary, permit me to say that among the many who have shown themselves nobly superior in the administration of justice, I find the names of Kent, Sanford, Jones, Wai worth, both as chancellors and judges; and as judges of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, Thompson, Spencer, Savage, Nelson, Bronson, Beardsley, Platt, Marcy, Jewett, Johnson, Denio, Comstock, both the Seldens, Porter, Hunt, Foster, Mason, and many others.

Gentlemen, I have thus briefly recited to you the names of a few of the many distinguished men to whom this State owes a debt of gratitude it can never pay; men who really worked for and established solidly, I trust permanently, not only the present, but the future prosperity and greatness of the Empire State.

We are here to-night for the purpose of celebrating the inauguration of this great building, and we are here, Senators and gentlemen of theAssembly, judges and officers of State, to see to it that, under the circumstances which surround us, by the names and deeds of the great men ofwhom we have heard this evening, we shall use our utmost endeavor to take no backward step, but to the fullest of our ability, what these men did for our State we will affirm and preserve; we will so inaugurate this New Capitol that no shame shall attach to our names; we will make this arena aplatform upon which shall be built still further prosperity and increasing honor to our beloved State.

We are placed in a different position from those who preceded us. In the days of the past Senators and Assemblymen, selected from large districtsand a sparse population, were chosen with great care; their popularity and reputation were not localized, but were State-wide; they came here with no anxiety for special legislation, but for the enactment of broad and general laws, taking in the interests of the whole people; they had no petty jealousies, no private interests, no desire each to build up his own locality at the expense of the rights of any other; but they aimed to pass wise andgood laws for the'benefit of all.

The adoption of the Constitution of 1846 led to almost a democratic government, in the broadest sense of the word — I speak in no offensive sense; I mean an absolute democracy — making a town meeting of the Legislature. The Legislature was overburdened and overwhelmed with theconsideration of local and private interests. Such bills were always to be passed in preference to legislation of great and general importance.

The Constitution adopted by the Convention of 1867-8 laid down the principle that we should return to the ways of our fathers; that, as far as possible', all private and local legislation should cease, and that, in the main, general laws, applicable to the whole State, should be enacted. Thepeople repudiated that Constitution; but it is with pride and pleasure that I claim the right to-night to say — as I see here many who were with me in that Convention — piece by piece the people, realizing the justice and great value of our propositions, have, in the main, siucc adopted nearly all of,them. We are now to have general laws; we are, as far as possible, inhibited from the passage of local or private bills; now we may fondly hope that in the future our State will progress to a still higher position of Empire among her kindred States of our Union.

The President then introduced Hon. Erastus Brooks, who addressed the Assembly as follows:


Gentlemen Of ThЕ Senate, Of The Assembly, And Fellow Citizens:

The opening of the State Capitol in the 102d year of the legislative history of the Commonwealth, so soon following the session, which a year ago commenced the second century of our connected legislative record, demands some special notice at our hands. The age of the Old Capitol was just three-score and ten years, and some there are now living who remember the laying of the cornerstone, and who may survive its final removal. Theprobable age of the New need not enter into caleulation; but our prayer is that the future may prove in all that is patriotic, wise and prosperous, at least equal to the past. The New Capitol, like the Old, though not founded upon a rock, is set upon a hill, and built of granite; it is for alt time. TheOld has a history of events with hardly a parallel in the history of the Republic, and the city of Albany, at one time called the Colonial Capitol, eclipses all localities as the place where the union of the colonies was first inspired, if not consummated. Albany was the seat of the real union in theCongress of 1754, as New York city was the colonial center in the Congress of 1765. It was just here that Franklin and his compeers, and Franklin especially, sowed the seeds of liberty which gradually ripened, in 1775, in the Declaration of Independence; but away back of this, in 1691, under William and Mary, the New York Colonial Assembly asserted, in manly spirit and noble words, the rights and privileges which belonged to thesubjects of the Crown in the Province of New York, and from that year on there was an annual Assembly. These early meetings were held in New York city, and from 1777-8, some of them in Kingston and Poughkeepsie. In the years of the past, the States have grown from thirteen Colonies tothirty-eight Commonwealths. Our fathers found here, whatever their beginning, the best blood of the Indian race, of whose real origin we know so little, and the fathers came before the landing of the pilgrims at Plymouth, or of the Virginia colonists at Jamestown.

These Indians are known as the "Five Nations," and to name them is to prove their courage in battle, their eloquence in council, their wisdom in government. and this not less when they acted together in cases of emergency, than when they acted as independent tribes. These tribes — theMohawks, the Oneidas, the Onondagas, the Cayngas and the Senecas — were the Five Nations of the English and the Iroquois of the French. They formed a confederacy which was recognized from Nova Scotia to the Mississippi, and here, where we meet to-night, then called by the Iroquois "theancient place of treaties," and then, as now, the oldest chartered town and city in the United States, * they were oftener the friends of the feeble white and red men than their enemies; and, with all their faults, I venture to say, that but for their friendship with the Dutch, New York, in their day, would have been almost an unknown land, and the independence of the people a long postponed event.

If the love of religious liberty was the secret of the change desired by the Pilgrims of old England, we must remember that Holland was both theplace of their debarkation and the land where they first found a weleome. The intended destination of the Mayflower, as she lifted her anchor first at Delft-haven, then at South Hampton and later at old Plymouth, was the bay of New York, but an overruling Providence directed the ship to the coastof Massachusetts. First Cape Cod was sighted and theu Plymouth. So, also, the Virginia Colony — destined for North Carolina — was by a tempest driven into Chesapeake bay.

Always, in great events—

"There Is a divinity that shapes our ends.
Rough hew them how we will."

Our present interest, however, is in New York, whose colonization, like that of New England and Virginia, forms an epoch in the history of the world. We justly praise the Pilgrims, who left their homes and crossed the sea for freedom to worship God. The Dutch came, if need be, to repeat the storyof the Netherlands, and that story means all of independence that belongs to the republic of that name. It begins, indeed, in the terrible reign ofPhilip H, aiming to crush out every trace of civil and religious liberty in old Holland. It recalls the honored names of Egmont and Horn, of Barneveldtand Grotius, of Erasmus and Maurice, and in art the marvelous skill and taste of Rembrandt and Rubens. Eleven years and two months before theembarkation of the Pilgrims, the Half-Moon, Henry Hudson, commander, entered Sandy Hook, just where the Mayflower was directed to sail. • Hudson's employers, once London merchants, but now the East India Company, sent him in search of some nearer route to Asia than by the Cape ofGood Hope, and his purpose was to reach China via some-to-be-discovered northwest passage. He believed he could pass through the waters dividing Spitzbergen from Nova Zembla. Icebergs, then as since, presented eternal barriers through which no ship could pass. From Newfoundland via Cape Cod on to the mouth of the James river, thence to Delaware bay, thence again to the high hills of the Navesink, stopping as he came by thecoast of Maine to cut a foic-mast from the forest, was the work of but a few days, and the Half-Moon, a yacht of eighty tons, which started for China, picked up at James river on the 18th of August, and passed the Highlands of New Jersey on the 3d of September. The river which bears Hudson's name he took to be an arm of the sea, leading, it might be, to the Pacific and on to the eastern shores of Asia; but the nearer discovery of

* In 1686 Albany was incorporated as a city. Peter Schuyler and Robert Livingston were sent to New York to receive its charter, which, on their return, was proclaimed "with all ye joy and acclamation imaginable."

land, whose uplands divided waters flowing both into the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi, the great water shed of the cold north and the warm south; the great passage way also in time from the lakes to the Hudson, and from the Hudson to the sea, was a discovery of vastly more importanceto our own commerce, and to the trade and prosperity of the world, than all the wealth and honors which could have come from the fulfillment of his earliest and best expectations.

This is not the time nor place to compare what followed from the New York, the Jamestown and the Plymouth landings, nor the relative advantagesand adventures of Captain John Smith, Sir Walter Raleigh and Henry Hudson. The bay of New York, and "the great river," as the Hudson was then called, charmed the eyes of the few beholders as they looked out for the first time from their little vessel, as they have delighted the vision of many millions since. The great navigator, who had already traversed nearly all the known seas, and approached nearer the pole than any one born before him, as his vessel lay at anchor off the shore where is now the present town of Yonkers, wrote home, that "it was as fair a land as can be trodden bythe foot of man." But the greater beauty of the Hudson, then as now, was beyond the Highlands. Just what its charms are we all know. The Danube has more of history, and the Rhine castles an older record, and our own great American rivers more commerce, and vaster proportions of length, breadth and of great connecting waters inland to the wonderful west, but where in all our land or in any land, as a whole, is there a river of more real grandeur, or of such varied beauty as the Hudson?*

Contrast, too, the warm Indian weleome to the Half-Moon and Hudson by the River Indians, as they were called, 269 years ago, with the almost daily Indian strife, and bloodshed of the past fifty years. The little vessel seemed to come from the Great Spirit, and with its sails spread to the breeze towing its way as from some celestial sphere.

Say what we may of those we call North American savages (and the subject is important in the light of present discussion), there remains the fact, not to be blotted out, that Hudson, a stranger to their shores, and in pursuit of gain and fame for a foreign power, was weleomed by the natives, with rare exceptions, all along the river which bears his name, from the Island of Manhattan to the Katskills, and beyond to the capital of the State. He found here a simple and happy race of beings, living upon maize, beans and fish, smoking their copper pipes with earthen bowls — a fact proving that there lived upon this continent a race of semi-civilized people, which makes the year 1609 comparatively a period of modern time. Indeed, Vernmmi, nearly a hundred years before, had rounded the headlands of the Navesink and anchored in the same bay of New York, remaining there until the storm drove him seaward, to visit, as he did, 900 leagues of coast, or from Cape Fear to Newfoundland. The River Indians were found eager for traffic, and, at least, were as fair at a bargain as those who came from the old world to the new in pursuit of rewards and honors and wealth.

Near the now great city of the new world, but nearer the Jersey shore than our own — though belonging to the waters of New York by its earliest charter — the Indians presented themselves in the autumn time, clad in gay feathers and heavy furs won from the games and sports of their own forests. The autumn foliage in its grandeur of crimson and gold, green and purple, in itself a mass of beauty,

«Hudson called the river which bears his name "The Great River of the Mountains." the Dutch, "The Great North River of the New Netherlands,"and the natives the ílohegan, the Manhaltes, while the Mohicans knew the river by the name of the Cohohatatea.

made a picture which needed but the blue above and the blue below to be pronounced perfect, and with the active life of the Indians bartering on thewater in their light canoes, the scene was almost one of enchantment. Wherever the HalfAloon moved on the Hudson she received a hospitable weleome. Reaching the shores of the Katskills, where is now Hudson city, this weleome became an ovation. The chief, whose years and honors gave him precedence, invited the master of the seas to his wigwam, and there all the hospitalities of the now despised race — most despised where most wronged —- was bestowed upon Hudson and his companions. In return, just then, they received none of that fire-water which, at the hands ofheartless Indian traders and other men of greed, have since killed so many natives of the forest, and so many pale-faces of both town and country, but rather hospitality seen in the abundance of the last year's harvest, piled up in high stacks and pyramids within a vast circular building constructed of oak bark. The beans and maize found here were enough to fill three ships, and while the elders received their visitors with the easeand grace which belonged to their chief and race, the young men were in the forest with their bows and arrows providing game for their guests. Thefeast, when prepared, made a repast which even kings might desire and their subjects crave. The corn, or succotash, was served to their guests seated on mats, and nature's fingers, no doubt, were in part a substitute for our present steel carvers and silver knives and forks. But the tokens ofgood-will did not end here, and as the captain re-embarked for his ship, these (so-called) savages broke their arrows into pieces as a pledge ofperpetual peace.

'• Of all the lands I have seen," the navigator wrote home, "this is the best for tillage ;" and he would have added, if need be: "Of all the strange people I have met, these natives of the forest are, at least, as capable as the best of mankind for reciprocal hospitality and friendship." So, at least,the apostle Eliot found them in Massachuetts, Roger Williams in Rhode Island, John Smith in Virginia, and William Penn in Pennsylvania.

It is worthy of remembrance, also, that twelve years after Hudson's visit to the Hudson river, a treaty of peace was made with the Indians which continued for more than fifty years, and which would have endured for a century or more, but for the interference of those vicious iutcrmeddlers andnumerous busy-bodies who are usually more successful in marring friendships than in maintaining peace and good-will among men. This was true of the Five nations of New York; and the Hollanders commenced an alliance which bid fair to continue for generations, but for the tynmnny of the one bad man Kieft; who first disturbed the common harmony, and then destroyed all hopes of peace. No Indian treaty or agreement was ever broken (it is due to the truth of history to state) while the Dutch held power in the territory.

Alas! for the sad ending of the life of poor Hudson. His own people, only a year after his sail up and down the Hudson, were his murderers. On thecoast of Greenland four of his own crew, all dying men, with his son, his companion also to the new world, were set adrift upon the merciless waters. While the distant north sea became his place of burial, his best monument is the beautiful river flowing by the capitol of our State. All we know ofhim in the end is that, with his eyes streaming with tears, he gave his last crust of bread to men so maddened by hunger that they banished their commander and best friend from their presence, and from all probable hopes of safety.

With Hudson it was as with the more renowned John and Sebastian Cabot, over one hundred years earlier, and with the brilliant Florentine, Verrczani. No man knows the sepulehre of cither of these great navigators and new-world discoverers. The voyages of the Northmen, who visitedNew England far back in the pre-Columbian age; that of Biarue, in 086, sailing from Iceland to Greenland, and driven southward upon the American const; of Laif, the son of Eric the Red, in the year 1000; of Karlsefne, who spent three years at Mount Hope, R. I., in 1007, and on, while matters ofmuch speculation, are also facts of history, if we are to credit the past; but it is almost sad, after long research, to see how little we really know of theearliest men and earliest times in the discovery of America, and even of our own State. But, happily, there is much that is known and proved beyond all cavil.

The Dutch, five years after the first great navigator had left our shores, were established at C'astle Island, on the Hudson, just south of Albany, where for years they were engaged in the profitable trade of furs and peltries with the Indians, and in 1628, two hundred and fifty years ago, theDutch Reformed Church and school were planted in the city of New York.

In the meantime the Unrest, Adrian Block in command, a little yacht of sixteen tons, passed up the East river, and found her way by Long Island Sound to Montauk Point and so on to Rhode Island and Nahant.

Some of the most interesting revelations in the early civil history of New York may be traced to the thirty years' war in Germany; to the Reformation inspired by Luther; to the fierce strifes between conservative and radical Protestants; to the burning of Servetus, and to the harsh doctrines anddogmas of John Calvin. The whole Dutch system was, indeed, then Calvinistic throughout; but in the Colony of New York it was much more. Here from the beginning the maxim was, as it was later in the United Colonies: "In union there is strength." Even before the Revolution of 1688 by five years, and eight years before Massachusetts asserted the right of her citizens as free subjects of England, the New York hill of rights proclaimed that supreme legislative power should forever be and reside in the Governor, Council, and people in the General Assembly. Among these recited rights were trial by jury; freedom from taxation, except by their own consent; exemption from martial law, the quartering of soldiers upon citizens, andperfect toleration to all persons professing faith in Christ. Twenty years later, or in 1708, the New York General Assembly resolved first, that every freeman in the Colony had perfect and entire property in his goods and estate; and second, that the imposing and levying of any moneys upon Her Majesty's subjects of this Colony, under any pretense or color whatsoever, without consent in General Assembly, is a grievance and a violation of the people's property.

If, in 1629, the States-General of Holland had been as wise as their English successors, they never would have granted, as in their Assembly XIX,and by State Commissioners appointed by the States-General, that exclusive charter of "privileges and exemptions " under which the feudalism of the old world was transplanted to the new, and out of which grew the angry contests between the patroons or lords of the soil and their landed tenants, or between the owners and occupants of the ground, which for so many years created local discords and legal disputes in different parts of the State. A landed aristocracy, let me say, can never be in true harmony with a democratic government and a republican people.

These great historic events were the very stepping stones to our earliest colonial life. There were Grotius and Barneveldt on the one side — one thegreat writer Colony, paid the bills, and the same per diem for travel, which was also limited by law. The term of legislative service from 1691 was from two to ten years, and in 1743 the limitation was for seven years, unless sooner dissolved by the King or by the Governor upon the King's authority. From 1683to 1776, it is due to the past to say that New York won the first victory both for civil and religious liberty, as it did in the Congress of the Colonies for our present American Union.

Besides, the county of Richmond, from which I come, was the scene of almost greater interest through the Revolutionary period than almost any other part of the State. There, was nearly the beginning of the real War of the Revolution. There, for six years the Islands, Manhattan and Staten (thelatter christened "the Island of the States" of Holland), was under British rule. Over both, for long periods of time, the Dutch and English alternately predominated. There, were the early homes of the Walloons, the Waldenses, and Huguenots, all exiles from old-world bigotry and oppression. King James, Qucenc Anne, and William and Mary, all figure in the local history of that county. Hessians and Highlanders, there boasted, e.ven after battle was over, that "they gave no quarter to rebels." There, almost contemporaneously with the meeting of the first Assembly of New York, came andanchored 267 sail of British vessels of war, with troops commanded by Lord Howe on the land, and the navy by his brother, the Admiral, on the sea. There ЗУ,000 British and Hessians* crossed the bay to Long Island to attack our feeble and scattered militia. There, 101 years ago, on the 14th oflast September, by an invitation from Lord Howe sent through his prisoner, General Sullivan, and addressed to the Continental Congress, came Benjamin Franklin, of Pennsylvania, John Adams, of Massachusetts, and Edward Rutledge, of South Carolina, to receive, but not to accept, offers offull pardon to "repentant rebels" who would lay down their arms and prove their allegiance.

In all the eventful incidents of the Revolution, I know of not one more impressive than that at Staten Island in 1777, where, surrounded by British grenadiers, in the room of a house still standing, then a barrack for British soldiers, Lord Howe offered a royal pardon to that triumvirate of patriots, Franklin, Adams and Rutledge, and through them to the then nearly three millions of American people, half a million of whom were slaves. Lord Howe was in manners every way a gentleman, as he was a soldier in courage; but with only pardon for men who had taken up arms for "independence now and independence forever," there could be no reconciliation short of eternal separation from the mother country. When his lordship told the committee, sent by Congress, that he had a very great regard for Americans, and that their precipitancy was painful to him andperilous to themselves, Franklin answered: "The American people will endeavor to take good care of themselves, and thus relieve, as much as possible, the pain felt by his lordship for any service he might deem it his duty to adopt." And when Lord Howe repeated his regrets that he could not receive this committee as public characters, John Adams replied: "I should be willing to consider myself in any character agreeable to your lordship, except that of a British subject."

Later on in the war—such was the retributive justice of the times—Mr. Adams, who was prominent as one of the earliest and most intense of therebels, had to

« A part of the 134,000 soldiers and sailors which came from England to America between 1775 and 1781.

be received by the King of England, in person, as the first minister from the United States at the court of St. James.*

In later years, on Staten Island, also lived 'and died one who seventy-seven years ago was a leading member of the State Legislature, as was his father during the whole of the Revolutionary period. He was a Judge of the Supreme Court, State Chancellor, Governor of the State before the age ofthirty-three, the first Governor who sat in the Old Capitol (elected in 1807, re-elected in 1810, 1813 and 1816), where sixteen other Governors have since filled the executive office,t chosen Vice-President of the United States in 1817, and re-elected in 1821, after taking a soldier's and statesman's part in the war of 1812-15. As a financier, Robert Morris was hardly more successful in the war of the Revolution than was Governor Tompkins in thesecond war with England. From New York city in 1801, from Richmond county in 1821, and from the latter made President of the Convention, Governor Tompkins was elected to revise and amend the State Constitu tion. Whatever he did, he did well, and this, whether as military commander or financier in war, or when, as in 1812, in his message to the Legislature at the commencement of the session, he asked that " the reproach of slavery be expunged from our statute book;" and in proroguing the same body, the same year — the only like executive act in the history of the State—declared that the banking system of that period had been increased and fostered by bribery and corruption which threatened irreparable evils to thecommunity. His honest courage was met by the hottest of party anathemas; but strong in his integrity and in a righteous public opinion, he securedthe admiration of the people in all the States.

Our State abounds in many like honorable examples, which for the honored dead there is not time to mention, and still less for the living, whose fames and names will survive them. Here of the now dead men of the past sat also as Governors, and in more than regal state, the Clintons, Van Buren, Marcy, Wright, Seward, Lewis, Bouck, and Yates; and in the halls of legislation, three candidates for President of the United States, one ofwhom was elected, and three of whom were chosen Vice-President. Nineteen of the citizens of New York have also filled the best places in theCabinet at Washington. There were also, in the past, in the halls of legislation, in Senate or Assembly, a long line of honored names, as theLivingstons, the Roots, the Grangers, the Youngs, the Spencers, the Tallmadges, the Verplancks, the Dickensons, the Beardsleys, the Tracys, theCornings, the Cndys, the Williamses; the Wheatons, the Taylors, the Van Vechtens, the Butlers, the Bronsons, the Van Rensselacrs, the Hoffmans,the Wendalls, the Ogdens, the Savages, the Oakleys, and a multitude of stars only less in magnitude whom no man can number, many of whom are examples for the present day and for all time.

The century of our legislative history has witnessed, after the fiercest and costliest civil war on record, the growth and extirpation of slavery. Theinstitution died out in the North by peaceful means, simply because it was unprofitable, and not alone because it was immoral. Slavery continued longest at the South because the negro was most at home in the tropies, and because for half a century or more it was thought—happily a mistaken thought—that cotton, sugar and tobacco

* Samuel Adams and John Hancock were the only two patriots specially eicepted In 1775 from the offer of pardon in the proclamation of General Gage issued by order of the King, and this on the express ground that their offenses were of too flagitious a nature to admit of any other consideration than that of condign punishment.

t Besides Governor Tompkins, elected for four terms, were De Witt Clinton, elected for four terms. William L. Marcy for three terms. William H. Seward, Edwin D. Morgan, Reuben E. Fenton, and John T. Hoffman for two terms each. All these with the rest presided iu the Old Capitol. could only be successfully cultivated by negro labor. Once, indeed, New York had more slaves than Virginia, and the old Holland Company agreed to furnish slaves just so long as they were profitable. On penalty of exile, no colonist could then weave an inch of cotton, woolen or linen cloth, and for any departure from this rule, to exile was added the eternal displeasure of the weavers of Holland, whose monopolies, however, let me say, were no worse than those of old England, also long enriched by the slave trade.

Just one hundred years before the close of the Revolution, Governor Dongan, directed by the Duke of York, later James H, and advised by William Penn, laid the foundation of a freer government in New York, where in 1688 was legally called together the first Assembly of the people's representatives.

Passing over these nearly one hundred years, I see-George Washington proposed by John Adams in the Continental Congress — John Hancock being its president — to be Commander-in-Chief of the American Army. As modest as he was brave, and unselfish as he was wise, the office is accepted with the desire and pledge that he may serve his country without personal reward. Ten days later he is received, in his uniform of blue, inNew York city by great masses of people with an enthusiasm never surpassed. The Provincial Congress of New York shared in these honors, andbid God-speed to one whom, as with the great chief of Israel, Heaven seemed to inspire with wisdom, patience, and especial courage andendowments for command. All the way to old Cambridge was a scene of ovation and thanksgiving. New England, with Washington in command, is soon free from British rule. Boston harbor and Boston town are no longer tenable for British troops or British ships; and Washington now moves unobstructed toward New York, from henceforth until the war was closed, the stronghold of the enemy. The flag of a new Union now floated for thefirst time unmolested over New England, as did the British flag over the Island of Manhattan to the end of the war.

Boston and Philadelphia were then the largest cities. In time Philadelphia was destined to share the fate of New York. The purpose of Sir Henry Clinton and of Guy Carletou was to cut off all communication between New England and New York; but Washington kept his eyes fixed upon theHudson, and especially upon West Point, as the key to the north and the gate-way to the south. Soon and sadly Long Island, New York, Fort Leeand Fort Washington were all surrendered. For forty-eight hours Washington was in the saddle superintending the retreat of his few but brave troops' from Long Island, and moving them all in safety even when within gun-shot of the enemy; but later losing his artillery and baggage in theuplands of the city of New York.

Thoughtful men have often paused to contemplate the possible fate of North America had Washington fallen during the retreat of his army from Long Island. The young nation wept at this disaster, but rejoiced that an overruling Providence preserved his life. Trenton and the Delaware alone turned the tide of battle, and Washington at Morristown with two thousand men kept twenty-five thousand at bay, and soon lifted the gloom which for a time seemed denser than Cimmerian darkness. Later on, Burgoyne at the north, Howe at the south, an advance from New York by the Hudson,and an alliance with savage men, was the year's plan of campaign. All along our frontier the Ottawas, Wyandottes, Senecas, Delawares andPottawatamies were in league with the hardly less savage Hessians and Britons, led by Lord George Germain and Sir Guy Carleton. For six months more the tide rolled like the billows of the sea against the Americans. La Corne St. Luk, the remorseless partisan, enraged by age and inspired by hate, pledged himself to Carleton that within sixty days he Would bring his Indian followers to the very spot where the Legislature is now assembled.

Indians, Tories, Hessians and Canadians, moved for a time toward the Hudson like so many torrents from the mountains, but long before they reached Albany they were met by one to whose ears the roar of cannon was as natural as the music of the spheres. General Stark and his NewHampshire and Green Mountain boys stood like a wall of fire between the assault and advance of the enemy, and soon drove back the latter both defeated and dismayed. Ere long, King, Ministry and Parliament, tire of Indian allies and Indian massacres along the Mohawk and Hudson, at Forts Stanwix and Edward, and elsewhere. Burgoyne's surrender soon followed, with the loss of 10,000 men, thus relieving the now capital of the Stateinstead of placing it in the promised sixty days in the hands of the enemy.

As the clouds rolled over and along the Hudson, the spirits of a long-despondent people also rose in the Colonies; but all through 1777, '78, '79, there was alternate sunshine and storm, disaster and victory, until at last, with France for our ally, the mother country became weary of hostility toher own offspring, in a war that often seemed as unnatural as the mother feeding upon its young. The story of the Wallabout and of the prison ships, of Dartmouth prison filled with American sailors, worse than the stories of the Bastilc crowded with prisoners, was a part of the cruel andbloody history of one hundred years ago. The massacre at Wyoming was only more sudden and ferocious; but thanks again to an overruling Providence, the end came, but only after Monmouth, Stony Point, Cowpens, Gilford Court-House, Yorktown and many victories upon the seas. It came in spite of Arnold's treason, the mutiny of unpaid troops, and a condition of finance so deplorable that it took thirty-three dollars ofContinental money to secure one in specie. It was a maxim, even then, that bad money in the end made bad times, and always failed to pay satisfactorily one's debts, and it has never been otherwise from the days of Chinese paper money to the paper notes of John Law, the Mississippi bubble, the French assignats, and the currency of the rebellion.*

It was just eight years from the battle of Lexington to the proclamation of peace, and nearly nine to the evacuation of New York city, ninety-five years ago, when, upon a bright and frosty November afternoon, the last of the Britons took their leave of America, then and forever. They left theBritish flag nailed and flying at mast-head upon the Battery, but before they were out of sight upon the bay it was torn to tatters, and in place of it anoble sailor, whose descendant still lives to raise the stars and stripes every 25th of November, raised the Union flag, which soon floated in thebreeze, and with God's blessing it will float there, "not one star polluted, not one stripe erased," to the end of time. Governor George Clinton for thecolony of New York, seven times elected its Governor in Colony and State, with General Knox, in command of all the Colomal forces, at once occupied the town. Nine days later the ever-beloved commander-in-chief took leave of the army, in the presence of his officers, at Frazer'a tavern, Whitehall, near the present New York ferry, and a few days later tendered his resignation in person to the Contmental Congress, at Annapolis, andreturned to his home at Mt. Vernon, which he had been permitted to visit but once in seven years.

Then came the old Confederacy, which, as you know, was a failure — like the

* The old-time money here, when not beavers which for a long time were used as a medium of exchange. was wamptun. where six white or three cylindrical pieces made of shells were equivalent to one farthing, and so passed between the planters and natives.

new one of 1860-61, though for a far different cause — und then the Constitution, which was, and is, the grandest work iu the history of nations. Under its benign influence the first Congress assembled in our great metropolis, and there, April 30, 1789, the great charter was received andinaugurated, John Adams, the first VicePresident, presenting to take the oath of office, George Washington, the first President, to Chancellor Livingston of the State of New York.* That oath was a pledge to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. As it was obeyed by Washington and his successors, so let it be observed for all time, and not less in the spirit than in the letter. What a Cabinet was the first one, the President, the central figure of all, and around him only four members; but of these secretaries were Jefferson, the senior of the four, at theage of fortyseven; Knox at the age of forty; Randolph at thirty-seven, and Hamilton not quite thirty-three; the last the ornament and pride of the State, the great organizer of the Federal Treasury, whose method of collecting, keeping and disbursing the public money has not been improved from that day to the present; the man who so framed the law that he could not draw his own small salary without the signatures of the Comptroller andAuditor, and of the Treasurer and Register — too much red tape, you may say, but better red tape by the mile than dishonest officials by the score, or even one.

The past is secure, and the future must be judged by the past. Men change for the better rather by the grace of God, than by individual instincts or human institutions. But free government is born of God, and nations rise, advance and fall as they establish and maintain, or neglect the right way;and men who love their homes and country watch its life and progress, with tm interest akin to their love of family. The truest patriotism rests only upon the solid foundation of private virtue and public purity.

With something of this feeling, I hope we have all watched the growth of New York. The population, only 340.000 iu 1790, and only about 750,000 when the Old Capitol was completed, and under the census of 1835, at the close of the year, when I first knew our great city, numbered 2,130.000 white, and 43,000 colored persons. Forty years later, the white population was 4,642,83?, and the colored only 56,127. Only in two decades, since 1790, have the latter grown in numbers, and this increase altogether has been less than one per cent, while the white population, in the same period, increased 3.22 per cent.

The cities and city suburbs of the State, always the focus of growth, have advanced as 34-93 to 1-93 for the rural towns. Unfortunately for Statesand people, gravitation is ever chiefly toward the town. Of our whole population, 8,503,300 were native born; 1,195,858 foreign born, and only 301,240 were born in the other States.

Our State growth in agriculture and mechanical occupations has fairly kept pace with our increased population. If, as in the tillage of the soil, familiesand dwellings, work-shops and churches, with conjugal life, are the best signs of prosperity, New York deserves to be, as she is, the Empire State of the Union. Unfortunately, in some things our growth shows both our shame and our sorrow. Just as ill weeds grow apace, so public debts often increase, bringing with its burdens more self-denial than is agreeable, and more taxes than are bearable. In our city, town, village and corporate debts, I see the source of nearly all

•New York not having adopted the Federal Constitution in time, as with Rhode Island and South Carolina, did not vote for the first President. Of the73 votes cast Washington had 69; John Jay, 9; George Clinton, 3; and John Adams, ÍM, which made him the flint Vice-President.

our woes. Debt is the hardest of masters and her servants usually the worst of slaves. The Federal and State debts are happily on the decline, but in 1875 the local debts, if the State Comptroller is correct, make the startling sum of $250,000,000, and the decrease is not large. Ten thousand millions isthe estimated debt of the nation, and the estimated debt of the world three times as many billions. It is not an encouraging fact that in the city of New York alone, in 1878, the fifth year of the panie, there were 917 failures, and only $18,695,531 of assets for $63,958,403 of liabilities. With all our present easement and brighter prospects, we must also také in the fact that in 1877, the town, county and State tax summed up over fifty millions of dollars, with as much more imposed, directly and indirectly, upon the people by the Federal government. The people were drawn into this crime of debt, for it was nothing less, not so much by war alone, as by a false financial policy, and by a fiction called prosperity; but it was the prosperity of a man who thinks that delirium is happiness, and that profits from gambling are substantial evidences of wealth. After the dinner, the wine and the debauch, comes repentance, but it comes too late. In this and in other States, too many people, clothed in silks, broadelothes and costly apparel, have been riding as it were upon the horns of the moon, and by its pale light, they beheld their lengthened shadows, they fancied indeed that the moon was really made of green cheese, and the cheese itself was both as yellow as gold, and quite as large as the orb of day. Pay-days have been coming, andcoming for more than five years past, and they have not been like angels' visits few and far between. When the debt is all paid, either by wholesale millions, as through the late Federal bankrupt law, or by means provided by State law, or, what is better, by the honest dollar for every honest debt, we shall once more stand upon solid ground.

But, as a contrast to this debt-picture, we have a right to contemplate our growth in political and scientific knowledge. When the first New YorkAssembly met, and for nearly half a century later, there were no telegraphs, no deep-sea cables putting a girdle around the earth in a wink of time, so that Valentia and Heart's Content are now twice spanned 3,700 miles over two cables in a second with simple contents which might be put in a lady's thimble, and these contents composed only of acids, zinc and copper. A battery of 20 cells has proved more potent than aforetime one of 500. Our good home-spun forefathers and forcmothers had no railroads, no illuminating gas, no electric lights, no friction matches, no iron stoves, no heating by steam, or steam motive power, no side-wheel or screw ocean steamers, no sewing-machines, no American pottery, no heliographs nor photographs, nor phonographs nor telephones; no steam-plows, no balloons to survey armies as from the clouds, nor diving bells to collect treasures from the deep, no anaestheties or chloroforms to produce deliverance from pain while limbs are being amputated, and the decayed tooth ofold time removed for the bran-new porcelains of the dentist and chemist of to-day. The Indian trail path, the saddle-horse, and here and there thelumbering coach, the canoe, and by sail or on foot, were the only old times ways and means of conveyance. And now, in 60 days one can circumnavigate the earth. The brick and Dutch ovens were the bread and meat bakers, and pine-knots and tallow dips the chief sources of light, while about the only means of warmth were the stone hearth and the deep fire-place. Carpets and rugs and mats were almost unknown. Sanded floors and the tinder-box, with its flint and iron, were the substitutes for parlor and kitchen matches. The old oaken bucket and the deep-sunken wells took precedence of our Croton pipes and hydraulic rams.

All is changed now. Our State population increased 23 per cent between 1865 and in 1875; * and judging from the past, at the close of 1899, a period not far distant, the Empire State will have 6,136,000 inhabitants.

A fact also of public interest is the rather close relation of the sexes to the number of people, or 2,378,780 females to 2,320,178 males; an excess offemales of 58,602. Our foreign population is a trifle in excess of 25 per cent of the grand total of 4,698,958, which does not include children born offoreign parents, but even these give to New York city only 57,337 of native population; to Kings county 65.24; and to Erie county 66.578. New Yorkcity has 19.198 per cent of Irish, and 15,465 per cent of Germana. All our sister States together have contributed only 6.411 to our whole people. TheEmpire State, to-day, has a population larger than any one of the South American States, except Brazil, and more people than Holland or Denmark, Greece or Portugal, Saxony or Switzerland, and close on to the numbers in Bavaria, Belgium, or the whole of British North America, from NewFoundland to the Rocky Mountains. Of our 4,698,958 people, 1,141,462 were entitled to the ballot, in 1876, after subtracting 126,060 aliens not entitledto vote, but including 394,182 naturalized citizens and 747,280 native-born citizens. Only in New York, Kmgs, and Erie is there an excess ofnaturalized voters: 50,206 in New York, 5,610 in Kings, and 399 in Erie.

The charge of fraudulent voting in our two great cities, let us hope, is no longer true, for if the census be correct, New York city in 1875 had 232,152 legal voters, and polled 171,374 votes for president, or only 73.81 per cent, and Kings county but 84.43. Where 49 counties cast 90 per cent of their legal votes, 26 of the more rural counties cast 95 per cent. Perhaps, however, it is a creditable fact to state, as a whole, that in 1876, 1,015,527 votes were polled of the 1,141,462 State voters, or 88 per cent of the whole voting population.

The military capacity of the State is equally striking, with 956,874 males between the ages of eighteen and forty-five; and so with the schools, with (in 1877) 1,586,234 persons between the ages of five and twenty-one, which is the school period.

It is also creditable to the State that its families number 995,502, and its dwellings 728,688, or 6.45 per cent to each dwelling, but only 4.72 to each family — a fact not so creditable to the people, and wholly in contrast to the examples of our good grandparents. The family is the only safe andsacred abiding place of the State, and without it the moral sun would almost cease to shine, and the earth prove but a living sepulehre, full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. The true family means husband, wife, mother, father, children, grandparents and grandchildren — all, indeed, who are under the same roof. These are the household gods of the Commonwealth, the main-stay of its power, and the very essence of its present strength and future life. The family of States is the union of States, and this means noble ance'stry and lineage, the descent from a common stockand race, kindred people in life and thought, while the human family means, and by no stretch of imagination, the welfare of our country and ofmankind all over the world.

It is agreeable to say that the value of our State dwellings alone is far in excess of our national debt, or $2,465,033,634, and nearly one-half of this value is taxed to the city of New York. Of $50,224,848 of taxes for all purposes levied by the

* In sixty уears. from 1800-60- the Increase in the United States was 593 per cent; in England and Wales 121 per cent, and in France only 37 per cent.

State in 1877, New York and Kings counties paid $35,653,834 and still more in 1878.

Next to the family, the glory of the Commonwealth is its common schools, open to-day to 1,615,256 of our present children, not counting 7,000 students in our colleges and higher seminaries of learning, and most of all these soon tobe the fathers and mothers of t he State. Ninety-five years ago there was not one academy nor one common school and but one poor university in the State. If knowledge is power, our schools, public andprivate, are the sources of our future greatness.

Kindred to the schools, and as the sources of Christian education, are 6,320 church edifices, with an enrolled membership of 1,146,537, and sittings for 2,537,470 people.* The New York churches are valued at $117,597,150, with salaries in gross of $5,308,231, but making an average of less than $840 each. In their order, Methodist, Episcopal, Baptist and Presbyterian lead the way in church buildings. In membership, also in their order, theRoman Catholies, Methodists and Presbyterians take the lead. I can find only forty-four sects or denominations in the State, but it is to be hoped,and indeed it is true, that many of these divisions, like kindred drops of water from one great fountain, not only mingle into one, but have their source in one great Father, their life in one great brotherhood, and their final faith and destiny in the one great Creator and Saviour of the world.

If figures were not tiresome, and sometimes exhausting, one might remember with instruction, though not with satisfaction, for the numbers are far too few, the fact that less than one-tenth of our entire people are landed proprietors, t Then comes the unweleome fact also that the largest proprietors are gradually but certainly absorbing the laud of the smallest. In 1875 there were 2-41,83У farms in the State, the whole having 25,659,266 acres, the value of which was $1,221,472,277, besides stock valued at $146,497,154. It is to be regretted that there were 2,018 less farms of ten andtwenty acres each, 14,908 less of twenty and fifty, and 2,838 of fifty and one hundred acres each in 1875 than in 1870, while the net increase of farms from 1870 to 1875 were 25,586, and this difference will be more marked in the future than in the past. Capital, machinery and competition, with aconstant tendency to centralization, are always powers of absorption, but against them you may place skill, industry, order, temperance and thrift; in one word, capacity, which, in man or woman, as a rule, are elements of sure success. Laud and building incumbrances were the plague spots of so-called prosperous times, and year by year, for over five years now, the money-lenders and capitalists have demanded the promised pound of flesh inthe form of surrendered acres, workshops, stores and dwellings.

The products of our farms, providing work for 351,628 people, present almost exciting results; the sales of 1876 returned $121,187,467, and the variety embraced every thing belonging to the soil, the dairy, and to the raising of stock.

The population representing the productive industry of the State, in 1870, was 1,537,726, of whom 1,275.372 are males, and 262,354 females. Of these 925,293 were natives, and 612,433 foreign born; and the females were only one-sixth of the whole force. One-half of the female contingent are domestic servants. Of the rest 81,758 were engaged in trade, and 15,140 were teachers. Let me say here, and upon the evidence of long observation, that skilled work in man or

•In the United States the number In 1S70 was 21.6s5,0s2 sittings, 63,082 edifices, and 73,459 congre gations, and the property was valued at $ЗГй,483.681.

tit is worse in England, where twenty thousand persons own the land occupied by 30,000,000 of people.

woman, and especially is this true of woman, is sure to find both place and reward. Alexander Hamilton once prayed for diversity in. the industries of the new world; and his prayer is now heard.

In the United States roll-call of 1875 are 6,000,000 of persons engaged in agriculture, 2,700,000 in mining and manufacturing, 1,200,000 in trade andtransportation, 2,600,000 in professional life, of whom 40,000 were lawyers, 62,000 physicians, and 43,000 clergymen.

The conclusion of all these figures and of the brief record of history I have recited is, in the words of Franklin before the Continental Congress: "That God governs in the affairs of men, and if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, neither can a Kingdom rise without His aid." We write Excelsior upon our escutcheon, placing the scales of justice in the right hand of one figure, as symbolical of purity and truth, while the capof liberty is held in the left of the fair Goddess of Freedom, the eagle ever watching with eager eyes and free wings these emblems of our State. Ships upon the sea, steam upon land, river and ocean, and industry and thrift all around, fill up the picture and become the evidence, under Providence, that God has always blessed our homes and our State.

Fellow-members, brothers in the pledge of dutiful obedience to the State, representatives of nearly ">,000,000 of people, upon you rests the sacred obligation of present duty. See to it that at your hands nothing that is noble and ennobling is lost of the past; and that, through your example, the Legislature of the year of our Lord 1879 shall inspire confidence in all the future. And to the end of time may God save and bless the Commonwealthof New York.

At the close of the address of Mr. Brooks, the Chaplain of the Senate, Rev. Dr. Halley, pronounced the benediction.

Mr. Sloan moved that the thanks of the joint assembly be tendered to theLiEUTENANT-GovERNOR, the Speaker of the Assembly, and Hon.Erastus Brooks, for the interesting and able addresses delivered by them, and that the Clerks of the Senate and Assembly be instructed to cause them to be inserted in the journals of the two Houses respectively.

The President put the question whether the joint assembly would agree to said motion, and it was decided in the affirmative.

The President then announced the proceedings closed, and declared the joint assembly dissolved.

The Senate then returned to the Senate chamber. 67

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