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SUPPLIED TO THE DELEGATES
New York State Constitutional Convention
New York State
(Established by Laws of 1914, Chapter 261, to collect, compile and print information and data for the Consti
tutional Convention of 1915)
MEMBERS OF COMMISSION
MORGAN J. O'BRIEN, Chairman
2 Rector Street, New York City
PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE
ROBERT F. WAGNER, 1913-14
SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY
THADDEUS C. SWEET, 1914-15
35 Nassau Street, New York City
JOHN H. FINLEY
State Education Building, Albany, N. Y.
Secretary to the Commission
FREDERICK D. COLSON
New York State Library, Albany, N. Y.
This publication consists of two parts, each part being separately paged and having a separate table of contents and index. Part I contains the complete text of the New York State Constitution as amended and in force on April 6, 1915, with notes, the nature and scope of which are explained below. Part II contains the text of all amendments to the Constitution proposed in the Legislature from 1895 to 1914, inclusive, including those adopted by the people, those submitted to the people but rejected, and those not submitted to the people. The object and scope of Part II are more fully explained in a separate introductory note following the title page to that part.
The object of the notes in Part I is to throw light on the origin and on the historical basis and development of the provisions of the present Constitution. It was obviously impossible, in the short space of time available for the preparation of this work, to cover this field in any exhaustive way. To do that would have necessitated the long and careful examination of a great mass of material, much of it scattered. For the purposes of this work it was necessary to limit this examination strictly to certain material only, and under the circumstances the best selection seemed to be the work by the Hon. Charles Z. Lincoln on the Constitutional History of New York1 and the debates of the past constitutional conventions in this State.
Mr. Lincoln was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1894, and from 1895 to 1900 was the chairman of the Statutory Revision Commission and legal adviser to the Governor. His
1 Published in five volumes in 1906 by the Lawyers Co-operative Publishing Co., Rochester, N. Y.
Another work of substantial value to the delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1915 is the Constitutional History of New York State from the Colonial Period to the Present Time, by the Hon. J. Hampden Dougherty. This work comprises the second volume of the Legal and Judicial History of New York published in three volumes in 1911, under the editorship of the Hon. Alden Chester, by the National Americana Society, New York. It gives an excellent, though necessarily somewhat concise, history of the past constitutional conventions and commissions in this State, and is often most helpful in throwing light on the origin and forces back of the more important changes which have been made from time to time in the Constitution of this State.
Text in force April 6, 1915, with notes
work is the most comprehensive history yet published of the origin, development and judicial construction of the Constitution of the State, including the history of the past constitutional conventions and commissions. The Constitutional Convention Commission has supplied this work to each delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1915.
In order that certain references in the notes to Part I may be understood, it is necessary to refer briefly to the past constitutional conventions and commissions in this State.
The Constitution of 1777 was framed, adopted and put in operation by the Fourth Provincial Congress. The journal of this Congress which as a part, and a part only, of its functions, acted as the first Constitutional Convention in this State, was printed from the original manuscript for the first time by the State in 1842; but unfortunately there is nothing giving the debates of this body, and even the journal entries relating to the work of the Congress as a Constitutional Convention are scattered among the entries relating to the other functions of the Congress. For this reason the references in Part I to the Convention of 1777 are necessarily confined to the parts of Mr. Lincoln's work giving the history of that Convention.
While the journal of the Constitutional Convention of 1801 was printed (first in 1801, and then reprinted in 1821 for the use of the Convention held in the latter year), no debates were ever published, and therefore the references in Part I to this Convention are also only to Mr. Lincoln's work.
There are, however, printed debates as well as journals for the Constitutional Conventions of 1821, 1846, 1867-68 and 1894. The debates of the 1821 Convention are found in two publications. One was edited by Nathaniel H. Carter and William L. Stone, reporters, and Marcus T. C. Gould, stenographer, and published in one volume in Albany in 1821. The other was edited by L. H. Clarke and published in one volume in New York in 1821. As the Carter, Stone and Gould edition seems to be the more comprehensive of the two, this is the edition to which reference is made in the notes; but in order to permit of the use of the Clarke edition and partly also in order to get the benefit of matter appearing only in this edition (if there is any), the page references to the edition first referred to are followed in parentheses by the Convention dates.
Text in force April 6, 1915, with notes
Similarly, the debates of the 1846 Convention are found in two publications. One was edited by William G. Bishop and William H. Attree, and printed in one volume at the office of the Evening Atlas, Albany, 1846. This edition is sometimes called the Bishop and Attree edition, and sometimes the Atlas edition. The other publication was edited by S. Crosswell and R. Sutton, and printed in one volume at the office of the Albany Argus in 1846. This edition is sometimes called the Crosswell and Sutton edition, and sometimes the Argus edition. There seems to be no general agreement as to which edition is the better, but as the time limitation on the preparation of the present publication forbade reference to both editions, and as the Atlas edition seems to contain slightly more matter than the Argus edition, the former edition is the one to which reference is made in the notes; but for the reasons already stated in explaining the two publications of the 1821 debates, the page references to the Atlas edition are followed in parentheses by the Convention dates.
As the debates of the 1867-68 Convention were published only in one edition (in five volumes in 1868), there is no occasion for any parallel reference.
The debates of the 1894 Convention are found in two publications, each called the Record. The original Record was published from day to day during the course of the Convention, and was subsequently bound in six large but thin quarto volumes. The Record of this Convention was revised by the Hon. William H. Steele, vice-president of the Convention, pursuant to chapter 21 of the Laws of 1898, and published in 1900 in five volumes under the direction of the Hon. Charles E. Fitch, secretary of the Convention, pursuant to chapter 419 of the Laws of 1900. The debates of the 1894 Convention are obviously of more importance to the Constitutional Convention of 1915 than the debates of the earlier conventions, and for the purpose of making them as available as possible to the delegates to the latter Convention, reference is made in the notes to Part I of the present publication both to the original edition and to the Revised Record. The references first given are to the volume and page. of the Revised Record; the references in parentheses are to the original Record.
In addition to the Constitutional Conventions above referred to, there have been in this State two very important constitu