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Washington and Clinton went through central New York in 1783, Oswego was a military post on the extreme frontier. "Deer browsed and black bears roamed at will over the plain where Rochester now stands." Foxes and wolves were numerous on the site of Syracuse. At Saratoga a single spring bubbled up through a barrel sunk in the ground.
CHAPTER XXII.-NEW YORK ADOPTS THE
Trouble under Articles of Confederation.-The Articles of Confederation, adopted in 1781, proved to be very unsatisfactory. New York refused to consent to a duty on imports to raise money with which to pay public debts unless her officers should collect the duties in the currency of the state (1786). Congress tried to induce Governor Clinton to call the legislature in order to have this condition removed, but he refused to surrender the advantage which the fine harbor gave New York.
Constitution of the United States.-An attempt to revise the weak Articles of Confederation led to the framing of the Constitution of the United States (1787). New York was represented in the constitutional convention by Alexander Hamilton, Robert Yates, and John Lansing, Jr., but when all states were given equal representation in the national senate the last two withdrew, declaring that the convention had exceeded its powers. Two parties began to form, the Federalists, who favored the constitution, and the Anti-federalists,.
who denounced it for transferring too much of the state's power to Congress. Hamilton, Jay, Richard Morris, John W. Hobart, Robert R. Livingston, and James Duane belonged to the first party; Governor Clinton, Robert Yates, Peter Yates, John Lansing, Jr., Abraham Lansing, Samuel Jones, and Melancthon Smith were members of the second. In Albany the Antifederalists burned a copy of the constitution, and a fight took place between them and the Federalists.
Attitude of New York. Clinton led the Antifederalists in New York, while Hamilton and Jay championed the other party. To Hamilton more than any other man belongs the credit of securing the adoption of the constitution. With the aid of Madison and Jay he wrote The Federalist papers which won thousands to the support of the new constitution. After a long and stormy session at Poughkeepsie the state legislature adopted the constitution (July 26, 1788).1 The ratification did not take place, however, until the fact was known that the required nine states had given their approval and until certain amendments had been recommended.
Washington Inaugurated.-Congress made New York City the capital of the newly organized nation. There, on the balcony of Federal Hall, amid a vast throng of proud Americans, Chancellor Robert R. Livingston tendered the oath of office to President Washington. A shout of gladness went up from the people, guns were fired, and the church bells rang out joyful peals. At night fireworks and bright illuminations closed
1 The final vote stood 30 to 27 in favor of the constitution. Seven refused to vote.
the day (April 30, 1789). To John Jay Washington tendered the choice of offices within his gift. He preferred a place in the judiciary department, and was appointed the first Chief Justice of the United States.
Hamilton was given a seat in the cabinet as Secretary of the Treasury. In that capacity he soon developed that remarkable system which laid the basis for the national financial policy and established public credit.
New York's First Representatives. In the first Congress under the constitution (March 4, 1789), New York had at first no representatives in the Senate. This was owing to a quarrel between the two branches of the legislature. The Federalists controlled the senate and
the Anti-federalists ruled the assembly. They refused to agree, and hence New York took no part in the election of the first President, and had no voice in the Senate until another state election gave the Federalists a majority in both branches of the legislature. Rufus King and Philip Schuyler were then chosen senators. In 1791 Aaron Burr, an Anti-federalist, was chosen senator to succeed Schuyler. The first representatives in Congress were Egbert Benson, William Floyd, John Hathorn, John Lawrence, Peter Silvester, and Jeremiah Van Rensselaer. In December, 1790, New York ceased to be the capital of the federal government. which was moved to Philadelphia.
Dispute with Vermont.-At the close of 1790 there were seventeen counties in the state. Two of these and part of another are now in Vermont. The success of Massachusetts and Connecticut, in establishing their western boundaries against the claims of New York, emboldened Governor Wentworth of New Hampshire to claim what is now Vermont. He issued land grants to settlers in that region (1760-68) in the face of protests from New York, whose title was valid and confirmed by George III. Of course a conflict soon arose between those who held grants from New York and those who held grants from New Hampshire. The former paid taxes to New York, the latter refused to do so.
Vermont Becomes a State.-Chief among those who resisted New York's authority were Seth Warner and Ethan Allen. Allen, as commander of the armed force, protected the New Hampshire grantees and even removed the New York settlers. This led Governor Tryon to offer a reward of £150 for the capture of Allen
and £50 each for several of his associates (1774). The war of the Revolution and the patriotic services of Allen and his comrades checked further proceedings against them. When Vermont applied for admission to the Union (1789), New York successfully opposed it. Finally Vermont agreed to pay $30,000 as compensation to settlers from New York who had suffered from the hostility of other settlers, and then New York withdrew all objection (1791).
CHAPTER XXIII.-THE DISPOSAL OF WESTERN LANDS
Condition in 1800.-In 1790 the population of New York was 340,120 and the state ranked fifth. In 1800 New York had risen to third place. This was due, in large part, to emigration to the western wilderness. In 1771 Albany county embraced all northern and western New York. The next year Tryon and Charlotte counties, changed in 1784 to Montgomery and Washington, were formed. When the Revolution closed, the whole state west of Utica was not settled by white men. By 1800 there were 94,000 whites west of the Hudson, and thirty counties in the state. Clinton, Essex, and Saratoga had been created on the north; Greene, Delaware, and Rockland in the south; Herkimer, Otsego, Schoharie, Oneida, Chenango, Onondaga, Cayuga, Tioga, Ontario, and Steuben in the center and west; and Columbia in the east. By 1791 over 5,000,000 acres of land had been sold, some of it as low as six cents an acre, and $1,000,000 had been turned into the state treasury.