The New International Encyclopædia/New York (State)
NEW YORK (popularly called the ‘Empire State’). A North Atlantic State of the United States. It lies between latitudes 40° 30′ and 45° 1′ north, longitudes 71° 51′ and 79° 46′ west, and is bounded on the northwest by Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River, which separate it from the Canadian Province of Ontario; on the north by the Province of Quebec; and on the east by the States of Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, a part of the Vermont boundary being formed by Lake Champlain. On the south the Atlantic Ocean and its arms, Long Island Sound, New York Bay, and Staten Island Sound, surround Long Island and Staten Island, which belong to the State, while the mainland portion is bounded by a part of these waters and by the States of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. On the west the boundary is completed by the latter State, together with Lake Erie and the Niagara River. New York has roughly the shape of a triangle, with the base on the Great Lakes and the apex extending down to the ocean. Its extreme length from north to south is 312 miles, and from east to west 326 miles. It ranks twenty-sixth in size among the States, its area being 49,170 square miles, of which 47,620 square miles are land surface.
Topography. The topographical features of New York are varied and complex, but a certain number of more or less well-marked physical divisions may be recognized. The great Appalachian belt first comes out upon the coast in this State. The Piedmont plain, which has such a distinctive development farther south, is here scarcely represented; and the coastal plain is represented only by Long Island, which is low and sandy, with an average elevation of about 70 feet and a maximum of 380 feet. The first division of the mainland, covering the southeastern corner of the State, consists of the Highlands, an extension of the Highlands of New Jersey. It is a rugged region rising in some of its peaks to a height of about 1500 feet, and is pierced by the Hudson in a magnificent gorge. It falls into gentle undulations toward Long Island Sound and New York Bay. Northwest and north of the Highlands follows an extension of the Kittatinny Valley of New Jersey. This is low compared with the neighboring elevations, but east of the Hudson the land rises into the Taconic Range, 2800 feet high, which runs along the eastern boundary into Massachusetts and Vermont, where its extension forms the Green Mountains. West of this Taconic region rises the extension of the Pennsylvanian part of the Appalachian system in the form of a vast plateau covering more than one-third of the State, and reaching from the Hudson to within two or three miles of Lake Erie. It is deeply eroded by river valleys lying in places over 1000 feet below the higher portions. Its eastern part rises in many peaks over 3000 feet in the wild and much dissected mountain region known as the Catskills, whose highest peak, Slide Mountain, has an altitude of 4205 feet. South of the Catskills are the Shawangunk Mountains. The average elevation of the western part of the great plateau is about 1200 feet, with some points reaching 2000 feet. Throughout its length on the north, east, and southeast, it is bounded by a limestone escarpment in some places very high and abrupt, and known in the east as the Helderberg Mountain. North of this escarpment is a low-lying region, forming in the west the lake shore plain and in the east the Mohawk Valley. The latter is bounded on the north by an irregular and hilly country, which merges imperceptibly into the last great topographical region, the Adirondacks. The Adirondacks with their outlying hills cover the entire northern part of the State. Their central portion is heavily forested, and is a famous summer resort. Several of their peaks are over 4000 feet high, and Mount Marcy, the highest point in the State, has an altitude of 5344 feet.
AREA AND POPULATION OF NEW YORK BY COUNTIES.
|County Seat.|| Area in
|Cattaraugus||B 3||Little Valley||1,330||60,866||65,643|
|Hamilton||F 2||Lake Pleasant||1,747||4,762||4,947|
|New York||F 5||New York||63||1,515,301||2,050,600|
|Rockland||F 5||New City||180||35,162||38,298|
|St. Lawrence||F 1||Canton||2,810||85,048||89,083|
|Saratoga||F 2||Ballston Spa||830||57,663||61,089|
|Seneca||D 3||Ovid & Waterloo||328||28,227||28,114|
|Westchester||G 4||White Plains||450||146,772||183,375|
|Yates||C 3||Penn Yan||348||21,001||20,318|
Hydrography. The rivers of the State flow in all directions, and supply five main systems—the Saint Lawrence, Hudson, Mississippi, Susquehanna, and Delaware. The Saint Lawrence drainage basin is the largest in the State, but includes mostly small streams flowing into Lakes Erie and Ontario, the Saint Lawrence River, and Lake Champlain. The largest of these streams are the Genesee, the Oswego, and the Black rivers, all emptying into Lake Ontario. The second drainage basin is that of the Hudson—the only large river flowing entirely within the State. It explains in large part the commercial supremacy of New York, since through its western branch-valley of the Mohawk, through which it has been practicable to construct a canal, it opens a continuous waterway into the heart of the Continent. Even before the Erie Canal was constructed the Hudson and Mohawk valleys constituted an important trade route between the Atlantic and the Great Lakes. The Delaware and Susquehanna rivers both rise in this State, draining its south-central portion. The latter is a large river before it crosses the boundary, but is not navigable. The Mississippi system is represented only by the Allegheny River in the extreme western part of the State. Many of the rivers flow through picturesque gorges, and are broken by falls and rapids, the most noted of which, besides Niagara, are those of the Genesee at Rochester.
New York is dotted with numerous lakes celebrated for beauty. Some of them are of considerable size, and nearly all are of elongated type, formed by the damming of river valleys by glacial materials. This type appears most conspicuously in the group known as the Finger Lakes in the western part of the State. They lie nearly parallel in a north and south direction. The largest are Lakes Seneca and Cayuga, each nearly 40 miles long and from 2 to 3 miles wide. Lake Chautauqua in the extreme west and the picturesque Lake George in the extreme east are of similar formation, as is also Oneida Lake in the central portion, though the last has a width of over 5 miles, with a length of 20 miles. The Adirondack region abounds in mountain lakes of romantic beauty.
Climate. The climate of the State is of the continental rather than the insular type, though the extreme coastal regions of Long Island are somewhat tempered by the ocean. The range of temperature is nowhere as great as in the States of the Northwestern plains. The average maximum is about 100° and the minimum zero, or a few degrees below, but these figures vary much with the topography, the winters in the Adirondacks being very cold. The mean temperature for January is 30° on the coast, 26° in the northwest, and 15° in the Adirondacks. The corresponding figures for July are 72°, 70°, and 64°. The rainfall is abundant throughout the State. In the Adirondacks it is nearly 60 inches, and at New York City, 42 inches. In the rest of the State it ranges between 35 and 45 inches, being least in the northwest.
Geology. There are two areas of Archæan rocks, which probably represent the portions of the State that rose above the pre-Cambrian ocean. These are the Adirondack region of the north and the Highlands of the extreme south. Both consist of very ancient crystalline and metamorphic rocks, granites, gneisses, etc., with intruded basic rocks forming the central or Mount Marcy group of the Adirondacks. The northern Archæan area is flanked on the north by outcrops of Potsdam sandstone of the Cambrian Age, and again on all sides by a narrow band of Trenton limestone, while a tongue of Lower Cambrian extends from the southern end of Lake Champlain toward the Hudson Valley. In the early Silurian Age a great upheaval connected the Adirondacks with the Highlands and raised above sea-level the regions bordering these on the west. That portion now appears as Lower Silurian slates and limestones, running in a great curve from Lake Ontario toward Lake George, and thence south and southwestward into the Kittatinny Valley of New Jersey. On this formation the Upper Silurian rests unconformably and crops out along the southern shore of Lake Ontario. The rest of the State, including the entire southwestern and south-central portion as far east as the Hudson Valley, remained submerged until the close of the Devonian Age, when, in the early Carboniferous Age, it was raised by the great Appalachian upheaval. This portion is now covered by rocks of the Devonian system, forming the great western plateau, which is terminated by the abrupt escarpment formed by the Helderberg limestone. The eastern portion of the plateau is more folded and upturned than the western, and is capped by harder sandstone, whence it remains at a higher level as the Catskill Mountains. The Upper Devonian may have been overlain by a light Carboniferous stratum; but if so, the latter has been entirely worn away, and the State contains no rocks later than the Upper Devonian, with the exception of a small area of Triassic and Cretaceous strata in the southeastern part. Glacial action has been very effective in shaping the present topography of New York, by the formation of lakes, the changing of river courses, the scooping out of some valleys and filling in of others, and the deposition of moraine materials, these materials covering the older rock-formations in an irregular sheet from a few inches to several hundred feet in thickness, and constituting the principal soil of the State.
Mineral Resources. The coal measures, which are so extensively developed south of the boundary, are not represented in this State. There are valuable clay deposits in the lowlands around the lakes and river valleys, formed by the deposits from the larger lakes which covered those regions in Pleistocene times. The granites of the Archæan regions, the limestones of the Trenton and Niagara formations in the northwest, and the Potsdam and Catskill sandstones, especially those layers of the Hamilton group known as the Hudson River bluestone, form valuable sources of building stone. The principal metallic ore is iron, which occurs in extensive beds of magnetite and hematite in the crystalline rocks of the Adirondacks. Interbedded with the shales of the Upper Silurian strata south of Lake Ontario are extensive deposits of rock salt from 15 to 150 feet thick, while other minerals are found in smaller quantities in various parts of the State.
Mining. New York has no coal mines, and is in this respect in marked contrast with the sister Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The State ranks high in the stone-quarrying industry. All the more important varieties of stone, as well as industrial clays, are worked. The output of limestone in 1900 was valued at $1,730,162, the largest for any year in the decade 1890-1900. The sandstone for the same year (nearly two-thirds being bluestone) was valued at $1,467,496—also the largest value attained from 1890 to 1900. The annual production of granite and of marble each ranges in value from about $200,000 to $500,000. Slate is of less importance. New York produces over half of the total output of rock cement for the country, the value for 1900 being $2,045,451. Portland cement is also made. The value of the clay products for 1900 was $8,073,769—a little less than in 1890—of which over one-sixth represented pottery, and the remainder brick and tile. New York is the largest salt-producing State, the value of the product being over one-third that for the entire country. Prior to 1893 New York was exceeded by Michigan in the salt output, but it has regularly held first rank since that year. Since 1898 the annual value has been more than $2,000,000. The yield of the different kinds of iron ore in 1900 was: red hematite, 44,467 long tons; brown hematite, 44,891; magnetite, 345,714; and carbonate, 6413 long tons, the value of the entire product being $1,103,817. Petroleum and natural gas are obtained in the western part of the State. The value of the natural gas yield was greatest in 1890—$552,000. The highest subsequent figure was that for 1900—$363,367. Only one State, Wisconsin, exceeds New York in the value of its mineral waters, the total receipts being $929,038, from 44 springs reporting in 1900.
Fisheries. The fishery industries, like those of most of the Middle Atlantic coast States, have greatly declined in value of late. Its vessel fisheries, however, show an increase. In 1898 there were 9185 persons engaged in the industries, as against 12,246 in 1891. The value of the catch for the same year was $3,545,189, showing a decline of nearly 30 per cent. since 1891, although the amount of the catch increased during the same period. Suffolk County, on Long Island, is the foremost county in the State in fisheries. The oyster represents more than one-half of the total value. Next come menhaden, bluefish, and clams. In the counties bordering on the Hudson the fisheries are of minor importance. The chief species here are shad and alewives. The lake fisheries of New York are also of some importance. The menhaden industry has been considerably consolidated in late years. Its product in 1898 was $405,488. The value of the canned fish amounted in 1900 to $197,869. See the bibliography under the article Fisheries.
Agriculture. For a long time New York was the first State in agricultural importance, and as late as 1890 was surpassed by Illinois alone in the value of farm products. In 1900, although these products had increased 51 per cent. in the decade ending with that year, the amount was exceeded in three Western States. Each decade since 1870 has witnessed a decrease in the value of farm land and farm improvements, a fact generally explained by the rise of Western competition. The area of improved land reached its maximum in New York in 1880, and declined in each of the subsequent decades. In 1900 74.3 per cent. of the land area of the State was included in farms, and of this amount 68.9 per cent. was improved. The average size of farms decreased from 112.1 acres in 1850 to 99.9 acres in 1900. Tenant farming is growing in favor, and embraced in 1900 23.9 per cent. of all farms. Over one-half of the total crop acreage is devoted to hay and forage, and exceeds the corresponding area in any other State. The importance of the dairy industry gives a special value to hay. While the total product is sometimes exceeded in other States, it generally stands first as to total value. Oats is the most important cereal and is a favorite crop in the Saint Lawrence Valley. Wheat and corn are of about equal prominence. Both regained from 1890 to 1900 a part of the very large loss of area which characterized them in the preceding decade. Only one other State rivals New York in the production of rye and buckwheat.
After hay, the potato is the most valuable farm product. The State is unapproached in the area devoted to this vegetable, and in the value of its production. New York also takes first rank in garden farming. Long Island is almost wholly devoted to this industry, for which it has the special advantage of being near to the New York market. In the production of beans the State holds second rank. In the western counties north of the watershed and in Ulster County are large fruit orchards, the apple trees constituting 70 per cent. of the total number of fruit trees in the State. Grapes are grown abundantly in the southern part of the Hudson Valley and in the lake region. Tobacco is raised in the Chemung Valley and northeastward to the eastern end of Lake Erie. Hops are a prominent crop in some of the central counties, but recently there has been a significant decrease, owing to Western competition. A large income is annually obtained from the products of floriculture. Fertilizers are very commonly used throughout the State, an average of $20 per farm being expended for them. The following table of acreages explains itself:
Stock-Raising. Stock-raising is characterized by the great prominence of dairy cows. The number of cows has increased steadily, and the dairy industry has likewise grown. In 1900 the value of dairy products constituted 30.5 per cent. of the gross farm income. The receipts from the sales of milk in that year were $36,248,833, and from sales of butter, $9,868,446. From 1890 to 1900 there was a decided increase in the number of cattle and a marked decrease in the number of sheep. Poultry products are a very prominent item. The following table of this holdings of stock is self-explanatory:
|Mules and asses||3,651||4,636|
Forests and Forest Products. Forests of white pine, spruce, and hemlock originally covered the Adirondacks, and, mingled with hard woods, were common throughout other parts of the State. New York has long played a prominent part in the lumber industry of the country, and in 1850 ranked first among the States in the value of timber products. As a result the merchantable timber has been generally removed except in the Adirondacks, and most of the pine has been cleared from that region. The State possesses here 1,163,414 acres. In 1900 there were in New York 705,914 acres in private reserves, and 1,356,816 acres were owned by individuals or companies for other purposes. Hemlock and spruce are cut in the largest quantities. From the table below it will be seen that while the value of the lumber and timber products, as also the planing mill products, etc., decreased somewhat during the decade, the value of paper and wood pulp increased 88.2 per cent. This gave the State first rank in this industry.
Manufactures. The leading position of New York as a manufacturing State dates from about 1825, when the Erie Canal was finished. The largest absolute gain in the industry was made from 1880 to 1890. The percentage of the population engaged in the industry as wage-earners increased from 6.4 in 1850 to 11.7 in 1900. There was, however, a decrease in the last decade of that period. The total value of manufactures for the year 1900 was $2,175,726,900. This figure was one-seventh greater than that for Pennsylvania—the only other State which approaches New York in this respect. The figure was in fact nearly one-sixth of that for the United States. This position is held by the State despite the comparative lack of iron manufacturing and textile industries. It is due to the great number of factories and shops producing the more highly finished products. The State is not without valuable resources of field, forest, and mine, and counts also among its advantages the sources of an abundant water-power, including the Niagara Falls. But its advanced position is the outgrowth rather of its superior situation with respect to both home and foreign markets. The construction of the Erie Canal westward through the Mohawk Valley—the only natural break in the Appalachian Mountain range—established early communication between the Hudson River and the Great Lakes, and brought to New York much of the commerce of the West. The water routes determined the location of nearly all the large towns, which in turn largely determined the location of railway routes. At the southern extremity of this system of water transportation was New York Harbor, with its superior natural facilities for shipping. New York City thus became the metropolis of the country, and extensive manufacturing industries sprang up in and about it. About three-fifths of the total State output is accredited to New York City, but this output includes many industries of only local concern, such as the manufacture of gas and of bread and other food preparations, carpentering, plumbing, tinsmithing, and masonry work. In the different branches of the clothing and garment industry, New York City and other towns of the State produce more than a third of the output of the United States. The production of men's and women's factory-made clothing is largely confined to the metropolis. The work is generally performed in small workshops or tenement rooms. This system grows out of the necessity for specialization owing to the large number of patterns used, and is favored by the abundance of cheap labor available where there are such large numbers of foreigners unable to secure more profitable employment. This branch of industry is of comparatively recent development. Troy shares with New York in the extensive production of men's furnishing goods—shirts, neckwear, etc. Millinery and lace goods and silk and silk goods are New York City products, the last having suffered a large decline from 1890 to 1900 owing to the removal of establishments, in quest of cheaper rents and certain other advantages, to points outside the State. Yonkers is the centre of a large knitting industry, and Cohoes and Utica are noted for their carpet and rug manufactures. The manufacture of fur goods in New York City, and of boots and shoes at different points, is extensive. Tanning and the manufacture of leather are also very important.
|Value of products,
work and repairing
|Increase 1890 to 1900||......||3,108||56,972||$298,379,790|
|Per cent. of increase||......||14.6||12.8||27.6|
While the iron and steel industry is of comparatively small and decreasing importance, the foundry and machine-shop industry is rapidly developing, and in 1900 gave the State second rank. The printing press and steam engine are the best known of these products. The industry is well represented at most of the large centres. New York is unrivaled in the manufacture of electrical apparatus and musical instruments. Especially prominent are the manufactures of refined sugar and molasses, roasted and ground coffee and spice, confectionery, patent medicine, tobacco, and liquors—most of which are produced almost wholly in New York City. Flour and grist milling, slaughtering and meat-packing, and the factory production of cheese, butter, and condensed milk, are more generally distributed over the State. In the first-named industry the State ranks second. On the opening of the Erie Canal, Rochester, being favored with water power from the falls of the Genesee River, became the leading ‘flour city’ of the United States, and New York held first place until the comparatively recent development of the industry at Minneapolis. Between 1890 and 1900 both the flouring and slaughtering industries declined. The factory production of cheese, butter, and condensed milk, on the contrary, increased during that period nearly 85 per cent., and the State continues to hold first rank in this line. The manufacture of chemicals, including paints and varnishes, has attained large proportions in New York City. The printing industry of New York is more than twice that of any other State, and the metropolis is the centre of the periodical press as well as of book publishing. New York has long ranked as one of the foremost States in the brewing industry. The preceding table is a summary for the leading industries.
Commerce and Transportation. In maritime commerce New York far outranks any other State in the Union. In the fiscal year ending June 30, 1901, 64 per cent. of the imports and 35.60 per cent. of the exports of the entire nation passed through the port of New York. Its traffic to and from other United States coast points is between two and three times the volume of its foreign trade. In addition it has a vast trade along the Hudson. Buffalo is the chief lake port of the State, and has an immense commerce with the West. With this commerce may be included that of Tonawanda. Oswego is the principal port on Lake Ontario. Other important shipping points are: Charlotte, Sodus Point, Fair Haven, and Cape Vincent on Lake Ontario, Ogdensburg on the Saint Lawrence River, Rouses Point, Plattsburg, and Whitehall on Lake Champlain, and Newburgh and Rondout on the Hudson River. The total traffic for the entire State can best be noted in connection with the means of inland transportation.
New York was the first State to enter actively on the work of canal construction. In addition to the Erie Canal, opened in 1825, the State has constructed the Champlain Canal, the Oswego Canal, and several other branch canals, and enlarged the Erie Canal to four times its original dimensions. The total expenditure on canal construction has been nearly $100,000,000. In recent years, owing to railroad competition and the neglect of the State to improve the canals, the traffic on them has declined, most of the branch canals have been abandoned, and only on the Erie and Champlain routes is there any considerable tonnage. Proposed plans for the enlargement of the Erie Canal constitute a most important question for the State.
The first railroad in the State was the Mohawk and Hudson, opened in 1831 from Albany to Schenectady, a distance of seventeen miles. By 1842 there were lines extending from Albany to Buffalo. Within another decade the Erie road across the southern part of the State and the Hudson River road from New York to Albany had been completed. Since then roads have been built over every section of the State, and the different lines have been united into great systems. There were, in 1900, 8095 miles of road and over 12,000 miles of track in the State. The total traffic in 1899 was 150,000,000 passengers, moved 3,500,000,000 passenger miles, and 170,000,000 tons of freight, moved 24,000,000,000 ton-miles—being one fourth of the passenger traffic and one-fifth of the freight traffic of the entire country. The principal railroad systems crossing the State are the New York Central and Hudson River, the Erie, the Lackawanna, the New York, Chicago and Saint Louis (with the West Shore), the New York, Ontario and Western, and the Lehigh Valley. Other important systems enter at the east and west. There is a State board of railroad commissioners, having general supervision of railroads and their operation with reference to public safety and convenience. The board is empowered to investigate and report violations of the law.
Banks. The paramount position of New York City in the American financial world places New York State in the lead among the States in the number and resources of its financial institutions. The first bank of the State was the Bank of North America, incorporated in 1782. In 1791 the second bank was chartered under the name of the Bank of New York. In 1804 an act was passed prohibiting banking and the issuing of currency in the State except under a special charter from the Legislature. Due to the high profits, banking charters were eagerly sought and became political favors. At the time of the declaration of war with Great Britain in 1812 there were twenty banks in the State, and twenty-four more were chartered between 1812 and 1829. As the bank charters were for a limited number of years, and most of them were to expire in 1831, the banks in 1828 made a combined effort for a general renewal of their charters. But a strong opposition developed to this plan. The careless distribution of charters to political friends had produced bad results, and the New York currency was becoming less secure. A reform of the banking system was therefore undertaken in 1829, and the plan of securing bank circulation by the formation of a safety fund was successfully carried through. The law required all banks with new or renewed charters to contribute one-half of one per cent. of their capital annually to a common safety fund, out of which losses from bank failures were to be covered. A board of three bank commissioners was created by the same bill, and quarterly examinations and annual reports provided for. In 1832 fifty-two banks were members of the safety fund, and twelve did not belong to it.
The financial crisis of 1837 was heavily felt in New York, where the banks suspended specie payments, and bills of many concerns passed at a discount. The chartered banks became the object of popular dissatisfaction, which expressed itself in a demand for a free banking system. As a result of this agitation a free banking law was passed in 1838, which, in order to secure the bank currency, compelled the investment of the bank capital in New York State bonds or equally good securities and their deposit with the State. This was the plan afterwards adopted by the Federal Government in the national banking system. For some time both systems of banking worked side by side, notwithstanding a great deal of friction. For twelve years (1829-41) this safety fund was not drawn upon, as no chartered bank failed during that time. But the failure of six banks in 1841 so exhausted the fund that a law was passed in 1842 limiting the guarantee to circulation only, and not to all the liabilities of the failing banks. As the charters of the chartered safety fund banks expired, most of them reorganized under the free banking law. This was amended in 1840 by limiting the deposits to New York State bonds, as many of the other securities deposited had proved worthless. In the many bank failures during the crisis of 1841, this system of deposits proved its value, preventing serious losses on circulation.
In the severe financial crisis of 1857 this system was again put to a severe test, but notwithstanding a general suspension of specie payment for some time, the banks remained firm. At the time of the introduction of the national banking system the New York banking was not only the greatest, but also the most secure in the country. The new system was therefore not welcomed, and specially heavy taxes were imposed on the national banks. These taxes were, however, declared unconstitutional by the Federal courts. The State banks were forced to obtain national charters, and from 309 in 1863 the number of State banks was reduced to 45 in 1868. After that their number increased but slowly until 1880 (70), when a steady increase began. Since 1894 capital has preferred the new form of organization known as trust companies, which, while doing a general banking business, are yet different enough to have a more favorable system of taxation. Savings banks have existed in the State since 1819, and their number grew rapidly, especially after the Civil War, increasing from 71 in 1863 to 150 in 1873. Though since then their number has gradually diminished, the amount of deposits has increased immensely. See article on Bank, Banking. The condition of the banks in New York State in 1902 is shown as follows:
The system of clearing houses originated in New York City. The total exchanges for the first year (1854) were more than five and a half billions, and in 1900 more than sixty billion dollars. Consolidation has latterly become a prominent feature of the banking business of New York, about thirty small banks having been bought out by larger institutions, and in many instances becoming local branches of the same. The largest financial transactions all over the country mostly emanate from New York, and, besides, New York City remains the main channel for all financial transactions between the Old and New Worlds. The New York clearing house is therefore the clearing house for the whole nation. The New York money market regulates the country's money markets, and is beginning to assert a dominant influence upon the European world. Many foreign loans have been floated in New York during the last few years, and many foreign securities listed on the New York exchange. The greatest industrial and railroad consolidations between 1890 and 1900, though chartered in New Jersey and Delaware, and uniting property located in various parts of the Union, are nevertheless all creatures of ‘Wall Street’—as the New York financial world has come to be known.
Finance. At the close of the Revolutionary War the State, by the sale of public lands, formed a general fund, the revenues of which were to defray the expenses of government, and for some time this was actually accomplished. Another fund was established for school purposes. In 1814 the State even paid out of this fund the direct tax levied by the National Government. A State tax became necessary after that, but was discontinued in 1826. In 1817 the State entered upon the system of public improvements, mainly canal construction, and a public debt of more than $7,000,000 was created for that purpose. At the same time a sinking fund was organized, and the tolls of the canals, as well as the salt duties, were assigned to it so as to prevent financial difficulties. After the construction of the main Erie Canal, other lateral canals were undertaken, which increased the public debt. In 1827 the State entered upon a new policy of lending its credit to private companies for public improvements, and $5,228,700 was loaned to ten companies, chiefly railroads. Some of them failed, the most important one being the Erie Railroad (in 1842). Their indebtedness ($3,665,000) became a burden upon the State fund. The total debt then amounted to more than $20,000,000, and the State was threatened with insolvency. A new course was therefore adopted in 1842. All expenditures upon public works were stopped, outstanding debts funded, and a tax imposed to meet the expenses of government and the payment of interest. The new Constitution of 1846 provided for a special canal sinking fund and a general sinking fund, and prohibited the creation of a new indebtedness except for war purposes, and even then only after popular sanction by a referendum. This last provision has been preserved in the present Constitution. Under these strict regulations the bounty State debt of $30,000,000 was created in 1805 to meet the expenses of the Civil War, and at that time the State debt reached its maximum of $53,000,000. After that the debt was rapidly reduced by means of the sinking fund. In 1870 it was only $32,400,000; in 1880, $8,988,000. The year 1893 saw the total extinction of the debt.
But a public debt was again created toward the year 1900 for purposes of canal improvement. After 1842 the main source of the State income was a direct tax upon all assessable property. Between 1890 and 1900 other sources, such as licenses, fees from foreign corporations, etc., became more important, and at the end of the nineteenth century several energetic efforts were made to separate the sources of State and local taxation. New taxes were laid upon banks, trust companies, public franchises of corporations. Further efforts in the same direction were made in 1902. On January 1, 1903, the debt of the State amounted to $10,000,000. The aggregate receipts of the ten funds for which separate accounts are kept were $27,040,558, or, subtracting transfers from one fund to the other, $24,042,462. The main sources of income were a State tax for general and for school purposes, 29 per cent.; inheritance tax, 14 per cent.; excise tax, 17½ per cent.; and corporation tax. 25½ per cent. The expenditures were $26,609,055, or, excluding transfers, $23,601,959, leaving a surplus of $440,503. Balance in treasury (1903), $6,992,599.
Government and Administration. The last revision of the Constitution took place in 1894, and on being approved by the vote of the people of the State went into force on January 1, 1895. It provides for a census in 1905 and every tenth year thereafter. It permits of amendments if passed in two consecutive Legislatures by a majority of each House, and adopted by a vote of the people. It provides for the submission to the people of the question of a constitutional convention every twenty years, or oftener if ordered by the Legislature. A voter in New York must have been a citizen of the United States ninety days, a resident of the State one year, of the county four months, and of the town or precinct thirty days. The registration of voters is required, but such registration cannot be required for town and village elections except by express provision of law. The holding of party primaries in the cities is regulated by statute. The Legislature consists of a Senate of 50 members, chosen for two years, and an Assembly of 150 members, chosen annually. Of the latter, sixty are elected in New York City. The Assembly districts are single-member districts. Each county, except Fulton and Herkimer, has at least one representative. The more populous counties are formed into Assembly districts, but county lines are not crossed. The members of either House receive a salary of $1500 and mileage. The capital of the State is Albany.
Executive. The Governor is elected for two years. He has the right to veto legislative measures, including items in appropriation bills, but his veto may be over-ridden by two-thirds of the members of each branch of the Legislature. He has the power to pardon; he may remove certain State and local officers; and with the consent of the Senate he makes appointments to a number of positions. With the Governor there are elected for the same term a Lieutenant-Governor (who is president of the Senate), a Secretary of State, a Comptroller, a Treasurer, an Attorney-General, and a State Engineer and Surveyor. The most important appointive officers are the superintendent of public works (who has charge of the State canals), and in addition the superintendents of banking, of insurance, and of State prisons; also a commissioner of labor statistics, a factory inspector, an excise commissioner, and a commissioner of agriculture. There are boards or commissions, also appointed, for charities, health, lunacy, railroads, tax equalization, quarantine, forestry, etc.
Judicial. The highest court in the State is the Court of Appeals, composed of a Chief Justice and six associate justices, elected singly for terms of fourteen years. The Supreme Court is composed of seventy-six judges, each elected for fourteen years. They act in eight judicial districts. There are also county courts, surrogates' courts, and city courts.
Local Government. The Legislature provides for the organization of cities and incorporated villages, and restricts their power of taxation assessment, borrowing money, contracting debts, etc., “so as to prevent abuses. . . .” It divides all cities into three classes, according to size, and provides that all special legislation shall be submitted for the approval of the cities concerned, although they may be passed later over the city's veto. In the counties, the board of supervisors, elected by towns and wards of cities, have control of public buildings and the care of the poor, and they audit the accounts of county officers. The cities are governed under special charters, varying in their provisions.
Since 1848 married women have had separate rights to real and personal property in New York State. They may carry on business, and may sue or be sued on their own account. A husband may convey directly to his wife, and a wife to her husband. Absolute divorce is granted only for adultery. Women may practice law. No youth under eighteen and no woman under twenty-one may be employed in a factory for more than 60 hours in one week, nor may any child under thirteen be so employed at all.
Militia. In 1900 there were 1,639,395 men of militia age. The militia in 1901 numbered 14,410.
Population. The population of the State by decades has been as follows: 1790, 340,120; 1800, 589,051; 1810, 959,049; 1820, 1,372,111; 1830, 1,918,608; 1840, 2,428,921; 1850, 3,097,394; 1860, 3,880,735; 1870, 4,382,759; 1880, 5,082,871; 1890, 5,997,853; 1900, 7,268,012. From fifth rank in 1790 the State advanced to first place in 1820, and has ever since held this position. The largest absolute increase and the largest per cent. of increase after 1860 were witnessed from 1890 to 1900. In that decade the rate of increase was slightly greater than that for the United States, being 21.2 per cent., as against 20.7 per cent. The growth during that time, however, was wholly on the part of the urban population. In 1900 the 83 cities of the State with a population of over 4000 each contained together 71.2 per cent. of the total population, only two other States having a higher per cent. of urban population. The large urban population accounts for the high average density per mile—152.6. This figure is exceeded in only three States.
The location of New York City, as the gateway to the large foreign immigration to the United States, has resulted in giving the metropolis an unusually large foreign element. In 1900 the foreign born in the State numbered 1,900,425—nearly twice as many as in any other State. The striking characteristic of the foreign element in New York as compared with the country in general is the prominence of the Irish, Jews, and Italians. The State contains nearly four times as many Irish as any other State except Massachusetts; nearly three times us many Italians; and nearly as many Jews as all the rest of the country combined. Of the native white population, those born of foreign parents numbered 2,415,845 in 1900. There were 99,232 negroes, 7170 Chinese, and 5257 Indians. The female sex slightly outnumbers the male.
Cities. The population of the 12 largest cities in 1900 was: New York, 3,437,202; Buffalo, 352,387; Rochester, 162,608; Syracuse, 108,374; Albany, 94,151; Troy, 60,651; Utica, 56,383; Yonkers, 47,931; Binghamton, 39,647; Schenectady, 31,682; Auburn, 30,345. The State sends 37 members to the National House of Representatives.
Religion. The large immigration into New York has resulted in a very rapid increase of the Catholic and the Jewish populations. Particularly in New York City have these two elements become prominent. Among the Protestant denominations the Methodists are the most numerous, followed by the Presbyterians, Baptists, Protestant Episcopalians, Lutherans, and Congregationalists. Protestantism in New York City is characterized by the prominence of the Protestant Episcopal Church, this Church being much stronger there than elsewhere in the Union.
Education. Several school teachers were brought to New Netherland by the Dutch West India Company, but under the English rule popular education was neglected by the Government. In the eighteenth century several private academies were established, and in 1754 King's College was founded, and was reorganized in 1784 as Columbia College. At the latter date the Regents of the University were constituted a supervisory authority over higher education. The first step toward public common schools was taken in 1789, when two lots of land were assigned to each township for gospel and school purposes. But it was not until 1812 that an active movement set in to establish a State system. In 1854 a State Department of Public Instruction was organized, and soon afterwards the plan of free common schools was adopted, and State taxes for schools were very largely increased. The various schools are under the immediate direction of district trustees, and of boards of education in the towns and cities. The State superintendent exercises a general supervision over the common schools. The Regents of the University, a board of nineteen members elected for life, with four State officers ex-officio, continue to supervise secondary education. This board incorporates all higher institutions, distributes the State grants to academies and high schools, and for this purpose conducts a system of secondary school examinations and certificates which embraces this phase of public education throughout the State.
School attendance is compulsory between the ages of eight and sixteen years. The illiterate population of the State is 5.5 per cent. of the total population of ten years of age and over. The proportion of illiterates is 1.2 per cent. for native white, 14 per cent. for foreign white (12.6 in 1880), and 12.8 per cent. for colored. According to the school census of 1901 the school age (five to eighteen) population of the State was 1,620,287, of whom 1,242,416 were enrolled in the public schools in the same year. The average attendance in 1901 was 873,157, as against 642,984 in 1890. There were 35,591 teachers employed in the public schools of the State in 1901, of whom 5147 were males. The percentage of male teachers has shown a constant decrease since 1880, when it amounted to 26 per cent. The total school revenue was $38,469,277 in 1901, of which $26,451,363 was derived from local taxes, $3,500,000 from State taxes, $272,477 from the permanent school fund, and $8,245,437 from other sources. The expenditure per pupil of average attendance in 1901 was $41.68—the highest expenditure of any State in the Union. Normal education is provided by 16 public normal schools which had 5426 students in 1901. The State maintained in 1901 383 high schools, with 63,549 students. There were besides 199 private high schools and academies, with an attendance of about 11,000.
The most important as well as the oldest university is Columbia, in New York City. There is no State university, but Cornell University, in Ithaca, awards certain State scholarships on examinations. The other important institutions are Union College, in Schenectady; New York University, New York City; Hamilton College, Clinton; universities at Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo; Colgate University, Hamilton; Hobart College, Geneva; the Catholic colleges of Manhattan, Saint Francis Xavier, and Saint John's, all in New York City; and the College of the City of New York. Vassar College, at Poughkeepsie, and Barnard College, now part of Columbia University, are two of the leading women's colleges in the country. Among the fifteen theological seminaries the most noted is the Union, in New York City. There are seven law schools, twelve medical schools, three dental, and four schools of pharmacy. In each of these professions there are systems of State examinations required of all who wish to practice in New York. The New York Society Library, founded in 1700, claims to be the first in the State. In 1838 the Legislature set aside part of the income from the United States deposit fund for the establishment of a district library system, and this State aid is now distributed by the Regents of the University.
Charitable and Penal Institutions. The State boards of charities, lunacy, and corrections are each appointed by the Governor and Senate. The board of charities exercises an advisory supervision over the State and local charitable institutions and private institutions to which public charges are committed. It visits and inspects over 500 institutions, containing more than 60,000 inmates. A law of 1902 provides for the appointment by the Governor and Senate of a fiscal supervisor of State charities; and another law of the same year provides that the Governor, the president of the State Board of Charities, and the State Comptroller act as a commission to approve plans, specifications, and contracts for the construction of State institutions. These include an industrial school at Rochester, an asylum for feeble-minded children at Syracuse, one for feeble-minded women at Newark, a custodial asylum at Rome, an asylum for orphan Indian children at Iroquois, houses of refuge at Hudson and Albion, reformatory for women at Bedford, Craig colony for epileptics at Sonyea, women's relief corps home at Oxford, soldiers' and sailors' home at Bath, school for the blind at Batavia, hospital for crippled and deformed children at Tarrytown, and a hospital for the treatment of incipient pulmonary tuberculosis at Raybrook. There are a number of private institutions which receive State appropriations. A total of 15,780 persons were supported in the county almshouses during the year ending October 1, 1900, and also over 70,000 were supported at the city and town almshouses. In addition more than 209,000 persons received temporary relief during that period. The various institutions under the supervision of the board expended $16,107,000 during the year ending September 30, 1900.
The board of lunacy has supervision over the State insane hospitals. These are located at Utica, Poughkeepsie, Middletown, Buffalo, Willard, Binghamton, Ogdensburg, Rochester, Wards Island, Kings Park, L. I., Flatbush, L. I., Gowanda. Matteawan, and Dannemora. In 1900 their inmates numbered 23,267. There are also 20 institutions and private houses authorized to receive the insane. These had in the same year 934 patients. The maintenance of the State insane hospitals for the year ending September 30, 1900, cost $3,594,873, or $164.79 per patient. The State penitentiaries are county institutions, of which there are six, located respectively in the counties of New York, Kings, Erie, Albany, Monroe, and Clinton. These receive short-term convicts committed for minor offenses. Counties not having penitentiaries of their own send this class of convicts by contract to the penitentiary of some other county. Convicts sentenced for terms exceeding one year are sent to the State prisons at Ossining (Sing Sing), Auburn, and Clinton, or to the reformatories at Elmira and Napanock, and to the one for women at Bedford. There are also houses of refuge for women at Hudson and Albion. The total prison population in 1902, including that of county jails, the New York City prisons, and workhouses, was 96,932, as against 149,677 in 1898. The more frequent application of the law of suspended sentence and the abolition of the fee system in the various counties are thought to have been largely responsible for this decrease. The Elmira Reformatory has acquired a widespread reputation because of its system of instruction and training. The prisoners committed to it have the advantage of an indeterminate sentence and a parole law. In New York, since 1888, death by electricity has been substituted for hanging as the penalty for murder.
New York Bay was discovered by Verrazano in 1524, but though Portuguese, French, and Spanish navigators, in all probability, visited the harbor during the sixteenth century, no important explorations were made before 1609, when almost simultaneously Samuel de Champlain, the founder of Quebec, in August, and Henry Hudson, sailing in the Half Moon under the Dutch flag, in September, entered the limits of the present State. Champlain's action in lending the Huron Indians aid against the Iroquois imbued the Five Nations with an implacable hatred for the French, and to a great extent determined in advance the fate of their colonizing schemes in America. Hudson's account of New Netherland, as he named the region, and of the great river, called at first Mauritius and then North, and finally Hudson, which he had ascended to the highest navigable point, led Dutch merchants, eager for furs, to dispatch trading vessels to the new country in 1610 and subsequent years. Just below Albany, Captain Christiænsen built Fort Nassau in 1613 (abandoned in 1617), and about the same time a number of traders built their posts on Manhattan Island. A trading company, organized in 1615, concluded two years later at Tawasantha, near Albany, a treaty with the Iroquois, who remained to the last friends of the Dutch. With the founding of the West India Company in 1621 a fairly active immigration began. A number of Walloons brought over by Captain May in 1623 were settled on Manhattan Island, on Long Island, and up the Hudson at Fort Orange (later Albany), founded in 1622. In 1626 Peter Minuit was made director-general of the company, and bought Manhattan Island from the Indians. (See New York City, section on History.) The greater part of the population of New Netherland, 200 in number in 1625, were agents of the company, whose object in the main was trade and not colonization; and as it guarded its monopoly jealously and offered few inducements to permanent settlers, progress for a few years was slow. Quickly, however, individual directors discovered the advantageous facility with which the Indians might be brought to part with their lands, and in 1629 the patroon system, a system of feudal tenure on an extensive scale, was established. Kilian Van Rensselaer purchased a large tract of land in the neighborhood of Albany, and Michael Pauw bought Staten Island and Pavonia. Ships from Holland stocked these great estates with colonists, tools, and animals. The acquisition of land continued under Wouter Van Twiller (q.v.), who came over in 1633, and under Kieft (q.v.), who succeeded Van Twiller in 1638. The abandonment of the company's trade monopoly was followed by a large influx of colonists, among whom were many English Puritans and French Huguenots. The population was cosmopolitan even in 1643, when, according to Father Jogues, 400 or 500 inhabitants spoke eighteen different languages and were divided into Calvinists, Lutherans, Catholics, Puritans, Baptists, and other more minute denominations. Wars with the Algonquin Indians, caused by the greed of Kieft, brought the colony near to destruction. The settlements around New Amsterdam were wiped out and the town itself was threatened. In the moment of highest danger Kieft was forced by popular demand to appoint a council of eight to assist him in carrying on the war. This was the beginning of representative government in New York. Peter Stuyvesant (1647-64) appointed a council of nine to advise him and acted in systematic opposition to it. Sincerely solicitous for the welfare of the colony, he reserved it for himself to determine in what that welfare consisted and how it was to be attained. Defying alike the popular will and the orders of the States-General in Holland, he ruled, arrested, confiscated, silenced public speech, and dictated the outline for the Sunday sermon. New Amsterdam received a burgher government in 1653, but Stuyvesant had the appointment of the magistrates. He upheld bravely the rights of the company against the Swedes on the Delaware, whom he dispossessed, and the English in Connecticut and Long Island, but the citizens grew weary of him and yielded in 1664 to an English fleet under Colonel Nicolls, which had come to enforce the Duke of York's title to the region. New Netherland became New York, and was ruled by the Duke's Governors (a Legislature was refused), and the ‘Duke's laws.’ Taken by the Dutch in 1673, it was returned to England in the following year. At the time of the English occupation New Netherland had a population of about 8000, comprising many nationalities, with the Dutch predominant. Life in the colony had not that deep spiritual tinge which it bore in New England, but it was more gracious and more free. The churches were well supported, and the school system was excellent, but breweries and drinking-shops found their place in the order of things. In religion a broad toleration, in social life a hearty gayety and timely hospitality marked this cosmopolitan colony of well-fed traders and farmers.
The Dutch did not take kindly to the English rule in the beginning. The desire of the people for some share in the government remained unsatisfied. Complaints against the arbitrary imposition of taxes and customs culminated in a demand, expressed in the form of petitions, for a popular assembly, and this was finally granted in 1683, when a provincial assembly summoned by Governor Dongan passed the Charter of Liberties, granting freedom of religion to all Christians, and the suffrage to all freeholders. An important treaty with the Iroquois in 1684 confirmed the alliance between them and the English and made them definitely the enemies of the French, who retaliated with punitive expeditions into the country, in 1687 under Denonville, and later, repeatedly, under Frontenac. In 1686 New York and Albany obtained new charters, but in the following year the provincial assembly was dissolved, absolute rule was restored, and New York became a part of the Dominion of New England, under Governor Andros. The Revolution of 1688 in England found two parties in the colony, the richer classes who were loyal to James II., the popular majority in favor of William of Orange. Exaggerated reports of Catholic intrigues caused Jacob Leisler (q.v.) to seize the fort at New Amsterdam in the name of William and Mary. A committee of safety made him commander-in-chicf, and the popular assembly in 1689 gave him autocratic power. He held the fort against a force of troops from England, but willingly laid down his authority when Governor Sloughter, the King's appointee, arrived. The clergy and the wealthy merchants hated Leisler as the champion of popular ideas, and brought about his death on a charge of treason in 1691.
The period from 1690 to the Revolution was marked by almost continuous disputes between the Governor and the Assembly on the questions of the Governor's salary, the collection and the disposal of the revenue, the control of the courts, and the establishment of an endowed Church. Of the Governors the larger number were impecunious peers sent to America to grow fat as best they might. They bargained with the Assembly for an increase in salary, participated in gigantic land frauds in common with minor officials and prominent citizens, and in one instance, the notable case of Governor Fletcher (1692-98), shared in the profits of piracy. There were, however, Governors of a far higher character, men like Bellomont (1698-1701), to whom the rehabilitation of Leisler's memory is due. Robert Hunter (1710-19), or William Burnet (1720-28), who was an ardent champion of the royal power, but nevertheless an honest man, and zealous for the welfare of the province. But in spite of political turmoil the growth of the colony was rapid and uninterrupted. In 1720 the population consisted of 31,000 whites and 4000 negroes; in 1756 it comprised 83,000 whites and 13,000 negroes, and in 1771 168,000 whites and negroes. The first newspaper, the Gazette, a Government organ, was published in 1725, and the second, the Weekly Journal, an opposition sheet, appeared in 1733. For his criticism of the Governor's conduct the editor of the Weekly Journal, John Peter Zenger (q.v.) was brought to trial for libel in 1734, but, supported by the people and the Assembly, he won his case and vindicated the freedom of the press in New York. In 1746 the Assembly appropriated £250 toward the foundation of King's College. The people who fought for the freedom of the press and established King's College were the same who in 1741, thrown into a paroxysm of fear by the baseless rumors of a negro insurrection, murdered 31 negroes and drove out 71 others by due process of the law. In the early French and Indian wars New York suffered heavily, for, owing to the factious disputes between the Governor and the Assembly, the border was left without any troops and the frontier settlements were swept clean by the French and their Indian allies. In 1690 Schenectady was destroyed. Sir William Johnson kept the Iroquois friendly to the English, and the alliance with them was strengthened at the Albany Convention of 1754 (q.v.). By the Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768 a definite line of delimitation between the English and the Indian territory was traced.
As early as 1762 petitions and remonstrances against the oppressive commercial laws had been submitted to Parliament and the King. In 1764 the Assembly appointed a committee to correspond with the other provinces concerning the common cause, and in October, 1765, a colonial Congress assembled at New York. The imposition of the stamp duty was followed by the outbreak of disorder, in which the Sons of Liberty (q.v.) were prominent, and non-importation agreements were entered into by the people. Though the commercial interests of the colony suffered greatly, the Assembly refused to vote supplies for the troops, and on January 18, 1770, the Sons of Liberty and the British soldiers fought the battle of Golden Hill on John Street in the city of New York. There was peace till 1773, when the arrival of tea ships aroused the Sons of Liberty to renewed activity. By 1775 the Provincial Assembly had become devotedly Tory, and unrepresentative of popular opinion. Its last session occurred on April 3d. On April 20th a Provincial Congress, comprising representatives of seven counties outside of New York City, met at New York, and elected delegates to the Continental Congress. Upon the news of the battle of Lexington a committee of 100, in which the more conservative element among the revolutionists predominated, took possession of the Government and issued a call for a provincial convention, which assembled July 10, 1776. at White Plains, and subsequently removed to Kingston, where it adjourned April 20, 1777, after drawing up a constitution for the State of New York. For military events during the War of the Revolution, see United States.
The Articles of Confederation were ratified in 1778. Two years later New York ceded its public lands in the West to Congress, and in 1786 it terminated its dispute with Massachusetts by granting it the right of preëmption to about 6,000,000 acres of land in the western part of the State. Of this vast tract more than 3,500,000 acres came by purchase into the possession of Robert Morris (q.v.), who disposed of a large area, embracing a considerable part of that section of the State, to a number of citizens of Amsterdam, who in 1798 were authorized by the Legislature to hold land within the State. This tract came to be popularly known as the Holland Purchase. Land speculation was entered into on an extensive scale, and the region filled up rapidly with immigrants from New England. The dispute regarding the possession of Vermont, to which New York laid claim, was settled by the erection of an independent State, Vermont being admitted into the Union in 1791. The fear of too strong a central government and the desire to retain possession of its rich custom-house made New York ill-inclined toward the newly framed Federal Constitution. Two of its three delegates withdrew from the Federal convention, and only after ten States had adopted the Constitution did a State convention ratify it, by 30 votes to 27 (July 26, 1788). From the very outset party lines were sharply drawn in the State. The Federalists were led by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and General Schuyler. Among the leaders of the various factions of the Republicans were the two Clintons—George, and after him De Witt—the Livingstons, and Aaron Burr. Federalist from 1795 to 1800, the State became Republican after that year, and passed under the domination of De Witt Clinton, who remained in power till 1822 except for a brief period of eclipse between 1815 and 1817. Politics during this period were venal, and personal ambitions determined the attitude of factions. The followers of the ascendent faction were rewarded with the grant of bank charters and valuable franchises, and, favored by the provisions of the Constitution, which gave the power of appointment to office and removal to a council of appointment (in 1821 there were 15,000 offices, military and civil, at its disposal), the spoils system was developed to perfection and was introduced later by Van Buren into national politics. To De Witt Clinton is due the rise of the canal system which brought such prosperity to the State. The project of an Erie Canal had been discussed by Gouverneur Morris in 1777; it was revived by Clinton in 1810, and work on the Erie Canal was begun in 1817 and terminated in 1825. The success of the undertaking brought about Clinton's election to the Governorship in 1824 and 1826, though his political following had really been shattered.
Clinton was succeeded in power by the Albany Regency (q.v.), a group of men headed by Martin Van Buren, Silas Wright, William L. Marcy, and John A. Dix, who made machine politics an exact science. Personal rivalries and short-lived popular movements determined the general course of events. From 1836 to 1842 the anti-Masonic agitation (see Anti-Masons), assiduously fanned into life by Thurlow Weed, was powerful enough to decide the outcome of State elections. The anti-rent troubles originating in the grievances of the farmers against their landlords—the successors of the patroons and the great land companies—lasted from 1836 to 1846, when feudal tenure was abolished by the new Constitution. (See Anti-Rentism.) The attitude of the Democrats toward such questions as anti-Masonry, State and national banks, and the canal system, was not uniform. Dissensions between the Conservatives (see Hunkers) and the Radicals (see Barnburners) enabled the Whigs to carry the State in 1838. After 1840, when the Liberty Party arose, the anti-slavery feeling was strong in the agricultural parts of the State, and in 1848 the Barnburner Democrats, led by Van Buren, broke away to aid in forming the Free-Soil Party. The Whigs and Know-Nothings gained and lost power in swift succession before the Civil War broke out. The mercantile and manufacturing classes in 1860 advocated peace at any price, but the mass of the people were Unionist. The reaction following upon the disasters of the first year and a half of the war put the Democrats into power. In July, 1863, occurred the draft riots in New York City, (See Draft Riots in New York.) The war measures of President Lincoln were denounced violently by the State authorities, and the election of 1864 was bitterly fought, the outcome being decided in favor of the Republicans by the votes of the men at the front.
The economic development of New York has continued uninterrupted after the war, and has fully justified its title of the ‘Empire State.’ Its history, however, has been characterized by much of that corruption which has marked the postbellum politics of many States. The period in general presents a dead level of partisan rule relieved by occasional spasmodic upheavals of civic virtue. The gubernatorial power, nevertheless, has been repeatedly in the hands of able men, several of whom attained national eminence. From 1863 to 1871 New York City was ruled by the notorious William M. Tweed (q.v.). In 1875, and again in 1899, frauds in connection with the management of the State canals, involving high officials and others, together known as the Canal Ring, were discovered. In the assignment of public contracts much dishonesty was displayed. The State Capitol at Albany and the county court house at New York are monuments of what patient industry may accomplish in the way of nursing a modest estimate into an enormous defalcation. Many attempts, however, were made to remedy political evils by legislation. Laws were passed to check lobbying, to insure honest party primaries, and to reform the civil service. The question of tax reform was an important subject of legislation after 1880, and brought the State into conflict with the powerful railway, gas, and insurance corporations upon the question whether their capital stock and the value of their franchises were subject to taxation or not. The rise of the Labor Party in 1886 was the cause of much important labor legislation. Laws limiting the hours of daily work and protecting women and children in factories and shops were passed in 1892 and subsequently. Much attention has been devoted to the preservation of the Adirondack forests. In 1867 the public schools of the State were made entirely free, and in 1875 primary education was made compulsory.
The Constitution of 1777 was revised in 1821; the councils of revision and appointment were abolished, and the Governor received the veto power. Many offices formerly filled by appointment were made elective, and, in general, the new Constitution represented a great advance toward democracy. This tendency was continued in the Constitution of 1846, which put an end to feudal tenure in lands, abolished the court of chancery, established a court of appeals, and made all judges of the higher courts elective. By amendments adopted in 1869 (when a new Constitution framed in 1867 was rejected by the people), 1874, and 1882, further reforms in the judiciary were carried out, negro voters were freed from the property qualification hitherto imposed upon them, penalties for bribery and corruption in office were established, and the canals were freed from toll. Of the thirty-four amendments submitted to the people by the Constitutional Convention of 1894, the most important among those adopted were concerned with the reform of the judiciary, the shortening of the Governor's term to two years, and the reapportionment of the legislative districts of the State.
New York is an uncertain State both in national and State elections, and the influence exerted by its large electoral vote on the outcome of Presidential contests has given it the well-earned name of the ‘pivotal State.’ Notable cases were the elections of 1844, 1848, and 1884. In the Presidential election of 1844 James K. Polk, the Democratic candidate, received 170 votes in the electoral college as against 105 votes cast for Henry Clay, the Whig candidate. The 30 electoral votes of New York, which Polk carried by a small plurality, were sufficient to decide the election. In 1848 the dissensions in the Democratic Party in the State enabled Taylor to secure the Presidency. In 1884 Cleveland, the Democratic candidate, carried the State by a plurality of 1149 and secured the Presidency. New York voted for the Republican candidates from 1796 to 1808. In 1812 it cast its vote for De Witt Clinton, who had been nominated by the section of the Republican Party opposed to the domination of the Congressional caucus, and had been indorsed by the Federalists. It voted for Monroe in 1816 and 1820, divided its vote among Adams, Crawford, Clay, and Jackson in 1824 (26 out of 36 for Adams), and between Adams and Jackson in 1828 (20 out of 36 for Adams). It was Democratic in 1832, 1830, 1844, and 1852, and Whig in 1840 and 1848. From 1856 to 1864 it was Republican, and then entered on a course of vacillation. It voted for Seymour (Democrat) in 1868, Grant (Republican) in 1872, Tilden (Democrat) in 1876, Garfield (Republican) in 1880, Cleveland (Democrat) in 1884, Harrison (Republican) in 1888, and Cleveland (Democrat) in 1892. The State went decidedly Republican on the money question in 1896 and 1900. The following is a list of the Governors of New York as a colony and a State:
|DIRECTORS-GENERAL OF NEW NETHERLAND|
|Cornelis Jacobzen May||1624-25|
|Wouter Van Twiller||1633-38|
|ENGLISH COLONIAL GOVERNORS|
|ENGLISH COLONIAL GOVERNORS|
|Francis Nicholson (Lieutenant-Governor under|
|Major Richard Ingoldsby (acting)||1691-92|
|Richard Coote, Earl of Bellomont||1698-1701|
|John Nanfan (acting)||1701-02|
|Edward Hyde, Lord Cornbury||1702-08|
|John, Lord Lovelace||1708-09|
|Richard Ingoldsby (acting)||1709-10|
|Gerardus Beekman (acting)||1710|
|Peter Schuyler (acting)||1719-20|
|Rip van Dam (acting)||1731-32|
|William Cosby (acting)||1732-36|
|James de Lancey (acting)||1753-55|
|James de Lancey (acting)||1757-60|
|Cadwallader Golden (acting)||1760-61|
|Cadwallader Golden (acting)||1761-65|
|Cadwallader Golden (acting)||1769-70|
|John Murray, Lord Dunmore||1770-71|
|Daniel D. Tompkins||““||1807-16|
|John Taylor (acting)||““||1816-17|
|De Witt Clinton||““||1817-23|
|Joseph C. Yates||““||1823-25|
|De Witt Clinton||““||1825-28|
|Nathaniel Pitcher (acting)||““||1828-29|
|Martin Van Buren||Democrat||1829|
|Enos T. Throop (acting)||“||1829-31|
|Enos T. Throop||“||1831-33|
|William L. Marcy||“||1833-39|
|William H. Seward||Whig||1839-43|
|William C. Bouck||Democrat||1843-45|
|Myron H. Clark||Whig||1855-57|
|John A. King||Republican||1857-59|
|Edwin D. Morgan||“||1859-63|
|Reuben E. Fenton||Republican||1865-69|
|John T. Hoffman||Democrat||1869-73|
|John A. Dix||Republican||1873-75|
|Samuel J. Tilden||Democrat||1875-77|
|Alonzo B. Cornell||Republican||1879-83|
|David Bennett Hill (acting)||“||1884-86|
|David Bennett Hill||“||1886-92|
|Roswell P. Flower||“||1892-95|
|Levi P. Morton||Republican||1895-97|
|Frank S. Black||“||1897-99|
|Benjamin B. Odell||“||1901—|
Bibliography. Tarr, Physical Geography of New York State (New York, 1903); New York Geological Survey Reports (Albany, 1838 et seq.); New York Academy of Sciences Transactions (New York, 1881 et seq.); for history, Dunlap, History of the New Netherlands Province of New York (ib., 1840); O'Callaghan, History of New Netherland (ib., 1848); Hammond, Political History of the State of New York (Syracuse, 1849); Broadhead, History of the State of New York (New York, 1871); Satterlee, The Political History of the Province of New York (ib., 1885); Schuyler, Colonial New York (ib., 1885); Roberts, New York, Planting and Growth of the Empire State (Boston, 1887); Lossing, The Empire State (Hartford, 1888); Phisterer, New York in the War of the Rebellion (Albany, 1890); Roberts, New York in the Revolution (1897); Prentice, New York State History (London, 1900); New York Historical Society Collections (Albany); and for bibliography, New York Public Library Bulletin, vol. iv. (New York, 1900); Flagg and Jennings, “Bibliography of New York Colonial History,” in New York State Library Bulletin of Bibliography, vol. ii. (Albany, 1901).