1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/New York
NEW YORK, one of the original thirteen United States of America, situated between 40° 29′ 40″ and 45 0′ 2″ N., and between 71° 51′ and 79° 45′ 54.4″ W. Its northern boundary is, for the most part, formed by Lake Ontario and the St Lawrence river, which separate it from the province of Ontario, Canada; but north of the Adirondacks the boundary line leaves the St Lawrence, extending in a due east direction to the lower end of Lake Champlain. Thus the boundary between New York and the province of Quebec, Canada, is wholly artificial. Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut bound New York on the E.; the Atlantic Ocean, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, on the S.; and Pennsylvania, Lake Erie and the Niagara river on the W.
The state has a triangular outline, with a breadth from E. to W. of 326.46 m. and from N. to S., on the line of the Hudson, of 300 m. In addition, it includes Long Island and Staten Island on the Atlantic Coast. Its land area is 47,654 sq. m. and the area of the inland waters is 1550 sq. m., giving a total area of 49,204 sq. m. In addition to this, New York includes 3140 sq. m. of water in Lakes Ontario and Erie.
Topography.—The most notable topographic feature is the roughly circular mountain area of north-eastern New York known as the Adirondack mountains (q.v.). This is a very ancient mountain mass of crystalline rocks resembling more the Laurentian mountains of Canada than the Appalachians. Indeed, it is commonly considered to be an extension of the Canadian mountains. Parts of the crystalline area are worn down to a condition of low relief, but in the main mountain mass, although greatly worn, there are still elevations of truly mountainous proportions. The highest peak is Mount Marcy (5344 ft.), though associated with it are several other peaks with an elevation from 4000 to 5000 ft. Even the higher summits are worn to a rounded condition, and are therefore for the most part forest covered up to the timber line which, on Mount Marcy, is at an elevation of about 4900 ft. From the crest of the dome of the Adirondacks proper the surface slopes in all directions to surrounding lowlands: to the St Lawrence valley on the N.; the Champlain-Hudson lowland on the E.; the Mohawk valley on the S.; and Lake Ontario on the W. While igneous and metamorphic crystalline rocks form the bulk of the Adirondack area, it is surrounded by a ring of ancient Palaeozoic sediments in which these peripheral lowlands have been developed. The Adirondack area proper, and much of the surrounding ring of more recent rocks, is either too rugged, or has a soil too thin and rocky for extensive agriculture. It is therefore a sparsely settled region with lumbering for one of the leading industries, though there is some mining, as of iron. Owing to the varied and beautiful scenery, this is a favourite summer resort; the game of the forests and the fishing in the streams and in the multitude of lakes serve as further attractions. In the peripheral ring farming increases, especially dairying; and manufacturing industries connected with the products of forests, farms and mines are developed. These and other manufacturing industries are greatly aided by the extensive water power furnished by the mountain streams which flow out radially from the central area.
South of the Adirondack region, and S. of the Mohawk Valley, rises a high-level plateau which extends westward to the Pennsylvania boundary. Here the rocks are all essentially horizontal and of Palaeozoic age, mainly Devonian. This plateau province, which includes more than half the state, differs greatly from place to place. Its elevation decreases toward the N. by a series of steps, having its lowest elevation on the Ontario plain which skirts the southern shore of Lake Ontario. Similar to this is a narrow plain along the southern shore of Lake Erie, which, in fact, lies in a shallow depression in this Erie plain. Both of these plains are so level, and have so fertile a soil that they are the seats of extensive agriculture, especially fruit raising, which is further encouraged by the influence of the large bodies of lake water that moderate the heat of summer and the cold of winter, and tend to check the late frosts of spring and the early frosts of autumn.
Elsewhere in the plateau province the land is higher and the surface far more irregular, increasing in ruggedness toward both the S. and the E. Elevations of between 1500 and 2000 ft. are common in this region all the way from Chautauqua county in the extreme W. to the Catskill mountains in the E.; and in places the surface becomes so rugged as to simulate the features of mountains and locally to win the name mountain. Valleys are deeply sunk in the plateau, the largest with bottom lands of sufficient width to give rise to strips of fertile farm land. The valley walls rise to undulating, and often fairly level uplands, which are, in large part, cleared of forest; but the uplands are remote from markets, and the soil is thin. In the main they are grazing lands—the seat of important dairy and sheep-raising industries. This is the region of abandoned farm houses. Thousands have been deserted and they may be found along all the upland roads.
Since this plateau region is a northward extension of the Alleghany plateau, which skirts the western base of the Appalachian mountains, it rises as the mountains are approached. Thus, in S.E. New York, where the Appalachians enter the state, the plateau becomes much higher than in the W., reaching its culmination in the Catskills. Here, partly because of elevation, and partly because of the resistant nature of the Catskill sandstones, dissection has so sculptured the plateau as to carve it into a mountainous mass which is generally known as the Catskill mountains. In this part of the plateau, summit elevations of from 3000 to 4000 ft. are common, the highest point being Slide Mountain (4205 ft.). Like the Adirondacks, this region is largely forest covered, and is a favourite summer resort; but it is far less a wilderness than the Adirondacks, and in places is cleared for farming, especially for pasturage.
In the plateau province there are other areas known as mountains, of which the Helderberg mountains are the most conspicuous. This formation is really an escarpment facing the lower Mohawk and the Hudson river S. of Albany, where there is a downward step in the plateau. The steeply rising face of the plateau here is due to the resistance of a durable layer of limestone, known as the Helderberg limestone. There are other lower escarpments in the plateau province, similar in form and cause to the Helderberg escarpment. Of these the most notable is the Niagara escarpment which extends eastward from Canada, past Lewiston and Lockport,—a downward step from the Erie to the Ontario plain, where the Niagara limestone outcrops, and its resistance to denudation accounts for the steeply rising face at the boundary between the two plains.
South and S.E. of the Catskills, although including only a small portion of the state, there are a number of different topographic features, due to the belts of different rock structure which cross the state from S.W. to N.E. First come the low folds of the western Appalachians, which, though well developed in Pennsylvania, die out near the New York boundary. The most pronounced of these upfolded strata in New York form the low Shawangunk mountains, which descend, toward the S.E., to a lowland region of folded strata of limestone, slate and other rocks in Orange and Dutchess counties. This lowland area, due to the non-resistant character of the strata, is a continuation of the Great Valley of the Appalachians, and extends N.E. into Vermont and S.W. across New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. It is bounded on its S.E. side by the Highlands, a belt of ancient crystalline rocks which extends N.E. into Connecticut and Massachusetts, and S.W. into the Highlands of New Jersey and thence to the Blue Ridge. South of the Highlands, in New Jersey, but extending to the very banks of the Hudson, is a belt of Triassic sandstone with intrusions of trap rock, which, on account of its peculiar columnar jointing, has developed a palisade structure—the famous Palisades of the lower Hudson. On the New York side of the Hudson the rocks are crystalline, the surface a region of low hills, a continuation of the crystalline area of Connecticut, and comparable with the Piedmont plateau of the Southern states. Long Island, though modified by extensive glacial deposits, may be considered a N.E. extension of the coastal plains which attain a much more perfect development in New Jersey and the states farther S.
The entire surface of New York, with the exception of a very small area in the extreme W., in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, was covered by the continental glacier. With its source in Canada, it overrode even the highest mountains and spread beyond the boundary of New York into Pennsylvania and New Jersey; but farther E. its front rested on Staten Island and Long Island, whose surface features, and a part of whose area, are due to the deposits along the ice front, including terminal moraines and outwash gravel plains. Elsewhere in the state, also, the work of the glacier is very evident. It broadened and deepened many of the valleys; rounded the hills; turned aside many streams, causing changes in drainage and giving rise to innumerable waterfalls and rapids; and it formed the thousands of lakes, large and small, which dot the surface. As the ice receded, it halted at various points, forming moraines and other glacial deposits. Thus the soil of almost the entire state has been derived by glacial action. After the continental ice sheet entirely disappeared from the state, local valley glaciers lingered in the Adirondacks and the Catskills.
Drainage.—The drainage of New York finds its way to the sea in various directions. The St Lawrence system receives the most, mainly from short streams from the plateau province and from the Adirondacks. A small part of the state, in the W., drains to the Ohio, and thence, by way of the Mississippi, to the Gulf of Mexico; and a much larger area drains into the Susquehanna, entering the head of Chesapeake Bay. A part of the Catskills, and the region farther S., drains into Delaware Bay through the Delaware river. Thus New York is pre-eminently a divide region, sending its drainage, by various courses, into widely separated parts of the ocean. Only the Hudson and a few streams in the extreme S. have independent courses to the sea within the state itself.
The Hudson (q.v.) is essentially a New York stream, though it receives some drainage from the New England States through its small eastern tributaries. Its entire course is within New York, from which it receives most of its water supply. It is by far the most important river in the state, for, owing to the sinking of the land, which has admitted the tide as far as Troy, it is navigable for 151 m. from the sea. Thence westward the Mohawk Valley furnishes a highway which is followed by canal, railway and waggon road. Thus there is here a gap, easily traversed, across the Appalachian mountains and plateaus to the more level and fertile plains beyond. A low gap also leads northward from the Hudson to the Champlain Valley across a pass only 147 ft. above sea-level. This was of much importance in early wars; but it is of only minor importance as a commercial highway since it leads to Canada through a region of little economic importance.
The lower Hudson, below Troy, is really a fiord, the stream valley being drowned by the sea through subsidence of the land. It is noted for its remarkable scenery, especially where it crosses the Highlands. The other large river valleys are far less useful as highways, though each is paralleled by one or more railways. The action of the
continental glacier in scouring down the passes between the St Lawrence and southern drainage, and in turning streams southward, has facilitated the building of railways across the divides.
There are thousands of lakes and ponds in the state, most of them very small and all, even including Lakes Erie and Ontario, the result of glacial action. The largest lake apart from Erie and Ontario is the beautiful Lake Champlain, which lies on the eastern boundary, partly in Vermont, and with the N. end in Canada. It occupies the lower portion of the trough between the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains. The largest lake entirely within the state is Lake George, famous for its beautiful scenery. In the central part of the state are a series of peculiar elongated lakes, extending in a nearly N.S. direction, known as the Finger Lakes. The largest of these are Cayuga, Seneca, Keuka, Canandaigua, Owasco and Skaneateles. In the extreme western part of the state is Chautauqua Lake, beautifully situated in the plateau of western New York.
New York is noted for its many falls and rapids, some of them of great beauty. Of these the largest is the cataract of Niagara, about 1 m. wide and 160 ft. high. The American Fall is entirely within the state; but the Canadian boundary-line passes down the centre of the Horseshoe or Canadian Fall. Other notable falls are those of the Genesee at Portage and at Rochester, Trenton Falls, the Falls of Ticonderoga, and a multitude of falls and rapids in the Adirondack region and along the shores of the upper portions of the Finger Lakes. Here the tributary streams tumble down the sides of the lake valleys, whose bottoms have been deepened by glacial erosion, leaving the tributary valleys hanging. There are scores of picturesque glens here, and hundreds of waterfalls, among the most beautiful being in the Cayuga valley—notably Enfield Falls, a few miles S. of Ithaca, Ithaca Falls in the city, and Taughannock, a few miles N. of Ithaca. The last, the highest waterfall in the state, has a vertical fall of 215 ft. Similar glens and falls are found in the Seneca Valley, the best known being the widely renowned Watkins Glen, now reserved as a state park (see Watkins). Many of the waterfalls of New York, but notably Niagara, are used as a source of power.
The Coast-line.—New York has extensive coast-line along the Great Lakes, 75 m. on Lake Erie and over 200 m. on Lake Ontario. Where the lake waters flood the stream mouths, there are excellent harbours, and lake navigation is therefore of high importance. The largest of the lake ports is at Buffalo at the head of Niagara river, where, owing to the Niagara cataract, lake boats from the W. must transfer their goods to rail or canal. Buffalo lies at the lower end of natural lake navigation, though by the building of a ship canal in Canada, lake steamers can proceed into Lake Ontario and thence to the St Lawrence.
The ocean coast-line, though of limited extent, is by far the most important in the United States. The greater part of the sea coast is on Long Island—a low, sandy coast, the seat of numerous summer resorts and of some fishing. The mainland, opposite the western end of Long Island, is traversed by the lower Hudson and other channels—submerged valleys—which form a branching bay with several islands, the largest of which are Staten and Manhattan Islands. The western bank of the lower Hudson is in New Jersey. This branching bay makes an excellent protected harbour, with an immense water front, at the outlet of the chief natural highway from the E. to the interior of the country. Naturally, therefore, a dense population, engaged mainly in manufacturing and commerce, has gathered around the shores of this harbour, the greatest number on Manhattan Island and the contiguous mainland in New York City, but large numbers also on western Long Island, in Brooklyn, on the smaller islands, and on the New Jersey side. The harbour entrance is somewhat obstructed by sand bars, so that extensive government work has been necessary to open and maintain a channel for large draft ocean vessels. This sand has not been brought by the Hudson itself, for that river drops most of its sediment load far up stream, in its long tidal channel. It is supplied by the tidal- and wind-formed currents, which are drifting sand from the Long Island and New Jersey coasts, extending the barrier beaches, such as Sandy Hook, out across the entrance to New York Bay.
Climate.—In general the climate of New York is typical of that of northern United States, a climate of extremes, hot in summer, and cold in winter, and yet healthful, stimulating, and, on the whole, not disagreeable. In the absence of extensive alluvial plains and marshes, there is little malaria. The average mean annual temperature is not far from 45° F., though it varies from over 50° near New York City, and 48° near the Lake Erie shore, to less than 40° in the high Adirondacks. The average maximum summer heat is about 93°, temperature of 100° being rarely reached. In the winter the temperature descends below zero during exceptionally cold spells. A temperature of -20° or lower is never attained in the southern portion, seldom in the central, but is often passed, by 5 or 10 degrees, in the Adirondacks and in the higher parts of the plateau. The rivers and smaller lakes freeze in winter and navigation on the St Lawrence river is closed by ice on the average from about the middle of December until early in April. The average rainfall is between 40 and 45 in., but it is less than 30 in. in the Lake Champlain Valley and over 55 in. N. of New York City. In most of the state frosts begin from September 1st to October 1st, and end from April 1st to May 1st. In the Adirondack region the snowfall is heavy, the winter long and severe. In central New York it is not uncommon for snow to
accumulate to the depth of 3 or 4 ft., and yet this is not persistent. About New York City, and on Long Island, the snow rarely exceeds 1 ft. in depth. The climate is very variable, owing to the frequent passage of cyclonic storms from the W. and S.W., bringing warmer weather with rain and snow in winter, and causing days of great heat and humidity, with thunderstorms, in summer. Between these cyclonic storms come areas of high pressure, or anticyclones, with dry cool air in summer, and dry cold air in winter, sometimes with such decided changes in temperature as to merit the name cold wave. About New York City, and on Long Island, the ocean softens the rigours of winter, and through the influence of cold surface waters off the coast, tempers the heat of summer. The temperature of the larger valleys is notably higher than that of the uplands; and the temperature along the lake shores is decidedly influenced by the large bodies of water. Lakes Ontario and Erie never freeze completely over in winter.
Although one of the smaller states in the Union, being 30th in area, New York ranks first in population and in wealth, and has won for itself the name Empire State. The physiography has enabled the state to become a great highway of commerce between the central part of the United States and the sea-coast, by rail and by water, along the Mohawk Gap and by other routes. The Great Lakes waterway naturally finds an outlet in New York City. This has made it easy for the states to the west to contribute raw materials, notably coal and iron, adding these to the natural raw products of New York. Thus it happens that from Buffalo to New York City there is a chain of busy manufacturing centres along the natural highway followed by the Erie Canal and the Hudson river. Other parts of the state, where connected with the main highway, are influenced by it to some extent; but away from the great natural route of commerce New York is not especially noteworthy either for its density of population or for extensive manufacturing and commerce. (R. S. T.)
Flora.—When first settled by Europeans New York was a woodland region containing nearly all the varieties of trees, shrubs and plants which were common to the territory lying E. of the Mississippi river, N. of the Ohio, and S. of the St Lawrence. In the Adirondack region the trees were principally white pine, spruce, hemlock and balsam, but mixed with these were some birch, maple, beech and basswood, and smaller numbers of ash and elm; in the swamps of this region were also larch and cedar. The forests of the W. half of the state contained pine, but here such hardwood trees as oak, chestnut, hickory, maple and beech were more common. The tulip tree was common both in the S.W. and N.; and the walnut, butternut, poplar, sycamore and locust were widely distributed. The original varieties of trees still abound, though in less numbers, on lands ill-adapted to agriculture, and in the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains, where the state has established forest preserves, and the Forest, Fish and Game Commissioner began reforesting in 1901, principally with pine, spruce and larch. On the summits of the Adirondacks are a few alpine species, such as reindeer moss and other lichens; on the shores of Long Island, Staten Island and Westchester county are a number of maritime species; and on Long Island are several species especially characteristic of the pine barrens of New Jersey. Laurel, rhododendron, and whortleberry are common shrubs in the mountain districts, and sumac, hazel, sassafras and elder are quite widely distributed elsewhere. Among indigenous fruit-bearing plants the state has the black cherry, red cherry, red plum, yellow plum, grape, black currant, blackberry, dewberry, strawberry and cranberry. Blue flag, snake root, ginseng, lobelia, tansy, wormwood, wintergreen, pleurisy root, plantain, burdock, sarsaparilla and horehound are among its medicinal plants. Cowslips, violets, anemones, buttercups and blood-roots are conspicuous in early spring, the white pond lily and the yellow pond lily in summer, asters and golden-rod in autumn, and besides these there are about 1500 other flowering plants in the state and more than 50 species of ferns.
Fauna.—Of the fur and game animals which were inhabitants of the primeval forests few of the larger species remain except in the Adirondack region. Here the puma (“panther”) has become extinct and the Canada lynx is rare. The moose, the elk and the beaver have been placed under the protection of the Forest, Fish and Game Commissioner. There are many deer in the Adirondacks. The porcupine is common, but the Canada pine marten or American sable, fisher, and red fox are rare, and the black bear and grey wolf are found only in small numbers. Rabbits and squirrels are numerous in nearly all parts of the state; skunks, weasels, muskrats and woodchucks are common; there are some racoons; mink are frequently taken in the Adirondacks; and a few otter remain. In the lower counties are some “Virginia” opossums.
Among birds of prey a bald eagle and a golden eagle are occasionally seen in secluded places. Game birds include ducks, geese, plovers, snipe, loons, grebes, terns, rails, the woodcock and the ruffed grouse; quails are scarce except on Long Island, where a number of young birds are liberated each year, and by the same means a supply
of pheasants is maintained in some parts of the state. There is a state game bird farm (1909) near Sherburne in Chenango county. Herons, the brown pelican, bittern, and mud hen frequent the marshes. The robin, song sparrow, chickadee, thrushes, warblers, vireos, orioles, wrens, blue-bird, cat-bird and phoebe are favourite song birds.
There are about 375 species of fish in New York waters (see below under Fisheries).
Soil.—The soil is mostly glacial drift, but its depth and composition often vary greatly even within small areas. The most widely distributed soil, especially in the W. half of the state, is mainly a clay which was formed by the glacial pulverizing of limestone and shale and is still forming from the decomposition of fragments of these substances. In the larger valleys and along the shores of lakes considerable alluvium is mixed with this clay. In the E. there is some clay formed mainly by the decomposition of slate. A sandy loam is quite characteristic of some of the N. counties, and gravelly loams containing limestone are not uncommon.
Agriculture and Stock-Raising.—Although New York has lost in the competition with the Western States in the production of most of the grains, especially wheat and barley, and in the production of wool, mutton and pork, it has made steady progress in the dairy business and continues to produce great crops of hay. The state has made great advances, too, in the production of flowers, ornamental plants, nursery products, fruits, vegetables, poultry and eggs. In 1900 a little less than three-fourths of the state’s total land area was included in farms and a little more than two-thirds of this was improved. The number of farms gradually increased from 170,621 in 1850 to 226,720 in 1900, and the average size decreased from 112.1 acres in 1850 to 97.1 acres in 1890, but increased to 99.9 acres in 1900. More than two-thirds of the farms (152,956) were operated by owners or part owners, 29,000 were operated by share tenants, and 24,303 by cash tenants. Of the total acreage of all crops, 5,154,965 acres (54.1%) were of hay and 3,125,077 acres (32.8%) were of cereals. In 1909 the amount of the hay crop (5,002,000 tons) was greater than that of any other state except Iowa, and its value ($71,028,000) was greater than in any other state. The oat crop in 1909 was 37,365,000 bushels; the Indian corn crop, 1,910,000 bushels; the wheat crop, 24,120,000 bushels; the barley crop, 8,820,000 bushels; the rye crop, 2,720,000 bushels; buckwheat, 7,512,000 bushels.
There were less than one-third as many sheep in 1910 (1,177,000) as in 1850; but in the same period the number of dairy cows (1,771,000 in 1910) steadily increased. The number of cattle other than dairy cows was 946,315 in 1850 and 889,000 in 1910. Horses increased from 447,014 in 1850 to 717,000 in 1910.
New York has a larger acreage of vegetables than any other state. Its crop of potatoes in 1909 was 52,560,000 bushels and that of Maine, the next largest, 29,250,000 bushels; and the state is a large producer of onions, turnips, cabbages, cauliflower, sweet Indian corn, cucumbers, rhubarb, parsnips, carrots, green peas and green beans. During the years 1850–1889 New York produced about 70% of the hop crop of the entire country, but since 1890 hop culture has been rapidly extended in the Pacific Coast states and suffered to decline in New York, and the crop from 1899 to 1907 averaged only about one-half that of 1889 (20,063,029 ℔). Tobacco culture was introduced in 1845, and in 1860 the crop was 5,764,582 ℔. During 1860–1880 the increase was slight, but in 1899 the crop was 13,958,370 ℔; in 1909 the crop was only 7,050,000 ℔. The value of the fruit crop in 1899 ($15,844,346) was second only to that of California; and the most productive agricultural lands are those devoted to floriculture and nurseries.
The dairy business and the production of hay are especially prominent in the rugged region W. of the Adirondack Mountains and in the rugged portions of the counties in the S. half of the state. A large portion of the Indian corn, wheat and barley is produced on the Ontario plain. There are large crops of oats here, too, but the culture of this cereal is quite extensive in most of the counties W. of the Adirondacks. The lower valley of the Hudson is noted for its crops of rye. The buckwheat belt extends S.W. across the state from Albany and Saratoga counties. The principal hop-producing counties are Otsego, Schoharie and Madison, all of which are between Albany and Syracuse. Those producing most tobacco are in a district extending from the S.E. shore of Lake Ontario southward across the state. The great orchards are in the tier of counties bordering the S. shore of Lake Ontario and in Dutchess and Ulster counties in the Hudson Valley. Chautauqua county alone produced more than one-half of the state’s crop of grapes in 1899, but this fruit is grown extensively also in the region W. of Seneca Lake in the vicinity of Lake Keuka, and in parts of the lower valley of the Hudson. The culture of small fruits and vegetables is widely distributed throughout the W. half of the state and in the valley of the Hudson, and the greater part of Long Island under cultivation is devoted to market gardening, floriculture and nurseries. The largest nurseries, however, are in the vicinity of Rochester.
Forest Products.—The principal forest area is in the Adirondack region where the state has a forest preserve (in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, Oneida, St Lawrence, Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties) containing (1909) 1,530,559 acres, and there is as much or more in private preserves and in tracts owned by lumbermen. The state has a forest
preserve also in the Catskill region (in Delaware, Greene, Sullivan and Ulster counties) of 110,964 acres, and there are wood-lots on many farms throughout the state that produce commercial timber. Originally white pine was the principal timber of the Adirondacks, but most of the merchantable portion has been cut, and in 1905 nearly one-half of the lumber product of this section was spruce, the other half mainly hemlock, pine and hardwoods (yellow birch, maple, beech and basswood, and smaller amounts of elm, cherry and ash). The state is reforesting portions of its preserve chiefly with pine, spruce and larch. In the Catskills and in the farming regions the lumber product consists largely of hardwoods (mostly oak, chestnut and hickory), smaller amounts of hemlock and pine, and a very little spruce. The state’s entire timber product in 1905 was 1,212,070,168 ft. (board measure); of this about five-eighths was from the Adirondack region, a little more than one-fourth was from the farming regions, and a little less than one-eighth was from the Catskill region. Maple sugar is an important by-product of the forests, and in the production of this commodity New York ranks second only to Vermont; 3,623,540 lb were made in 1900.
Fisheries.—New York was in 1904 more extensively engaged in oyster culture than any other state, and was making more rapid progress in the cultivation of hard clams. In 1909 there were distributed from state fish hatcheries 531,293,721 fishes (mostly smelt, pike-perch, and winter flatfish); a large number of fish and eggs were also placed in New York waters by the United States Bureau of Fisheries. The products of the marine fisheries decreased nearly 30% in value from 1891 to 1897, but from 1897 to 1904 they increased from $3,391,595 to $6,230,558, or 80.3%, and a large part of this increase was due to the extension of the successful oyster culture at the E. end of Long Island; the value of oysters alone rising from $2,050,058 to $3,780,352. The value of hard clams rose during the same period from $198,930 to $303,599. Peconic Bay, at the E. end of Long Island, yields more scallops than all the other waters of the United States. Soft clams, lobsters, hard crabs and soft crabs are other shell-fish obtained in small quantities. Menhaden are caught in much larger quantities in New York than any other fish, but being too bony for food they are used only in the manufacture of oil and fertilizer. The most valuable catches of food fish in 1904 were those of bluefish ($556,527), squeteague ($212,623), flounders ($67,159), eels ($53,832), cod ($52,710), scup ($48,068) and shad ($36,826). The shad fishery is mainly in the lower waters of the Hudson river, and the catch diminished so rapidly from 1901 that in 1904 it was only about one-eighth of the average for the decade from 1890 to 1900. The New York fisheries of Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Niagara and St Lawrence rivers yielded products in 1903 valued at $187,798 and consisting largely of pike-perch, herring, catfish, bullheads and sturgeon, and in 1902 there were commercial fisheries in sixteen interior lakes and rivers which yielded muscallonge, smelt, bullheads, pickerel, pike-perch and several other varieties having a total value of $87,897.
Minerals.—More than thirty mineral substances are obtained in commercial quantities from the mines, quarries and wells of New York, but of the total value of the mineral products in 1908 ($45,660,861), nearly six-sevenths was represented: by clay products ($8,929;224), pig iron ($15,879,000), stone ($6,157,279), cement ($2,254,759), salt ($2,136,738), petroleum ($2,071,533), and sand and gravel ($1,349,163). The extensive deposits of clay in the Hudson Valley together with the easy water communications with New York City have made this valley the greatest brick-making region in the world; in 1906 the common bricks made here numbered 1,230,692,000. There are also deposits of clay suitable for making bricks, terra-cotta and tiles in nearly every county outside of this valley, and there are some pottery clays in Albany and Onondaga counties. The common bricks made in New York in 1908 were valued at $5,066,084, an amount in excess of that in any other state; and the total value of brick and tile products was $7,270,981, being less than that of Ohio, Pennsylvania or Illinois. In 1750 the mining of iron ore was begun near Monroe, Orange county. Ore has since been found in most of the eastern counties and as far W. as Wayne county, but the mines in Essex, Clinton and Franklin counties of the Adirondack region are by far the most productive. The ores are principally magnetites (New York is the largest producer of magnetite ore among the states, producing about 45% of the total for the United States in 1907 and 1908), but red haematites occur in the N. and W. section of the Adirondacks and in the central part of the state, and brown haematites and carbonate ore in the S.E. counties. The total output of the state increased from 651,228 long tons in 1884 to 1,253,593 long tons in 1890, decreased to 179,951 long tons in 1898, again increased to 1,375,020 long tons in 1907, when only three states produced more, and was only 697,473 long tons in 1008 when the state held the same rank as in 1907. Limestone
is widely distributed throughout the state, and great quantities of it are crushed for road-making, railway ballasts, and concrete, but as the prevailing colours are greyish or drab it is little used in the walls of buildings. In 1908 the total value of the output of this stone was $2,584,559. Three distinct varieties of sandstone are quarried extensively. Those popularly known as “bluestones” belong to the Hamilton period of the Devonian formation and occur mainly between the Hudson and Delaware rivers. They are dark blue-grey, fine grained and durable, and are much used for flagging and kerbing and for sills, caps and steps. Medina sandstones occur throughout a belt averaging about 10 m. wide along the S. shore of Lake Ontario and are either red or grey; the red are used for building, the grey for street paving. A more durable and more beautiful stone for building is the reddish or reddish-brown Potsdam sandstone of which there are extensive formations on the N.W. border of the Adirondacks. The value of all sandstones quarried in 1908 was $1,774,843, an amount exceeded by no other state. Several choice marbles are obtained in the eastern counties. From Tuckahoe, Westchester county, has been taken white marble, used in some of the finest buildings in New York City, and a similar marble is obtained in Putnam and Dutchess counties. Near Gouverneur, St Lawrence county, is a large quarry of coarsely crystalline magnesian limestone, used as monumental marble. In the Lower Silurian formation at Plattsburg and Chazy, in Clinton county, are two beautiful grey or grey and pink marbles, one of which is a favourite among domestic marbles for mantels, table tops and other interior decorations. From an extensive deposit of blue-black magnesian limestone at Glens Falls are taken the choicest varieties of black marble quarried in the United States. At Moriah and Port Henry, in Essex county, is a stone known as ophlite marble, a mixture of serpentine, dolomite and calcite interspersed with small flecks of phlogopite. Larger deposits of serpentine occur at several places in St Lawrence county; and at Warwick, in Orange county, is some beautiful marble of a carmine-red colour occasionally mottled with white or showing white veins. The marble quarried in 1908 was valued at $706,858. There are extensive formations of granitic rocks in the Adirondacks, in the lower Hudson Valley, and in the adjacent highlands, but they are not extensively quarried. Rockland county quarries considerable trap rock, used mostly for road-making and concrete, and Ulster county has for more than a century produced most of the domestic millstones used in the United States. Extending from Madison county to the W. border of the state in Erie county is a narrow belt containing large deposits of gypsum, and in 1908 the value of the state’s output ($760,759) was greater than that of any other state, although Michigan produced a larger quantity. At or near Chittenango, in Madison county, natural-cement rock was first discovered in the United States, and the first use made of it was in the construction of the Erie Canal. The rock was found in much greater quantities at Rosendale, in Ulster county, in 1823, and the amount of this cement produced by New York rose to 4,689,167 barrels in 1899; the state is still the chief producer but only 947,929 barrels were made in 1908. Limestone and clay suitable for making Portland cement are also found in Ulster county and elsewhere, and the production of this increased from 65,000 barrels in 1890 to 2,290,955 barrels in 1908. Near Talcville, in St Lawrence county, is a large deposit of fibrous talc. In 1908 the total value of the state’s talc product was $697,390, almost one-half the total for the entire country.
New York and Michigan are the two principal salt-producing states in the Union. Salt was discovered by the Jesuits in Western New York about the middle of the 17th century, and was manufactured by the Indians in the Onondaga region. The state bought the salt reservation in 1788, and soon afterward the manufacture of salt was begun by the whites. From 1880 to 1885 the first brines were obtained in Wyoming and Genesee counties by boring deep wells into beds of rock salt, and in 1885 the mining of the extensive deposits of rock salt in Livingston county was begun. Salt is also produced in Tompkins and Schuyler counties. In 1908 the total production of the state, 9,076,743 barrels valued at $2,136,738, was exceeded in quantity and (for the first time) in value by that of Michigan.
The Appalachian oil field extends northward from West Virginia and Pennsylvania into Cattaraugus, Allegany and Steuben counties. The first oil well in the state was drilled at Limestone in Cattaraugus county in 1865, and the state’s output of oil was 1,160,128 barrels, valued at $2,071, 533 in 1908. At Olean it is pumped into pipes which extend as far north as Buffalo and as far east as Long Island City. The village of Fredonia, in Chautauqua county, was illuminated by natural gas as early as 1825, and gas has since been discovered in several of the western counties. The value of the flow in 1908 was $959,280.
There are more than forty mineral springs in New York whose waters are of commercial importance, and in 1908 the waters sold from them amounted to 8,007,092 gals., valued at $877,648; several of the springs, especially those in Saratoga county, attract a large number of summer visitors. Graphite is widely distributed in the Adirondack region, but the mining of it is confined for the most part to Essex and Warren counties; in 1908 the output was 1,932,000 lb. valued at $116,100. Other mineral substances obtained in small quantities are: pyrite, in St Lawrence county; arsenical ore, in Putnam county; red, green and purple slate, in Washington county;
garnet in Warren, Essex and St Lawrence counties; emery and felspar, in Westchester county; and infusorial earth in Herkimer county.
Manufactures.—The establishment of a great highway of commerce through the state from New York City to Buffalo by the construction of the Erie Canal, opened in 1825, and later by the building of railways along the line of the water route, made the state’s manufactures quite independent of its own natural resources. The factory manufacture of clothing was begun in New York City about 1835, and received a great impetus from the invention of the sewing-machine, the demands created by the Civil War, and the immigration of vast numbers of foreign labourers. It is now the leading manufacturing industry of the state. The value of the clothing was $340,715,921 in 1905. New York City ranks first among American cities in printing and publishing, the products being valued at $137,985,751 in 1905. Knitting by machinery was introduced into America in 1831 at Cohoes Falls, on the Mohawk river; the products, consisting largely of underwear, were valued at $46,108,600 in 1905. Of the other textile industries none except the manufacture of carpets and rugs and silk and silk goods has become very prominent, and yet the total value of all textile products in 1905 was $123,668,177. The refining of sugar was begun in New York City late in the 18th century, but the growth of the industry to its present magnitude has been comparatively recent; the value of the sugar and molasses refined in 1905 was $116,438,838. Foundry and machine-shop products were valued at $115,876,193 in 1905, and electrical machinery, apparatus, and supplies at $35,348,276. The manufacture of paper and wood-pulp products ($37,750,605 in 1905) is an industry for which the state still furnishes much of the raw material, and other large industries of which the same is true are the manufacture of flour and grist-mill products, dairy products, canned fruits and vegetables, wines, clay products, and salt. New York state has ranked first in the Union in the value of its manufactures since 1830, and their value rose to $2,488,345,579 in 1905. More than three-fifths of that of 1905 was represented by the manufactures of New York City alone. Buffalo, the second city in manufactures, shares largely with New York City the business of slaughtering and meat packing, the refining and smelting of copper, and the manufacture of foundry and machine-shop products, and with New York City and Rochester the manufacture of flour and grist-mill products. Rochester ranks first among the cities of the United States in the manufacture of photographic materials and apparatus and optical instruments. Niagara Falls and New York City manufacture a large part of the chemicals, and the value of the state’s output rose to $29,090,484 in 1905. Gloversville and Johnstown are noted for leather gloves and mittens.
Transportation and Commerce.—From the very beginning of the occupation of New York by Europeans, commerce was much encouraged by the natural water-courses. The Western Inland Lock Navigation Company, chartered by the state in 1792, completed three canals within about four years and thereby permitted the continuous passage from Schenectady to Lake Ontario of boats of about 17 tons. The Erie Canal was begun by the state in 1817 and opened to boats of about 75 tons burden in 1825. The Champlain Canal, connecting the Erie with Lake Champlain, was also begun in 1817 and completed in 1823. The Oswego Canal, connecting the Erie with Lake Ontario, was begun in 1825 and completed in 1828. Several other tributary canals were constructed during this period, and between 1836 and 1862 the Erie was sufficiently enlarged to accommodate boats of 240 tons burden.
The first railway in the state and the second in operation in the United States was the Mohawk & Hudson, opened from Albany to Schenectady in 1831. The railway mileage in the state increased to 1361 m. in 1850, to 3928 m. in 1870, to 7684.41 m. in 1890, and to 8422.14 m. in January 1909. The first great trunk line in the country was that of the Erie railway, opened from Piermont, on the Hudson river, to Dunkirk, on Lake Erie, in 1853. The New York Central & Hudson River railway, nearly parallel with the water route from New York City to Buffalo, was formed by the union, in 1869, of the New York Central with the Hudson River railway. The West Shore railway, which follows closely the route of the New York Central & Hudson River, was also the result of a consolidation, completed in 1881, of several shorter lines. In 1886 the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad Company leased the West Shore for a term of 475 years, and this company operates another parallel line from Syracuse to Buffalo, a line following closely the entire N. border of the state (the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg), and several cross lines. Other important railways are the Lehigh Valley, the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, and the Pennsylvania in the central and W. sections, the Delaware & Hudson, the Rutland, and the New York Ontario & Western in the E., and the Long Island on Long Island. In competition with the railways, traffic on the existing canals suffered a marked decline. As, however, this decline was accompanied with a considerable decrease in the proportion of the country’s exports which passed through the port of New York, interest in the canals revived, and in 1903 the electorate of the state authorized the issue of bonds to the amount of $101,000,000 for the purpose of increasing the capacity of the Erie, the Champlain and the Oswego canals, to make each navigable by barges of 1000 tons burden. A project adopted by the state for the enlargement of the Erie provides for a new route up th Hudson from Troy to Waterford
and thence to the Mohawk river above Cohoes Falls. Up the Mohawk to Rome the old route is for the most part to be retained; but from Rome to Clyde there is to be a diversion so as to utilize Oneida Lake and Oneida and Seneca rivers. Westward from Clyde the new channel, like the old but larger, will pass through Rochester and Lockport to the Niagara river at Tonawanda. Each of the three canals is to have a minimum depth of 12 ft., a minimum bottom width in rivers and lakes of 200 ft., and in other sections a bottom width generally of 75 ft. Their locks are to be 328 ft. in length and 45 ft. in width.
The imports to the port of New York increased in value from $466,527,631 in 1897 to $891,614,678 in 1909, while the exports increased in value from $404,750,496 to $627,782,767. Other ports of entry are Buffalo and Dunkirk, on Lake Erie, Niagara Falls, on the Niagara river, Ogdensburg and Cape Vincent, on the St Lawrence river, Plattsburg, on Lake Champlain, Oswego, on Lake Ontario, Rochester, on the Genesee river, Albany and Syracuse in the interior, and Sag Harbor at the E. end of Long Island.
Population.—New York outstripped Pennsylvania in population in the first decade of the 19th century, and Virginia in the second decade, and since 1820 it has been the most populous state in the Union. In 1880 the population was 5,082,871; in 1890, 5,997,853; in 1900, 7,268,894; in 1905, according to the state census, 8,067,308; and in 1910, 9,113,614. The foreign-born population in 1900 was 1,900,425, including 480,026 natives of Germany, 425,553 of Ireland, 182,248 of Italy, 165,610 of Russia, 135,685 of England, 117,535 of Canada, 78,491 of Austria, 69,755 of Poland and 64,055 of Scandinavia. More than two-thirds of the foreign-born were in New York City. The coloured population constituted only 1.5% of the total, and was composed of 99,232 negroes, 7170 Chinese, 5257 Indians and 354 Japanese.
Most of the Indians were on eight reservations: the Allegany Reservation (30,469 acres) in Cattaraugus county; the Cattaraugus Reservation (21,680 acres) in Erie, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties; the St Regis Reservation (14,030 acres) in Franklin county; the Tonawanda Reservation (7548 acres) in Erie and Genesee counties; the Onondaga Reservation (7300 acres) in Onondaga county; the Tuscarora Reservation (624 acres) in Niagara county; the Oneida Reservation (400 acres) in Madison county; and the Shinnecock Reservation (400 acres) near Southampton, on Long Island.
Of 3,591,974 members of all religious denominations in 1906, 2,285,768 were Roman Catholics, 313,689 Methodist Episcopalians, 199,923 Presbyterians, 193,890 Protestant Episcopalians, 176,981 Baptists, 124,644 Lutherans, 57,351 Congregationalists, 35,342 Jews (heads of families only), 26,183 members of the German Evangelical Synod, 19,302 members of Eastern Orthodox churches and 10,761 Universalists. The urban population (i.e. population of places having 4000 inhabitants or more) increased from 3,805,477 in 1890 to 5,176,414 in 1900, or 36%, while the rural population (i.e. population outside of incorporated places) decreased during this decade from 1,834,119 to 1,625,859 or 5.9%.
The cities having a population of 15,000 or more in 1905 were: New York City, 4,013,781; Buffalo, 376,587; Rochester, 181,666; Syracuse, 117,503; Albany, 98,374; Troy, 76,910; Utica, 62,934; Yonkers, 61,716; Schenectady, 58,387; Binghamton, 42,036; Elmira, 34,687; Auburn, 31,422; Niagara Falls, 26,560; Newburgh, 26,498; Jamestown, 26,160; Kingston, 25,556; Watertown, 25,447; Poughkeepsie, 25,379; Mt. Vernon, 25,996; Cohoes, 24,183; Amsterdam, 23,943; Oswego, 22,572; New Rochelle, 20,479; Gloversville, 18,672; Lockport, 17,552; Rome, 16,562; and Dunkirk, 15,250.
Government.—Since becoming a state, New York has been governed under four constitutions, adopted in 1777, 1821, 1846 and 1894 respectively. The first state constitution, adopted by a convention at Kingston, made few changes in the provincial system other than those necessary to establish it on a popular basis, but the powers of the governor were curtailed, especially his powers of appointment and veto. These limitations worked unsatisfactorily, and their removal or modification and the extension of the franchise were the principal changes effected in 1821. Under the first constitution the decentralization of administration, which began early in the colonial era, continued without interruption, and under the second it was checked by a few measures only. The third constitution, besides reorganizing the judiciary, transferred to the people the choice of many officers, state and local, who had been appointed by the governor or the legislature; and placed numerous restrictions on the law-making power of the legislature. Under this constitution the theory of local self-government was more fully realized in New York than at any other time.
Since the middle of the 19th century an attempt has been made to meet the problems arising from a rapid industrial and social development by creating bureaus or commissions to exercise a central control over local officials, corporations and even private individuals, and as most of the heads of these bureaus and the commissions are appointed by the governor the importance of that officer has increased. The constitutional changes since 1846 affect principally the judiciary and cities. A constitutional convention met and proposed a new constitution in 1867, but every article was rejected by the people save one relating to the judiciary, which was adopted separately as an amendment in 1869. The constitution of 1894 made further important changes in the judiciary and in the government of cities. The first constitution made no provision for its amendment or revision. The second provided that whenever a majority of the members elected to each house of the legislature voted for an amendment and two-thirds of those elected to the next legislature approved, it should be submitted to the people for their adoption or rejection. The third modified this provision by requiring the approval of only a majority of the members elected to each house of the second legislature, and directed that the legislature should call a convention to revise the constitution at least once in twenty years if the people requested it. The present constitution contains the same clause as the third for the proposal of amendments by the legislature, and makes the unique provision that if the people vote for a convention when the question is submitted to them—this must be as often as once in twenty years—the delegates shall be elected and shall assemble at an appointed time and place without the call of the legislature, this being the result of the governor’s veto, in 1887, of a bill for calling a convention in response to an overwhelming vote of the people in favour of it. Under the first constitution there were property qualifications for voting which amounted in the election of the governor and senators to a freehold estate worth £100 ($500) and in the election of assemblymen to a freehold estate worth £20. ($100) or the payment of an annual rent of 40s. ($10). But under the second constitution the most that was required of any white voter was the payment to the state or county of taxes on either personal or real property, and by an amendment of 1826 this requirement was abolished. The second constitution, however, imposed a property qualification on coloured voters amounting to a freehold estate worth $250, and this restriction was not removed until 1874. Since 1874 the aim has been to bestow suffrage on all male citizens who shall have attained the age of twenty-one years and shall have been inhabitants of the state for one year, but for the protection of the ballot citizenship for ninety days, residence in the county for four months, and in the election district for thirty days next preceding the election are required. Conviction for bribery or of an infamous crime disqualifies, and personal identification of voters is required in New York City. A statement of receipts and expenditures of an election campaign, showing the amount received from each contributor and the name of every person or committee to whom more than $5 was paid, must be filed by the treasurer of every political committee within twenty days after the election; each candidate also must file a statement of his contributions. By an Act of 1910 women may vote on financial questions affecting a village in which they hold property.
Executive.—When the state government was first established, the governor and lieutenant-governor were the only state officers elected by the people. The state treasurer was chosen by the legislature, and for the appointment of other state officers as well as county officers and mayors of cities the Assembly chose four senators to constitute a council of appointment, a body in which the governor had only a casting vote. But the constitution of 1821 abolished the council of appointment and gave the choice of the principal state departmental officers to the legislature, and the constitution of 1846 transferred the choice of these officers from the legislature to the people, where it has since remained. Under the constitution of 1821 a great number of local officers were appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The choice of most of these was given to the people in 1846, but since then many new state departments have been created, the heads of which are usually appointed by the governor, subject to the approval of the Senate. Under the present system, therefore, there is a biennial election (in even-numbered years) of a governor, a lieutenant-governor, a secretary of state, a state comptroller, a state treasurer, an attorney-general and a state engineer and surveyor; and the governor appoints, subject to the approval of the Senate, a superintendent of public works, a superintendent of state prisons, a superintendent of insurance, a superintendent of banks, a commissioner of excise, a commissioner of agriculture, a forest, fish and game commissioner, a commissioner of health, a commissioner of labour, a state architect, a state historian, a state librarian, two public service commissions, a civil service commission, a board of charities, a commission of prisons, a commission in lunacy, three tax commissioners and several other boards and commissions. The governor has the power, also, of filling vacancies in certain state offices and on the benches of the supreme court and county courts, and he may remove or suspend certain county and municipal officers on charges.
The first state constitution gave the veto power to a council of revision composed of the governor, the chancellor and the judges of the supreme court, but since 1821 this power has been exercised by the governor alone; and in 1874 it was extended to separate items in appropriation bills. A bill or item of an appropriation bill that has been vetoed by the governor can become a law only with the approval of two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the legislature. So long as the legislature is in session the governor is allowed ten days, besides Sundays, to consider a bill, and if he does not veto it within that time it becomes a law, but no bill becomes a law after the final adjournment of the legislature unless it is actually approved by the governor within thirty days after the adjournment. The governor’s power to grant reprieves, commutations or pardons is unrestricted by any board of pardons, but he is required to report to the legislature each case in which he exercises such power. A candidate for the office of governor or lieutenant-governor must be at least thirty years of age and must have resided within the state for five years next preceding his election. The governor’s salary is $10,000 a year, and the lieutenant-governor’s is $5000.
Legislature.—The legislative power is vested in a Senate of 50 members elected biennially and an Assembly of 150 members elected annually. Since 1846 both senators and assemblymen have been elected by single districts, and ever since the state government was established they have been apportioned according to population, but the present constitution limits the representation of New York City in the Senate by declaring that no county shall have more than one-third of all the senators nor any two adjoining counties more than one-half of them. The first and second state constitutions required that every senator should be a freeholder, but since 1846 no property qualifications have been prescribed for membership in either house; the only persons disqualified are those who at the time of the election or within one hundred days before the election were members of Congress, civil or military officers under the United States, or officers under any city government. The constitution of 1846 limited the pay of members of both houses to three dollars a day and to three hundred dollars for any one session (except in impeachment proceedings) besides an allowance for travelling expenses, but since an amendment of 1874 they have been paid $1500 a year and ten cents a mile for travelling expenses.
The legislature meets in annual sessions, beginning in January. Money bills may originate in either house, but at the final vote on such a bill in either house three-fifths of the members elected to that house must be present and the yeas and nays must be recorded; bills entailing appropriations for local or private purposes must receive a two-thirds majority to pass. The legislature appoints the board of regents of the University of the State of New York. To decrease the evil of lobbying a law was enacted in 1906 which requires
that every person employed to promote or oppose the passage of any bill shall file in the office of the secretary of state a written statement showing who has employed him and describing the legislation in respect of which his services are to be rendered; the law also requires the employers of lobbyists to file in the same office within two months after the adjournment of the legislature an itemized statement of all their lobbying expenses, and forbids the employment of a lobbyist for a contingent fee.
Judiciary.—At the close of the colonial era there were a court of chancery, a supreme court, circuit courts and courts of oyer and terminer which were held in the several counties by the justices of the supreme court, a court of common pleas and a court of sessions in each county, and courts held by justices of the peace in the several towns. This system, with the addition of the Senate, the chancellor and the justices of the supreme court occasionally sitting as a court for the correction of errors, was retained with only slight changes until 1846. But the new constitution of that year substituted a court of appeals for the court of errors, merged the court of chancery into the supreme court, established in each county a new county court composed of a single judge, and, taking the appointment of judges from the governor, gave the election of them to the people. Some further alterations in the constitution affecting the courts were made in 1869, 1879, 1888, 1894, 1899 and 1909, and the system as at present constituted comprises a supreme court of ninety-seven justices, an appellate division of the same, a court of appeals, a court of claims and local courts. The highest judicial court in the state is not, as in most states of the Union, the supreme court, but the court of appeals. This court consists of a chief judge and six associate judges elected from the state at large for a term of fourteen years. Its jurisdiction is limited, except where judgment is of death, to a review of questions of law. Vacancies are temporarily filled from among the justices of the supreme court by the governor. To expedite business, at the request of the court, the governor may designate not more than four justices of the supreme court to act temporarily as additional associate judges of the court of appeals. The salary of the chief judge is $14,200, of the associate judges $13,700 a year.
The ninety-seven justices of the supreme court are elected for fourteen years from the nine districts into which the state is divided. Of these thirty are chosen in the first district (New York county) and seventeen in the second district (Long Island and Staten Island). The jurisdiction of each justice extends over the entire state. Vacancies are temporarily filled by the governor. The supreme court has general jurisdiction in law and equity, including all actions both civil and criminal. The salary of the justices in the first district and in Kings county of the second district is $17,500 a year; in the remainder of the second district it is $16,300 a year; in the other districts it is $10,000 a year. The state is divided into four departments for each of which there is an Appellate Division consisting of seven justices in the first department (county of New York) and five in each of the others. The justices and presiding justice are designated from among the justicespf the supreme court by the governor; the presiding justice and a majority of the other justices of each department must be residents of the department.
The court of claims consists of three judges, one presiding, appointed by the governor for a term of six years. It has jurisdiction to hear and determine private claims against the state.
The local judiciary includes the usual county and city judges, county surrogates and justices of the peace. New York City (q.v.) has an extensive judiciary system of its own.
Local Government.—The state is divided into sixty-one counties, each (unless wholly included in a city) having a county board of supervisors elected for two years, one from every town or city ward. This board has certain administrative and legislative powers, such as the care of county property, the borrowing of money for the erection of county buildings, the fixing of the salary of the county treasurer and of other county officers, the levying of county taxes and the division of the county into assembly districts and school commissioners' districts. Other county officers are a county judge and a county surrogate elected for a term of six years, a treasurer, a clerk, a district attorney, a sheriff and from one to four coroners elected for a term of three years. Cities are of three classes: (1) those having a population of 175,000 or more; (2) those having a population between 50,000 and 175,000; and (3) those whose population is less than 50,000; the classification is according to the latest state enumeration.
Bills for “special” city laws, as opposed to “general,” must be approved (within fifteen days after their passage by both houses of the legislature) by the mayor of the city in first-class cities (in which, however, the state legislature may provide for the concurrence of the municipal legislative body), and in other cities by the mayor and council, before it is laid before the governor; if it is passed by the state legislature over the mayor’s veto it goes direct to the governor. All city elections are held in odd numbered years. The organization of cities and villages is provided by the legislature, which may restrict their powers of taxation and of contracting debts and may fix salaries. Town (or township) government in New York somewhat resembles that of New England; the chief executive officer of the town is a supervisor, who represents his town in the county “board of supervisors.”
National Guard.—The national guard of the state is commanded under the governor by a major-general. It consists of four brigades each commanded by a brigadier-general. The establishments in 1910 consisted of thirteen regiments and fifty separate companies of infantry, two squadrons and two troops of cavalry, four light batteries, one regiment of engineers, a signal corps of two companies and a naval militia, commanded by a captain and consisting of two battalions and two separate divisions.
Laws.—A married woman has full control of her property whether acquired before or after marriage, and she may carry on any business, trade or occupation in her own right. A husband or a wife may convey real property directly to the other. A widow has a dower right in one-third of the real property to which her husband had absolute title, but a wife may convey or devise her real property free from her husband’s right of tenancy by courtesy. The only ground for divorce is adultery. As soon as a divorce has been granted the plaintiff may marry again, but the defendant is not permitted to marry within the state any one except the plaintiff until five years have elapsed, and then only in case the court permits it because of the petitioner’s uniformly good conduct in the meantime. Since the 1st of January 1908 a marriage licence has been required for every lawful marriage.
A homestead consisting of a lot of land with one or more buildings, and properly designated as such in the office of the county clerk, but not exceeding $1000 in value, is exempt from forced sale so long as it is owned and occupied as a residence by a householder having a family or by a married woman, except to recover the purchase money, to satisfy a judgment obtained before it was designated as a homestead, or to collect taxes upon it. Personal property consisting of necessary household furniture, working tools and team of horses, professional instruments and a library, not exceeding $250 in value, besides the necessary food for the team for ninety days, provisions for the family, wearing apparel, wages or other income not exceeding $12 a week, and several other things, when owned by a householder or person providing for a family, are also exempt from seizure for debt, unless the debt be for purchase money or for services performed in the family by a domestic.
Eight hours constitute a legal day’s work for all employees except those engaged in farm labour or domestic service. The employment of children under fourteen years of age in any factory is forbidden. Until sixteen years of age no child is to be so employed without an employment certificate issued by a commissioner of health, and showing that the child has completed an eight years' course of study in a public school of the state or has had an equivalent schooling elsewhere. For children under sixteen years of age who are so employed the hours of labour are limited to eight a day and the days to six a week, and such children must not begin work before eight o'clock in the morning or continue after five o'clock in the evening. For children between sixteen and eighteen years of age and for women the hours of labour in a factory are limited to ten a day, unless to prepare for a short day or a holiday, and the days to six a week. The employment of children under fourteen years of age in any mercantile establishment, business office, hotel, restaurant or apartment house is also forbidden, except that in villages and in cities of the second or third class children upwards of twelve years of age may be so employed during the summer vacation of the public schools. For both boys and girls sixteen years of age or upward the restrictions are removed for two weeks at Christmas time. The Employers' Liability Act of 1902 (amended and broadened in 1910) holds an employer liable for damages in any case in which one of his employees sustains a personal injury by reason of the negligence of the employer, of a sub-contractor, of a superintendent, or any other person in the employer’s service whose duty it was to see that “the ways, works or machinery connected with or used in the business,” were in proper condition, or whose duty it was to “direct . . . any employee,” if it is not proved that the employee failed in due care and diligence; by another law of 1910 in certain dangerous employments the employer is liable unless the injured employee was negligent.
Although the constitution of 1894 expressly declares that “any lottery or the sale of lottery tickets, pool-selling, book-making, or any other kind of gambling” shall not “hereafter be authorized or allowed within the state” and directs the legislature to pass
appropriate laws prohibiting the same, the legislature passed an act in 1895, which in practice permitted pool-selling and book-making at race-tracks, but in 1908 and 1910 bills were enacted prohibiting gambling at race-tracks. License to sell intoxicating liquors is subject to a graduated tax. The sale of liquor on Sunday or between one o'clock and five o'clock in the morning of any other day is unlawful. Any town (but not any city) may at its option wholly forbid the sale of intoxicating liquors, may allow it to be sold only on condition that it be not drunk on the vendor’s premises, or may allow it to be sold only by hotel-keepers and pharmacists, or by pharmacists alone.
Administrative Commissions.—The regulation and control of such public service corporations as own or operate steam, electric or street railways, gas or electric plants, and express companies were, in 1907, vested in two public service commissions (the first for New York City and the second for all other parts of the state), each of five members appointed by the governor with the approval of the Senate; in 1910 the regulation of telephone and telegraph companies throughout the state was vested in the second commission.
A state civil service commission (1883) consists of three members (not more than two of the same political party) appointed by the governor with the approval of the Senate. For the classified service of the state and of the minor civil divisions, except cities, the commission makes rules (subject to the governor’s approval and to statutory and constitutional provisions) governing the classification of offices, the examination of candidates for office, and the appointment and promotion of employees. In cities the mayor is required to appoint a municipal civil service commission, with similar duties; not more than two-thirds of the members may be of the same political party.
Prisons, Poor Law, Charities, &c.—Penal institutions for sane adults, except reformatories for women, are under the general supervision of a state commission of prisons; hospitals for the insane are under the general supervision of a state commission in lunacy; and all other charitable and penal institutions, maintained wholly or in part by the state, or by any county, city or town within the state, are under the general supervision of a state board of charities. This board of charities consists of one member from each of the nine judicial districts and three additional members from the City of New York, all appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate for a term of eight years. Its existence dates from 1867, but its authority was very limited, chiefly advisory, until 1895. Since then, however, its powers have been greatly increased. In 1910 the state charitable institutions were as follows: State Soldiers' and Sailors' Home, Bath; State School for the Blind, Batavia; the Thomas Indian School, Iroquois; State Woman’s Relief Corps Home, Oxford; State Hospital for the care of Crippled and Deformed Children, West Haverstraw; Syracuse State Institution for Feeble-Minded Children, Syracuse; State Hospital for the treatment of Incipient Pulmonary Tuberculosis, Ray Brook; Craig Colony for Epileptics, Sonyea; State Custodial Asylum for Feeble-Minded Women, Newark; Rome State Custodial Asylum for Unteachable Idiots, Rome; State Agricultural and Industrial School, Industry; State Training School for Girls, Hudson; Western House of Refuge, Albion; New York State Reformatory for Women, Bedford; the State Training School for Boys; and Letchworth Village, a custodial asylum for epileptics and feeble-minded. Eight private institutions for the care or the care and instruction of deaf mutes and one for the care of the blind are supported mainly by the state. Many other charitable institutions receive public money, mostly from counties, cities and towns.
The poor law of the state defines the town poor as those who have gained a settlement in some town or city, by residing there for one year prior to their application for public relief and who are unable to maintain themselves; the county poor as the poor who have not resided in any one town or city for one year before their application for public relief, but have been in some one county for sixty days; and the state poor as all other poor persons within the state. Wherever cared for, each town, city, county and the state must pay the cost of maintaining its own poor. In some counties there is no distinction between town and county poor, but in 1910 only one county had not a county superintendent for the general supervision and care of the poor; towns and cities not subject to special provisions intrusted public relief to one or more overseers of the poor or to commissioners of charities. In counties lacking adequate hospital accommodation a poor person requiring medical or surgical treatment may be sent to the nearest hospital approved by the state board of charities. An Act of 1910 provides that indigent soldiers, sailors or marines of the U.S. and their families be cared for in their homes and not in almshouses.
The first state insane asylum, designed chiefly for recent and curable cases, was opened at Utica in 1843. Since 1896 every public institution for the insane has been maintained and administered as a part of the state system. A state commissioner in lunacy was first appointed in 1874; this officer was replaced in 1889 by a commission in lunacy, which in 1894 was placed at the head of the
administration of the state’s insanity law. This commission consists of three members appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate. Its president must be a physician and alienist, and another member must be a lawyer. The commission appoints a board of experts to examine all immigrants suspected of insanity or allied mental disorders in order to prevent the admission of the insane into the country. In 1910 there were fourteen state hospitals (corresponding to fourteen state hospital districts) for the poor and indigent insane; these were at Utica, Willard, Poughkeepsie, Buffalo, Middletown (homoeopathic), Binghamton, Rochester, Ogdensburg, Gowanda (homoeopathic), Flatbush, Ward’s Island, King’s Park, Central Islip and Yorktown. There were also in 1910 two hospitals for the criminal insane, at Matteawan and Dannemora. Each of these is under the immediate control of a superintendent appointed by the superintendent of state prisons.
The state commission of prisons consists of seven members appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate for a term of Four years, and the institutions under its supervision in 1910 were the Sing Sing State Prison, at Ossining, the Auburn State Prison at Auburn, the Clinton State Prison at Dannemora, the New York State Retormatory at Elmira, the Eastern New York Reformatory at Napanoch, five county penitentiaries, and all other institutions for the detention of sane adults charged with or convicted of crime, or retained as witnesses or debtors. The state prisons are under a superintendent of state prisons, appointed by the governor, with the consent of the Senate, for five years; and the state reformatories are managed by a board of seven managers similarly appointed for seven years. In the state reformatory at Elmira (which, like that at Napanoch, is for men between sixteen and thirty years of age who have been convicted of a state prison offence for the first time only), the plan of committing adult felons on an indeterminate sentence to be determined by their behaviour was first tested in America in 1877, and it has proved so satisfactory that it has been in part adopted for the state prisons. In order to minimize competition between prison labour and free labour, articles manufactured in the state prisons, the reformatories and the penitentiaries, are sold only to the institutions and departments of the state and its political divisions.
Education.—The first school was established by the Dutch at New Amsterdam (now New York City) as early as 1633, and at the close of the Dutch period there was a free elementary school in nearly every settlement. But from the English conquest to the close of the colonial era the chief purpose of the government with respect to education was to prepare leaders for the state church; to this end King’s College was founded in 1754, and from 1704 to 1776 the other schools were principally those maintained by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. Hardly any schools remained in operation throughout the War of Independence. In January 1784 Governor George Clinton recommended legislation for the “revival and encouragement of seminaries of learning,” with the result that the legislature passed an act establishing a state university of which Columbia College, formerly King's, was the “mother” portion. In 1787 a second university act was passed which restored to Columbia College the substance of its original charter and made the University of the State of New York an exclusively executive body with authority to incorporate new colleges and academies and to exercise over them the right of visitation. In 1795 an act was passed which formed the basis of the present elementary-school system. This act appropriated £20,000 annually for five years for the establishment and maintenance of elementary schools, required each city and town to raise by taxation a sum for the same purpose equal to one-half of its share from the proceeds of the state fund, and provided for the election of school commissioners in each town and of trustees of each school. The state appropriation was discontinued in 1800; but in 1805 the proceeds of the sale of 500,000 acres of land were set apart for a permanent school fund, and in 1812, when the interest on this fund had become nearly $50,000 a year, the amount required before any of it could be distributed for school purposes, the common-school system was permanently established by an act which restored the main features of that of 1795, except that a superintendent of schools chosen by the council of appointment was now placed at its head. Although the interest on the state fund had risen to $70,000 in 1819, this together with an equal sum raised by the cities and towns was insufficient, and to meet the deficiency the patrons in each district were required by a “rate bill” to contribute in proportion to the attendance of their children. The schools were made free only after a memorable contest against the “rate bill.” The framers of the constitution of 1846 were nearly equally divided on this question. In 1849 the legislature passed a free-school bill subject to the approval of the people. The people approved by a vote of nearly three to one, but the court of appeals declared the act unconstitutional because of the referendum. In 1851 a compromise measure was substituted, increasing the state appropriation to $800,000 and exempting indigent parents from the “rate bill,” which was finally abolished in 1867. The administration of the common school system was in the hands of a state superintendent of schools from 1813 to 1821, of the secretary of state from 1821 to 1854, and of a
superintendent of public instruction from 1854 to 1904. In the meantime the functions of the university had been extended to include an oversight of the professional, scientific and technical schools, the administration of laws relating to admission to the professions, the charge of the State Library at Albany, the supervision of local libraries, the custody of the State Museum and the direction of all scientific work prosecuted by the state. This dual system was consolidated by the Educational Unification Act of 1904, in conformity with which the university regents have become a legislative body, subordinate to the state legislature, for determining trie general educational policy of the state, and a commissioner of education acts as the chief executive, advisory and supervisory, officer of the whole educational system.
The regents of the University are chosen by the legislature, one retiring each year; and an act of 1909 requires that their number shall at all times be three more than the number of judicial districts. The first commissioner of education was chosen by the legislature for a term of six years, but it was arranged that his successor should be chosen by the regents and continue in office during their pleasure. The commissioner (subject to approval of the regents) appoints three assistant commissioners, for higher, secondary and elementary education respectively. The elementary school is administered by a school commissioner in each of the school commissioner’s districts into which a county may be divided, by one trustee or three trustees in each separate school district, and by a board of education in each city, village or union free school district having more than three hundred children. Any two or more adjoining school districts may unite to form a union free school district, and in any village or union free school district having a population of 5000 or more the board of education may appoint a superintendent of schools.
The compulsory education law as amended in 1907 and 1909 requires the full attendance at a public school, or at a school which is an approximate equivalent, of all children who are between seven and fourteen years of age, are in the proper physical and mental condition, and reside in a city or school district having a population of 5000 or more and employing a superintendent of schools; in such a city or district children between fourteen and sixteen years must attend school unless they obtain an employment certificate and are regularly engaged in some useful employment or service; and outside of such a city or district all children between the ages of eight and fourteen years and those between fourteen and sixteen years who are not regularly employed must attend school on all school days from October to June. In a city of the first or second class every boy between fourteen and sixteen years of age who has an employment certificate, but has not completed the course of study prescribed for the elementary public schools or the equivalent, must attend an evening school not less than six hours each week for a period of not less than sixteen weeks each year, or a trade school not less than eight hours a week for sixteen weeks a year. By a law of 1908 the board of education of any city is authorized to establish industrial schools for children who have completed the elementary school course or have attained the age of fourteen years, and trade schools for children who are more than sixteen years old and have completed the elementary school course or a course offered by any of the industrial schools. For the training of teachers for the elementary schools the state maintains ten normal schools at Oswego (1863), Cortland (1866), Fredonia (1866), Potsdam (1866), Geneseo (1867), Brockport (1867), Buffalo (1867), New Paltz (1885), Oneonta (1887) and Plattsburg (1890); it also appropriates $700 annually for each teachers' training class in about one hundred of the secondary schools. The State Normal College at Albany, founded in 1844 as the first state normal school, is designed principally for the training of teachers for the secondary schools, about 800 high schools and academies, supported wholly or in part by the state.
The state controls professional and technical schools through the regents' examinations of candidates for admission to such schools and to the professions, determines the minimum requirements for admission to college by the regents' academic examinations, maintains the large State Library and the valuable State Museum, and occasionally makes a gift to a college or a university for the support of courses in practical industries; but it maintains no college or university that is composed of a teaching body. To Cornell University (q.v.), a non-sectarian institution opened at Ithaca in 1868, the state turned over the proceeds from the National land-grant act of 1862 on condition that it should admit free one student annually from each Assembly district, and in 1909 a still closer relation between this institution and the state was established by an act which makes the governor, lieutenant-governor, speaker of the Assembly and commissioner of education ex-officio members of its board of trustees, and authorizes the governor with the approval of the Senate to appoint five other members, one each year.
Among the institutions of higher learning in the state, besides Columbia University (q.v.) and Cornell University (q.v.), are: Union University (1795, non-sectarian), at Schenectady; Hamilton College (1812, non-sectarian), at Clinton; Colgate University (1819, non-sectarian), at Hamilton; Hobart College (1822, non-sectarian), at Geneva; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1824, non-sectarian), at Troy; New York University (1832, non-sectarian), in New York City; Alfred University (1836, non-sectarian), at Alfred; Fordham University (1841, Roman Catholic), in New York City; College of
St Francis Xavier (1847, Roman Catholic), in New York City; College of the City of New York (1849, city); University of Rochester (1850, Baptist), at Rochester; Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (1854, non-sectarian), at Brooklyn; Niagara University (1856, Roman Catholic), at Niagara Falls; St Lawrence University (1858, non-sectarian), at Canton; St Bonaventure’s College (1859, Roman Catholic), at St Bonaventure; St Stephen’s College (1860, Protestant Episcopal), at Annandale; Manhattan College (1863, Roman Catholic), at New York City; St John’s College (1870, Roman Catholic), at Brooklyn; Canisius College (1870, Roman Catholic), at Buffalo; Syracuse University (1871, Methodist Episcopal), at Syracuse; Adelphi College (1896, non-sectarian), at Brooklyn; and Clarkson School of Technology (1896, non-sectarian), at Potsdam. The United States Military Academy (1802) is at West Point.
Finance.—In New York the direct property tax is levied by and for the benefit of localities. Revenues for state purposes are derived from special taxes collected from the liquor traffic, corporations, transfers of decedents' estates, transfers of shares of stock, recording tax on mortgages, sales of products of state institutions, fees of public officers including fines and penalties, interest on deposits of state funds, refunds from department examinations and revenue from investments of trust funds, the most important of which are the common school fund and the United States deposit fund. A board of three tax commissioners has supervision of methods of assessment within the state, and with the commissioners of the land office constitutes the state board of equalization. The county supervisors, with or without the aid of three commissioners whom they are authorized to appoint for the purpose, constitute a county board of equalization. The recording tax on mortgages, amounting to one-half of 1% of the principal sums secured, is collected by the recording officers under the supervision of the state board of tax commissioners. The administration of the liquor tax law is under the supervision of the state commissioner of excise and his deputies. The tax on corporations, originating as a capital stock tax in 1880 and extended through succeeding years, is administered by the state comptroller. The comptroller also has charge of the enforcement of the stock transfer tax act and of the laws imposing taxes upon the transfer of decedents' estates. The aggregate of taxes received by the state treasury through the comptroller’s department for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1909, was $23,000,000.
On the 30th of September 1909 the state debt, most of which was created since 1895 for the purpose of canal improvements, amounted to $41,230,660. The surplus in the treasury was $8,435,848, the total amount in trust and sinking funds was $31,301,501. The constitution prohibits the legislature from lending the state’s credit or incurring an indebtedness for current expenses in excess of $1,000,000 or incurring any indebtedness whatever, other than for war purposes, unless such indebtedness be authorized by law for “some single work or object,” the law to be approved by the people at a general election and providing for a direct annual tax sufficient to pay the interest and to liquidate the debt within eighteen years. That instrument further prohibits each county, city, town and village from lending its credit and from creating an indebtedness in excess of 10% of the assessed valuation of its real estate.
The first state institution to receive a bank charter was the bank of New York, incorporated in 1791. In 1804 free banking was restricted to such an extent as to give practically a monopoly of the business to associations receiving special charters, and as these charters were generally awarded as favours to politicians the system was a formidable agency of corruption. Chiefly because of these evils the constitution of 1821 required the assent of two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the legislature to pass an act creating a corporation. In 1829 the Safety-Fund Act was passed, which required each bank thereafter chartered or rechartered to pay into the state treasury 3% of its capital stock other than that owned by the state, and from this fund the debts of insolvent banks were to be paid. The fund became exhausted by many failures, and a free banking law was enacted in 1838. The constitution of 1846 prohibited the legislature from granting any special charters for banking purposes, and consequently no more safety-fund banks were established. At the same time the free-banking system has been greatly improved. The state banks still have the right to issue currency, but the heavy tax on currency issue imposed by Congress in 1866 (after the introduction of the National banking system in 1863) put a stop to the practice. In 1851 a state banking department was created, and at the head of this is a superintendent of banks appointed by the governor, with the consent of the Senate, for a term of three years. The superintendent—or examiners appointed by him (from a civil service list)—is required to examine every bank and every trust company at least twice each year, each building and loan association at least once a year, and every savings bank at least once in two years. The law provides specifically as to the investment of deposits made in savings banks with the evident purpose of providing the greatest possible security to depositors. State banks must carry from 15% to 25% reserve and trust companies from 10% to 15% reserve, depending upon location.
The introduction of the National banking system caused a decrease in the number of state banks from 309 in 1863 to 45 in 1868, but their number has increased steadily since 1880 and in 1909 there were 202. In the same year there were 140 savings-banks, 85 trust companies, 46
safe deposit companies, 255 building and loan associations and other miscellaneous corporations, with total resources of $3,833,500,000 under the supervision of the banking department of the state. This is over 21% of the entire banking power of the United States.
To correct abuses in the life insurance business which were discovered in 1905 by a committee of the state legislature, laws were passed in the next year regulating the election of the directors of the insurance companies, and the investments of the companies and the distribution of dividends, limiting the amount of business of the larger companies and prohibiting rebates on insurance premiums. A state superintendent of insurance, (since 1860) appointed by the governor, holds office for three years.
History.—The aboriginal inhabitants of New York had an important influence on its colonial history. Within its limits from the upper Hudson westward to the Genesee river was the home of that powerful confederacy of Indian tribes, the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas, known to the French as the Iroquois and to the English as the Five (later Six) Nations. When supplied with firearms by Europeans they reduced a number of other tribes to subjection and extended their dominion over most of the territory from the St Lawrence to the Tennessee and from the Atlantic to the Mississippi. They were at the height of their power about 1700. Of much less influence in New York were several Algonquian tribes in the lower valley of the Hudson and along the sea coast.
New York Bay and the Hudson river were discovered by Giovanni da Verrazano in 1524, and were probably seen by Estevan Gomez in 1525; for many years following French vessels occasionally ascended the Hudson to trade with the Indians. The history of New York really begins, however, in 1609. In July of that year Samuel de Champlain discovered the lake which bears his name and on its shores led his Algonquian Indian allies against the Iroquois, thus provoking against his countrymen the hostility of a people who for years were to hold the balance of power between the English and the French in America. On the 3rd of September Henry Hudson, in the employ of the Dutch East India Company, entered New York Bay in the “Half Moon” in search of the “northwest passage.” He conceived that a vast trade with the Iroquois for furs might be established; his report aroused great interest in Holland; and the United Netherlands, whose independence had been acknowledged in the spring, claimed the newly discovered country. In 1610 a vessel was despatched with merchandise suitable for traffic with the Indians, the voyage resulted in profit, and a lucrative trade in peltry sprang up. Early in 1614 Adriaen Block explored Long Island Sound and discovered Block Island. The merchants of Amsterdam and Hoorn soon formed themselves into the New Netherland Company, and on the 11th of October 1614 received from the States-General a three years' monopoly of the Dutch fur trade in New Netherland, i.e. that part of America between New France and Virginia, or between latitudes 40° and 45° N. Late in the same year or early in 1615 a stockaded trading post called Fort Nassau was erected on Castle Island, now within the limits of Albany, and a few huts were erected about this time or earlier on the southern extremity of Manhattan Island; but no effort at colonization was as yet made. In 1617 the Dutch negotiated with the Iroquois a treaty of peace and alliance. Fort Nassau was soon removed to the mouth of Tawasentha Creek. On the expiration of the charter of the New Netherland Company (1618) the States-General refused to grant a renewal, and only private ventures were authorized until 1621, when the West India Company (q.v.) was chartered for a term of twenty-four years; to this company was given a monopoly of Dutch trade with the whole American coast from Newfoundland to the Straits of Magellan. It was authorized to plant colonies and to govern them under a very limited supervision of the States-General, such as the approval of its appointment of a governor and of its instructions to him; and its own government was vested in five chambers of directors and an executive board or college of nineteen delegates from those chambers, eight of the nineteen representing the Chamber of Amsterdam. New Netherland became one of the more important interests of the Company. In June 1623, however, New Netherland was formally erected into a province and the management of its affairs assigned to the Chamber of Amsterdam, which in March 1624 despatched the “New Netherland,” with the first permanent colonists (thirty families mostly Walloon), under Cornells Jacobsen Mey, the first governor or director of the colony. Arriving at Manhattan early in May, a few of the men remained there, another small party established a temporary post (Fort Nassau) on the Delaware river, and still another began a fortified settlement on the site of the present Hartford, Connecticut. But more than one-half of the families proceeded up the Hudson to Fort Orange, the successor of Fort Nassau, at the mouth of Tawasentha Creek, and there founded what is now Albany. Three more vessels arrived in 1625, and when in that year Mey was succeeded as director by William Verhulst the colony had a population of 200 or more. The government of the province was fully established in 1626 and was vested mainly in a director-general and council. The director-general was formally appointed by the Company subject to the approval of the States-General, but the Amsterdam Chamber and the College of Nineteen supervised his administration. The members of the council were formally appointed by the Company, but the director-general actually determined who they should be, and as he was not bound by their advice they were no check to an autocratic rule. Peter Minuit, the first director general, arrived with more colonists in May 1626, and soon afterwards Manhattan Island was bought from the Indians, Fort Amsterdam was erected at its lower end, and the settlement here was made the seat of government.
In 1629, chiefly to encourage agriculture, the Company issued its famous Charter of Privileges and Exemptions, which provided that any member might have anywhere in New Netherland except on Manhattan Island his choice of a tract of unoccupied land extending 16 m. along the seacoast or one side of a navigable river, or 8 m. along the river on both sides “and so far into the country as the situation of the occupyers will permit” by purchasing the same from the Indians and planting upon it a colony of fifty persons, upwards of 15 years old, within four years from the beginning of the undertaking, one-fourth part within one year; and that any private person might with the approval of the director-general and council take up as much land as he should be able to improve. The founder of a colony was styled a patroon, and, although the colonists were bound to him only by a voluntary contract for specified terms, the relations between them and the patroon during the continuance of the contract were in several important respects similar to those under the feudal system between the lord of a manor and his serfs. The patroon received his estate in perpetual inheritance and had the exclusive right of hunting and fishing upon it. Each colonist not only paid him a fixed rent, usually in kind, but had to share with him the increase of the stock and to have the grain ground at his mill. The patroon was the legal heir of all his colonists who died intestate. He had civil and criminal jurisdiction within the boundaries of his estate; he could create offices, found cities, and appoint officers and magistrates, and, although the charter permitted an appeal from his court to the director-general and council in any case in which the amount in dispute exceeded fifty guilders ($20), some of the patroons exacted from their colonists a promise not to avail themselves of the privilege. The Company promised to permit the patroons to engage in the fur trade, wherever it had no commissary of its own, subject to a tax of one guilder (40 cents) on each skin, and to engage in other trade along the coast from Newfoundland to Florida subject to a tax of 5% on goods shipped to Europe. The colonists of the patroons were exempted from all taxes for a period of ten years, but were forbidden to manufacture any cloth whatever. The charter did not give the encouragement to agriculture that was expected of it because the status created for colonists of a patroon was no attraction to a successful farmer in the Netherlands. Immediately after the issue of the charter a few of the more adroit directors of the Amsterdam Chamber hastened to acquire for themselves, as patroons, the tracts of land most favourably situated for trade. On both sides of the entrance to Delaware Bay Samuel Godyn, Samuel Blomaert and five other directors who were admitted to partnership in the second year (1630) established the manor and colony of Swaanendael; on a tract opposite the lower end of Manhattan Island and including Staten Island, Michael Pauw established the manor and colony of Pavonia; on both sides of the Hudson and extending in all directions from Fort Orange (Albany) Kilian van Rensselaer established the manor and colony of Rensselaerwyck. The colony of Swaanendael was destroyed by the Indians in 1632. Pauw maintained his colony of Pavonia for about seven years and then sold out to the Company. The colony of Rensselaerwyck was the only one that prospered under the patroon system. In the meantime the patroons had claimed unrestricted rights of trade within the boundaries of their estates. These were stoutly denied by the Company. Director-General Minuit was recalled in 1632 on the ground that he had been partial to the patroons; and Wouter van Twiller, who arrived in 1633, endeavoured to promote only the selfish commercial policy of the Company; at the close of his administration (1637) the affairs of the province were in a ruinous condition.
William Kieft was appointed director-general late in 1637, and in 1638 the Company abandoned its monopoly of trade in New Netherland and gave notice that all inhabitants of the United Provinces, and of friendly countries, might trade there subject to an import duty of 10%, an export duty of 15%, and to the requirement that the goods should be carried in the Company’s ships. At the same time the director-general was instructed to issue to any immigrant applying for land a patent for as large a farm as he required for cultivation and pasturage, to be free of all charges for ten years and thereafter subject only to a quit-rent of one-tenth of the produce. Two years later, by a revision of the Charter of Privileges and Exemptions, the prohibition on manufactures was abolished, the privileges of the original charter with respect to patroons were extended to “all good inhabitants of the Netherlands,” and the estate of a patroon was limited to 4 m. along the coast or a navigable river and 8 m. back into the country. The revised charter also provided that any one who brought over five colonists and established them in a new settlement should receive 200 acres, and if such a settlement grew to be a town or village it should receive a grant of municipal government. These inducements encouraged immigration not only from the Fatherland but from New England and Virginia. But the freedom of trade promoted dangerous relations with the Indians, and an attempt of Kieft to collect a tribute from the Algonquian tribes in the vicinity of Manhattan Island and other indiscretions of this officer provoked Indian hostilities (1641–1645), during which most of the outlying settlements were laid waste.
Out of this warfare arose an organized movement for a government in which the colonists should have a voice. In August 1641 Kieft called an assembly of the heads of families in the neighbourhood of Fort Amsterdam to consider the question of peace or war. The assembly chose a board of Twelve Men to represent it, and a few months later this board demanded certain reforms, especially that the membership of the director-general’s council should be increased from one to five by the popular election of four members. Kieft promised the concessions to gain the board’s consent to waging war, but later denied its authority to exact promises from him and dissolved it. At another crisis, in 1643, he was obliged to call a second assembly of the people. This time a board of Eight Men was chosen to confer with him. It denied his right to levy certain war taxes, and when it had in vain protested to him against his arbitrary measures it sent a petition, in 1644, to the States-General for his recall, and this was granted. Peter Stuyvesant (q.v.), his successor, arrived at Fort Amsterdam in May 1647. Under his rule there was a return of prosperity; from 1653 to 1664 the population of the province increased from 2000 to 10,000. Stuyvesant was, however, extremely arbitrary. Although he permitted the existence of a board of Nine Men to act as “tribunes” for the people it was originally composed of his selections from eighteen persons chosen at a popular election, and annually thereafter the places of six retiring members were filled by his selections from twelve persons nominated by the board. He treated it with increasing contempt, and the most that it could do was to remonstrate to the States-General. That body suggested a representative government, but this the Company refused to grant.
Stuyvesant conducted a successful expedition against the Swedes on the southern border of New Netherland in 1655; but he was powerless against the English. The Dutch had long claimed the whole coast from Delaware Bay to Cape Cod, but by the treaty of Hartford (1650), negotiated between himself and the commissioners of the United Colonies of New England, Stuyvesant agreed to a boundary which on the mainland roughly determined the existing boundary between New York and Connecticut and on Long Island extended southward from the west side of Oyster Bay to the Atlantic Ocean. Notwithstanding the good claim to their province which the Dutch had established by discovery and occupancy, the government of Great Britain, basing its claim to the same territory on Cabot’s discovery (1498), the patent to the London and Plymouth companies (1606), and the patent to the Council for New England (1620), contended that the Dutch were intruders. In 1653, during the war between England and Holland, the Dutch, fearing an English attack, built a wall, from which the present Wall Street was named, across Manhattan Island at what was then the northern limits of New Amsterdam. In the following year Cromwell actually sent out an expedition which, with the aid of New England, was to attempt the conquest, but before an attack was made peace was announced. The Connecticut Charter of 1662 included in that colony some settlements acknowledged by the treaty of Hartford to belong to New Netherland, and strife was renewed. Finally, in March 1664, Charles II. formally erected into a province the whole territory from the west side of the Connecticut river to the east side of Delaware Bay together with all of Long Island and a few other dependencies of minor importance, and granted it to his brother James, the duke of York and Albany, as its lord proprietor. The duke appointed Colonel Richard Nicolls governor and placed him in command of an expedition to effect its conquest. Nicolls won over the burgomaster of New Amsterdam and other prominent citizens by the favourable terms which he offered, and Stuyvesant was forced, without fighting, into a formal surrender on the 8th of September. The duke’s authority was proclaimed and New Netherland became New York. The separation from it of what is now New Jersey (q.v.) was begun by the duke’s conveyance, in the preceding June, of that portion of his province to Berkeley and Carteret, and among numerous changes from Dutch to English names was that from Fort Orange to Fort Albany. A treaty of alliance with the Mohawks and Senecas procured for the English the same friendly relations with the Iroquois that the Dutch had enjoyed. The transition from Dutch to English institutions was effected gradually and the private rights of the Dutch were carefully preserved. The English executive, consisting of a governor and council, was much like the Dutch, but Nicolls, by his conciliatory spirit, made his administration more agreeable than Stuyvesant's. In the administration of local affairs some of the Dutch settlements were little disturbed until ten years or more after the conquest, but the introduction of English institutions into settlements wholly or largely English was begun in 1665 by the erection of Long Island, Staten Island and Westchester into an English county under the name of Yorkshire, and by putting into operation in that county a code of laws known as the “Duke’s Laws.” This code was based largely on the laws of New England, and, although a source of popular discontent, it gave to the freeholders of each town a voice in the government of their town by permitting them to elect a board of eight overseers which chose a constable and sat as a court for the trial of small causes. Nicolls resigned the governorship in 1668, but his successor, Francis Lovelace, continued his policy—autocratic government, arbitrary in form but mild in practice, and progressive in the matter of religious toleration. In August 1673, Holland and England being at war, a Dutch fleet surprised New York, captured the city, and restored Dutch authority and the names of New Netherland and New Amsterdam. But by the treaty of Westminster, February 1674, the Dutch title to the province was finally extinguished, and in November the English again took possession. A new charter was issued to the duke to perfect his title and Edmund (later Sir Edmund) Andros, the new governor, was instructed to establish English institutions and enforce English law in all sections. In 1675 Andros established at Albany a commission for Indian affairs which long rendered important service in preserving the English-Iroquois alliance. The imperious manner of Andros made him many enemies. Some of them preferred charges against him relating to his administration of the revenue. He was called to England in 1681 to answer these, and during his absence the demand for a representative assembly was accompanied with a refusal to pay the customs duties and so much other insubordination that the duke appointed Colonel Thomas Dongan to succeed Andros, and instructed him to call the desired assembly. It met at Fort James in the City of New York on the 17th of October 1683, was in session for about three weeks, and passed fifteen acts. The first, styled a charter of liberties and privileges, required that an assembly elected by the freeholders and freemen should be called at least once every three years; vested all legislative authority in the governor, council and assembly; forbade the imposition of any taxes without the consent of the assembly; and provided for religious liberty and trial by jury. Other acts divided the province into counties, established courts of justice, and provided for a revenue. In August 1684 when, by its charter, the western boundary of the province was not definitely extended beyond the Hudson, Dongan laid the basis of New York’s claim to the western lands of the Iroquois by a new covenant with them in which they recognized the English as their protectors, and throughout his administration he was busy neutralizing French influence among the Iroquois and in diverting the fur trade of the north-west from the St Lawrence to Albany. The charter of liberties and privileges was approved by the duke, but before the news of this reached its authors the duke became King James II., and in 1686, when a frame of government for New York as a royal province was provided, the assembly was dispensed with. About the same time the new king adopted a policy for strengthening the imperial control over New England as well as for the erection of a stronger barrier against the French, and in 1688 New York and New Jersey were consolidated with the New England colonies into the Dominion of New England and placed under the viceregal authority of Sir Edmund Andros as governor-general. The news of the English revolution of 1688, however, caused an uprising in Boston, and in April 1689 Andros was seized and imprisoned. Francis Nicholson as lieutenant-governor was still in quiet possession of the government of New York, and a majority of the population of the province were satisfied to await the outcome of the revolution in the mother country, but in the southern portion of the province, especially in the City of New York and on Long Island, were a number of restless spirits who were encouraged by the fall of Andros to take matters into their own hands. They found a leader in a German merchant, Jacob Leisler (q.v.). Leisler refused to pay duties on a cargo of wine on the ground that the collector was a “papist,” and on the 31st of May 1689, during a mutiny of the militia, he and other militia captains seized Fort James. In the following month Nicholson deserted his post and sailed for England, and Leisler easily gained possession of the city. To strengthen his position he called an assembly which conferred upon him the powers of a dictator. Some time after a copy of the order of the new monarchs (William and Mary) to continue all Protestants in their offices in the colonies had been received, Leisler falsely announced that he had received a commission as lieutenant-governor. He then attempted to revive the act of 1683 for raising revenue, but met with so much opposition that he issued writs for the election of another assembly. This, however, brought him chiefly petitions for the redress of grievances. Albany successfully defied his usurped authority until his recognition was necessary to a united front against the French and their Indian allies, who, in February 1690, had surprised and burned Schenectady. Two other French attacks had at the same time been directed against New England, and to meet the dangerous situation Leisler performed the one statesmanlike act of his public career, notable in American history as the first step toward the union of the colonies. At his call, delegates from Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut and Maryland met in New York City with delegates from New York on the 1st of May 1690 to consider concerted action against the enemy, and although the expedition which they sent out was a failure it numbered 855 men, New York furnishing about one-half the men, Massachusetts one of the two commanders and Connecticut the other. Leisler had proclaimed the new monarchs of Great Britain and had declared that it was his purpose only to protect the province and the Protestant religion until the arrival of a governor appointed by them; but he was enraged when he learned that he had been ignored and that under the new governor, Colonel Henry Sloughter, his enemies, van Cortlandt and Bayard, had again been appointed to the council. When Major Richard Ingoldsby arrived with two companies of the king’s soldiers and demanded possession of the fort, Leisler refused although he still professed his willingness to deliver it to Sloughter. On the 17th of March 1691 Leisler’s force fired on the king’s soldiers, killing two and wounding several. Governor Sloughter arrived two days later, and the revolt terminated in the arrest of Leisler and his chief followers. Leisler and Jacob Milborne, his son-in-law, were pronounced guilty of treason, and were executed on the 16th of May. The execution was regarded even by many who had been indifferent to Leisler’s cause, as an act of revenge. The case was carried to England, where in 1605 parliament reversed the attainders of the victims, and for many years the province was rent by the Leislerian and anti-Leislerian factions.
Governor Sloughter, as his commission directed, re-established in 1691 the assembly which James II. had abolished in 1686, and throughout the remainder of the colonial era the history of the province relates chiefly to the rise of popular government and the defence of the northern frontier. At its first session the assembly passed an act declaratory of the rights and privileges of the people, and much like the charter of liberties and privileges enacted in 1683, except that annual instead of triennial sessions of the assembly were now requested and, as was also provided in Sloughter’s commission and instructions, religious liberty was denied to Roman Catholics. This act was disallowed by the crown in 1697, and until Governor Cornbury’s administration (1702–1708) both the Leislerians and the anti-Leislerians repeatedly bid for the governor’s favour by supporting his measures instead of contending for popular rights. But Cornbury’s embezzlement of £1500, appropriated for fortifying the Narrows connecting Upper and Lower New York Bay, united the factions against him and started the assembly in the important contest which ended in the establishment of its control over the public purse. In 1706 it won the right to appoint its own treasurer to care for money appropriated for extraordinary purposes, and eight years later the governor assented to an act which gave to this officer the custody of practically all public money. Until 1737 it had been the custom to continue the revenue acts from three to five years, but thereafter the assembly insisted on annual appropriations.
The first newspaper of New York, the New York Gazette, was established in 1725 by William Bradford as a semi-official organ of the administration. In 1733 a popular organ, the New York Weekly Journal, was established under John Peter Zenger (1697–1746), and in 1735 both the freedom of the press and a great advance toward the independence of the judiciary were the outcome of a famous libel suit against Zenger.
Between the administration of Governor Montgomerie (1728–1731) and Governor Cosby (1732–1736) there was an interregnum of thirteen months during which Rip van Dam, president of the council, was acting-governor, and upon Cosby’s arrival a dispute arose between him and van Dam over the division of the salary and fees. Both appealed to the law, and when the chief-justice, Lewis Morris, refused Cosby’s request to have the court proceed in equity jurisdiction, and denied the right of the governor to establish courts of equity, he was removed from office. Not long afterwards there appeared in the Weekly Journal some severe criticisms of the administration. For printing these Zenger was arrested for libel in November 1734. The case was not brought to trial until August 1735, and in the meantime Zenger was kept in jail. Originally he had for counsel two of the most able lawyers in the province, James Alexander (1690–1756) and William Smith (1697–1769), but when they excepted to the commissions of the chief-justice, James de Lancey (1703–1760) and one of his associates, because by these commissions the justices had been appointed “during pleasure” instead of “during good behaviour,” the chief justice disbarred them. Their places, however, were taken by Andrew Hamilton, speaker of the Assembly of Pennsylvania and a lawyer of great reputation in the English colonies. The jury quickly agreed on a verdict of not guilty, and the acquittal was greeted by the populace with shouts of triumph. The further independence of judges became a leading issue in 1761 when the assembly insisted that they should be appointed during good behaviour, and refused to pay the salaries of those appointed during pleasure; but the home government met this refusal by ordering that they be paid out of the quit-rents.
The defence of the northern frontier was a heavy burden to New York, but by its problems the growth of the union of the colonies was promoted. From the destruction of Schenectady to the Peace of Ryswick (1697) hostilities between the French and the English in the New World took the form of occasional raids across the frontier, chiefly by the Indian allies. The main effort of the French, however, was, by diplomacy, to destroy the English-Iroquois alliance. This rested on the fear of the Iroquois for the French and their hope of protection from the English. Therefore, in response to their repeated complaints of the weakness of the English arising from disunion, Governor Fletcher, in 1694, called another intercolonial conference consisting of delegates from New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey, and urged the necessity of more united feelings. Open hostilities were interrupted for a few years by the Peace of Ryswick and for a longer period by the Peace of Utrecht (1713), but French priests continued to dwell among the Iroquois, teaching them and distributing presents, and of the success of this diplomacy the English were ever in danger. To counteract it they, in 1701, prevailed upon the chiefs to deed their territory, said to be 800 m. in length and 400 m. in breadth, to the king of England. The English, also, frequently distributed presents. But the success of the French at the close of the 17th century and the early portion of the 18th was prevented only by the ceaseless efforts of Peter Schuyler (1657–1724) whose personal influence was for years dominant among all the Iroquois except the Senecas. When they had assumed a neutral attitude, he persuaded a number of them to join troops from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in the unsuccessful expeditions of 1709 and 1711 against the French at Montreal. The English had a decided advantage over the French in that they could furnish goods for the Indian trade much cheaper than their rivals, and when Governor Burnet saw that this advantage was being lost by a trade between Albany and Montreal he persuaded the assembly to pass an act (1720) prohibiting it. Pursuing the same wise policy he established a trading post at Oswego in 1722 and fortified it in 1727, and thereby placed the Iroquois in the desir- able position of middlemen in a profitable fur trade with the “Far Indians.” London merchants, in their greed, brought about the repeal of the prohibitory act in 1729, but its effects were only in part destroyed. At another intercolonial conference at Albany, called by Burnet, a line of trading posts along the northern and western frontiers was strongly recommended. But neither the other colonies nor the home government would co-operate, and the French were the first to accomplish it. In King George’s War the co-operation of all the northern colonies was sought, and New York contributed £3000 and some cannon toward New England’s successful expedition against Louisburg. But it was left alone to protect its own frontier against the French, and while the assembly was wrangling with Governor Clinton for the control of expenditures the French and their Indians were burning farm houses, attacking Saratoga (November 16, 1745), and greatly endangering the English-Iroquois alliance. Even after the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748) the Iroquois complained bitterly of the fraudulent land speculators, and in 1753 the chiefs of the Mohawks threatened to declare the covenant chain broken. A reconciliation was effected, however, by Colonel William Johnson (1715–1774), who had long been superintendent of Indian affairs. Largely to secure the co-operation of the Iroquois the home government itself now called to meet at Albany (q.v.) the most important assembly of colonial deputies that had yet gathered. This body, consisting of twenty-five members and representing seven colonies, met in June 1754, and, besides negotiating successfully with the Iroquois, it adopted, with some modifications, a plan of colonial union prepared by Benjamin Franklin; the plan was not approved, however, either by the home government or by any of the colonies. In the first year of the war (1755) expeditions set out against Fort Duquesne (on the site of Pittsburg) and Fort Niagara and Crown Point, on the New York frontier. None of these was taken but on the 8th of September Major-General William Johnson, in command of the expedition against Crown Point, defeated a French and Indian force under Baron Dieskau in the battle of Lake George. As Johnson thought it unsafe to pursue the routed army his victory had no other effect than the erection here of the useless defences of Fort William Henry, but as it was the only success in a year of gloom parliament rewarded him with a grant of £5000 and the title of a baronet. In August 1756 Montcalm took Oswego from the English and destroyed it, and in 1757 he captured Fort William Henry; but in the latter year the elder Pitt assumed control of affairs in England, and his aggressive, clear-sighted policy turned the tide of war in England’s favour. Victory followed victory, Ticonderoga, Crown Point and Niagara were wrested from the French and New York was freed of its foes.
England’s attempt to make the colonies pay the expenses of the war by means of the stamp tax thoroughly aroused the opposition of commercial New York, already chafing under the hardships imposed by the Navigation Acts and burdened with a war debt of its own exceeding £300,000. The assembly was almost unanimous in voicing its protest to the governor. It authorized its committee, which had been appointed to correspond with the New York agent in London, to correspond also with the committees in the other colonies and this committee represented New York in the Stamp Act Congress, a body which was called at the suggestion of Massachusetts, met in New York City in October 1765, was composed of twenty-seven members representing nine colonies, and drew up a declaration of rights, an address to the king, and a petition to each house of parliament. When the Sons of Liberty, a society composed largely of unfranchised mechanics and artisans of New York City, which began to dominate the movement immediately after the Congress adjourned, resorted to mob violence—destroying property and burning in effigy the governor and other officers—the propertied classes drew back, and a few years later the popular or patriot party lost its control of the assembly. Since the Zenger trial there had been a court party and a popular party: the former included many wealthy Anglicans and was under the leadership of the De Lanceys, the latter included many wealthy and influential dissenters and was under the leadership of the Livingstons. During the administration of Governor Clinton (1743–1753) a quarrel between the governor and James De Lancey, the chief-justice, had greatly weakened the court party, and nearly all its members supported their rivals in opposition to the Stamp Act. In the series of events which followed the first violence of the Sons of Liberty important changes were made in party lines. Personal rivalry and creed became subordinate to political principles. The court party became the Loyalist party, standing for law as against rebellion, monarchy and the union of the empire as against republicanism; the popular party became the patriot party, determined to stand on its rights at any cost. The Stamp Act was repealed in March 1766, but the Townshend Acts, imposing duties on glass, paper, lead, painters' colours and tea, followed closely. They were met in New York by fresh outbursts of the Sons of Liberty and, as in the other colonies, by an association of nearly all the merchants, the members pledging themselves not to import anything from England until the duties were repealed. New York had also been requested to provide certain supplies for the British troops quartered in the city. This the assembly refused to do but parliament answered (1767) by forbidding it to do any other business until it complied. It was under these conditions that the Loyalists, in the elections of 1768 and 1769, gained control of the assembly and in the latter year passed an act granting the soldiers' supplies. When, in 1770, all the duties except those on tea were repealed, the conservative merchants wished to permit the importation of all goods from England except tea. The Sons of Liberty strongly opposed this, but the conservatives won and went over to the Loyalists. The moderate Loyalists joined in the election of delegates to the first Continental Congress; but the great body of Loyalists in New York strongly disapproved of the “dangerous and extravagant” measures adopted by that body, and the assembly, in January 1775, refused to approve its acts or choose delegates to the second Continental Congress. The patriots met this refusal by calling a provincial convention to choose the delegates. Scarcely had they done this when news of the encounter at Lexington produced a strong reaction in their favour, and in May 1775 they called a Provincial Congress which usurped the powers of the Assembly. Still, conditions were such in New York that a fight for independence was not to be lightly considered. The failure of Montgomery’s expedition against Canada at the close of 1775 left the colony exposed to British attacks from the north. In the south the chief city was exposed to the British fleet. Sir William Johnson died in 1774, but under his influence and that of his son, Sir John Johnson, and his nephew Guy Johnson, the Mohawks and other Iroquois Indians had become firmly attached to the British side and threatened the western frontier. In various sections, too, considerable numbers of Loyalists were determined to aid the British. When, in June 1776, a vote on the Declaration of Independence was pending in the Continental Congress, the New York Provincial Congress refused to instruct its delegates in the matter; but a newly elected Provincial Congress, influenced by a Loyalist plot against the life of Washington, adopted the Declaration when it met, on the 9th of July.
The position of New York made it naturally one of the principal theatres of military operations during the War of Independence. It was a settled point of British military policy throughout the war to hold New York City, and from it, as a base, to establish a line of fortified posts along the Hudson by means of which communication might be maintained with another base on Lake Champlain. Such a scheme, if successfully carried out, would have driven a wedge into the line of colonial defence and cut off communication between New England and the southern colonies. A few days after the fight at Lexington and Concord, Connecticut authorized an expedition under Ethan Allen which surprised and captured Ticonderoga and Crown Point. In the following year (1776) the British began their offensive operations for the control of the Hudson; an army under Sir William Howe was to capture New York City and get control of the lower Hudson, while another army under Sir Guy Carleton was to retake Crown Point and Ticonderoga and get control of the upper Hudson. Howe, with a force of British and Loyalists vastly superior in equipment and numbers to Washington’s untrained militia, landed in July on Staten Island and late in August defeated Washington at the battle of Long Island within the present limits of Brooklyn borough. In the following month Washington withdrew from New York City which the British entered and held until the close of the war. Washington prepared to withstand the British behind fortifications on Harlem Heights, but discovering that Howe was attempting to outflank him by landing troops in the rear he retreated to the mainland, leaving only a garrison at Fort Washington, and established a line of fortified camps on the hills overlooking the Bronx river as far as White Plains. This brought on the battle of White Plains late in October, in which Howe gained no advantage; and from here both armies withdrew into New Jersey, the British capturing Fort Washington on the way, the Americans leaving behind garrisons to guard the Highlands of the Hudson. In 1777 General John Burgoyne succeeded in taking Ticonderoga, but in the swampy forests southward from Lake Champlain he fought his way against heavy odds, and in the middle of October his campaign culminated disastrously in his surrender at Saratoga. Colonel Barry St Leger led an auxiliary expedition from Oswego against Fort Stanwix on the upper Mohawk, and on the 6th of August he fought at Oriskany one of the most bloody battles of the war, but a few days later, deserted by his terror-stricken Indian allies, he hastened back to Montreal. The British government intended that Howe should co-operate with Burgoyne by fighting his way up the Hudson, but as the secretary of state for the colonies neglected to send him such instructions this was not undertaken until early in October, and then an expedition for the purpose was placed under the command of Sir Henry Clinton. Clinton met with little difficulty from the principal American defences of the Highlands, consisting of Forts Montgomery and Clinton on the western bank, together with a huge chain and boom stretched across the river to a precipitous mountain (Anthony’s Nose) on the opposite bank, and ascended as far as Esopus (now Kingston) which he burned, but he was too late to aid Burgoyne. The year 1778 saw the bloody operations of the Tory Butlers and their Loyalist and Indian allies in the Mohawk and Schoharie valleys and notably the massacre at Cherry Valley. In retaliation a punitive expedition under Generals John Sullivan and James Clinton in 1779 destroyed the Iroquois towns, and dealt the Indian confederacy a blow from which it never recovered. The American cause was strengthened this year also by several victories along the lower Hudson of which General Anthony Wayne’s storming of the British fort at Stony Point was the most important. The closing episode of the war as far as New York was concerned was the discovery of Benedict Arnold’s attempt in 1780 to betray West Point and other colonial posts on the Hudson to the British. On the 25th of November 1783 the British forces finally evacuated New York City, but the British posts on Lakes Erie and Ontario were not evacuated until some years later.
New York ratified the Articles of Confederation in 1778, and when Maryland refused to ratify unless those states asserting claims to territory west to the Mississippi agreed to surrender them, New York was the first to do so. But under the leadership of George Clinton, governor in 1777–1795, the state jealously guarded its commercial interests. The Confederation Congress appealed to it in vain for the right to collect duties at its port; and there was determined opposition to the new Federal constitution. In support of the constitution, however, there arose the Federalist party under the able leadership of Alexander Hamilton. When a majority of the constitutional convention of 1787 had approved of the new constitution Hamilton alone of the three New York delegates remained to sign it; and when, after its ratification by eight states, the New York convention met at Poughkeepsie (June 17, 1788) to consider ratification, two-thirds of the members were opposed to it. But others were won over by the news that it had been ratified by New Hampshire and Virginia or by the telling arguments of Hamilton, and on the 26th of July the motion to ratify was carried by a vote of 30 to 27.
The constitution having been ratified, personal rivalry among the great families—the Clintons, the Livingstons and the Schuylers—again became dominant in political affairs. The Clintons were most popular among the independent freeholders; the Livingstons had increased their influence by numerous marriage alliances with landed families; and the Schuylers had General Philip Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton, his son-in-law. Originally, the Livingstons, with whom John Jay was connected by marriage, were united with the Schuylers, and yet both together were unable to defeat the Clintons in an election for governor. Later, the Livingstons, piqued at Washington’s neglect to give them the offices they thought their due, joined the Clintons, but the Federal patronage was used against the anti-Federalists or Republicans with such effect that in 1792 John Jay received more votes for governor than George Clinton, although the latter was counted in on a technicality. Jay was elected in 1795 and re-elected in 1798, but in 1801 the brief Federalist regime in the state came to an end with the election of George Clinton for a seventh term. The Republican leaders straightway quarrelled among themselves, thus starting the long series of factional strifes which have characterized the party politics of New York state; the bitterness of the factions and the irresponsible council of appointment are also responsible for the firm establishment early in the Republican regime of the “spoils system.” The leaders of the several Republican groups were Chancellor Robert R. Livingston, Aaron Burr, then vice-president, Governor George Clinton and his nephew, De Witt Clinton, who in 1802 was elected United States senator. The first break came in the spring of 1804 when Burr, who had incurred the enmity of his Republican colleagues in 1800 by seeking Federalist votes in the electoral college at Jefferson’s expense, became an independent candidate for governor against Morgan Lewis. Hamilton’s action in counselling Federalists not to vote for Burr for governor just as he had counselled them not to support Burr against Jefferson in 1800, was one of the contributary causes of Burr’s hostility to Hamilton which ended in the duel (July 1804) in which Burr killed Hamilton. Hamilton’s death marked the end of the Federalists as a power in New York. The election as governor in 1804 of Lewis, a relative of the Livingstons, was followed by a bitter quarrel with the Clintons over patronage, and resulted at the state election of 1807 in the choice of a Clintonian, Daniel D. Tompkins, for governor and the virtual elimination of the Livingstons from New York state politics. Tompkins served as governor by successive re-elections until 1817, his term covering the trying period of the second war with Great Britain. New York, whose growing shipping interests had suffered by the Embargo of 1807, was as a commercial state opposed to the war. Politically this opposition had the effect of temporarily reviving the Federalist party, which secured control of the legislature, and gave the electoral vote of the state in 1812 to De Witt Clinton, whom the Federalists had accepted as a candidate to oppose Madison for re-election on the war issue. During the war New Yorkers served with the regular troops at Niagara, Plattsburg and other places on the western and northern frontiers of the state. For some years after the war political contests in New York state as in the rest of the country were not on party lines. The opposing groups were known as “Bucktails,” whose leaders were Governor Tompkins and Martin Van Buren, and “Clintonians” or supporters of De Witt Clinton. In 1817 an act was passed which ten years later ended for ever slavery in New York state; in the same year De Witt Clinton was elected governor and, largely through his efforts, the Erie Canal was begun.
The election of Martin Van Buren as governor in 1828 marked the beginning of the long ascendancy in the state of the “Albany Regency,” a political coterie in which Van Buren, W. L. Marcy, Benjamin Franklin Butler (1795–1858) and Silas Wright were among the leaders; Thurlow Weed, their bitterest opponent and the man who gave them their name, declared of them that he “had never known a body of men who possessed so much power and used it so well.” Thurlow Weed owed his early political advancement to the introduction into state politics of the anti-Masonic issue (see Anti-Masonic Party), which also brought into prominence his co-worker W. H. Seward. In 1826 in Genesee county the disappearance of a printer named William Morgan was attributed to Free-Masons and aroused a strong antipathy to that order; and the anti-Masonic movement, through the fostering care of Weed, Francis Granger (1792–1868) and others, spread to other states and led eventually to the establishment of a political organization that by uniting various anti-Jacksonian elements, polled in the New York state election of 1832 more than 156,000 votes for Francis Granger, their candidate for governor against Marcy, who was chosen by about 10,000 plurality. As the anti-Masonic wave subsided its leaders and most of its adherents found a place in the newly organized Whig party, which was powerful enough in New York to elect William H. Seward governor in 1838, and to re-elect him and to carry the state for W. H. Harrison against Van Buren in 1840. It was during the first administration of Governor Seward that the anti-rent agitation in the Hudson river counties began. The greater part of the land in this section was comprised in vast estates such as Rensselaerwyck, Livingston, Scarsdale, Phillipse, Pelham and Van Cortlandt manors, and on these the leasehold system with perpetual leases, leases for 99 years or leases for one to three lives had become general. Besides rent, many of the tenants were required to render certain services to the proprietor, and in case a tenant sold his interest in a farm to another he was required to pay the proprietor one-tenth to one-third of the amount received as an alienation fine. Stephen van Rensselaer, the proprietor of Rensselaerwyck, had suffered the rents, especially those of his poorer tenants, to fall much in arrears, and when after his death (1839) the agents of his heirs attempted to collect them they encountered violent opposition. Governor Seward called out the militia to preserve order but asked the legislature to consider the tenants' grievances. The legislature appointed an arbitration commission, but this was unsuccessful, and the trouble, spreading to other counties, culminated (1845) in the murder of the deputy-sheriff of Delaware county. Politically, the anti-rent associations which were formed often held the balance of power between the Whigs and the Democrats, and in this position they secured the election of Governor John Young (Whig) as well as of several members of the legislature favourable to their cause, and promoted the passage of the bill calling the constitutional convention of 1846. In the new constitution clauses were inserted abolishing feudal tenures and limiting future leases of agricultural land to a period of twelve years. The courts pronounced the alienation fines illegal. The legislature passed several measures for the destruction of the leasehold system, and under the pressure of public opinion the great landlords rapidly sold their farms. Up to the election of Seward as governor, New York had usually been Democratic, largely through the predominating influence of Van Buren and the “Albany Regency.” After the defeat of Governor Silas Wright in 1846, however, the Democratic party split into two hostile factions known as the “Hunkers,” or conservatives, and the “Barnburners,” or radicals. The factions had their origin in canal politics, the conservatives advocating the use of canal revenues to complete the canals, the radicals insisting that they should be used to pay the state debt. Later when the conservatives accepted the annexation of Texas and the radicals supported the Wilmot Proviso the split became irrevocable. The split broke up the rule of the “regency,” Marcy accepting the “Hunker” support and a seat in Polk’s cabinet, while Wright, Butler and Van Buren joined the “Barnburners,” a step preliminary to Van Buren ’s acceptance of the “Free Soil” nomination for president in the campaign of 1848. Only once between 1846 and the Civil War did the Democratic party regain control of the state—in 1853–1855 Horatio Seymour was governor for a single term. In 1854 the newly organized Republican party, formed largely from the remnants of the Whig party and including most of the Free Soil Democrats, with the aid of the temperance issue elected Myron Holley Clark (1806–1892) governor. Two years later the Republicans carried the state for Frémont for president, and a succession of Republican governors held office until 1862 when the discouragement in the North with respect to the Civil War brought a reaction which elected Seymour governor. With the exception of New York City the state was loyal to the Union cause during the war and furnished over a half million troops to the Federal armies. Certain commercial interests of New York City favoured the Confederate cause, but Mayor Wood’s suggestion that the city (with Long Island and Staten Island) secede and form a free-city received scant support, and after the sanguinary draft riots of July 1863 (see New York City) no further difficulty was experienced. After the Civil War the state began to reassume the pivotal position in national politics which has always made its elections second only in interest and importance to those of the nation, and the high political tension emphasized the evils of the “spoils system.” In 1868 Tammany Hall (q.v.), then under the rule of William M. Tweed, forced the Democratic state convention to nominate its henchman, John T. Hoffman, for governor, and by the issue of false naturalization papers and fraudulent voting in New York City on a gigantic scale Hoffman was chosen governor and the electoral vote was cast for Seymour. Tammany and Hoffman were again victorious in 1870; but in 1871 the New York Times disclosed the magnitude of Tammany’s thefts, amounting in the erection of the New York county court house alone to almost $8,000,000, and Tweed and his “Ring” were crushed in consequence. The Republicans carried the state in 1872, but in 1874 Samuel J. Tilden, a Democrat and the leading prosecutor of Tweed, was elected governor. The Republican legislature had in 1867 appointed a committee to investigate the management of the canal system, but the abuses were allowed to continue until in 1875 Governor Tilden disclosed many frauds of the “Canal Ring,” and punished the guilty. In 1876, Tilden having been nominated for the presidency, New York cast its electoral vote for him. In 1880 it was cast for Garfield, the Republican nominee. Two years later the Republicans, having split over a struggle for patronage into the two factions known as “Stalwarts” or administrative party and “Halfbreeds” of whom the leader was Roscoe Conkling, were defeated, Grover Cleveland being chosen governor. In 1884 Cleveland as the Democratic presidential nominee received the electoral vote of his state. Cleveland likewise carried the state in 1892, but in 1888 Benjamin Harrison, the Republican candidate, the factional quarrels being settled, carried the state. Hostility to free silver and “Bryanism” in the large financial and industrial centres put the state strongly in the Republican column in the elections of 1896, 1900, 1904 and 1908. It was carried by the Democrats in the gubernatorial campaign of 1910.
Governors of New York
|Cornelis Jacobsen Mey||1624–1625|
|Bastiaen Janssen Crol||1632–1633|
|Wouter Van Twiller||1633–1637|
|Francis Nicholson, Lieutenant-Governor||1688–1689|
|Jacob Leisler (de facto)||1689–1691|
|Richard Ingoldsby (Acting)||1691–1692|
|Richard Coote, earl of Bellomont||1698–1701|
|John Nanfan (Acting)||1701–1702|
|Edward Hyde, Lord Cornbury||1702–1708|
|John, Lord Lovelace||1708–1709|
|Richard Ingoldsby (Acting)||1709–1710|
|Gerardus Beekman (Acting)||1710|
|Peter Schuyler (Acting)||1719–1720|
|Rip van Dam (Acting)||1731–1732|
|George Clarke (Acting)||1736–1743|
|Sir Danvers Osborne||1753|
|James de Lancey (Acting)||1753–1755|
|Sir Charles Hardy||1755–1757|
|James de Lancey (Acting)||1757–1760|
|Cadwallader Golden (Acting)||1760–1761|
|Cadwallader Golden (Acting)||1761–1762|
|Cadwallader Golden (Acting)||1763–1765|
|Sir Henry Moore||1765–1769|
|Cadwallader Colden (Acting)||1769–1770|
|John Murray, earl of Dunmore||1770–1771|
|Daniel D. Tompkins||1807–1817||”|
|John Taylor (Acting)||1817||”|
|De Witt Clinton||1817–1823||”|
|Joseph Christopher Yates||1823–1825||”|
|De Witt Clinton||1825–1828||”|
|Nathaniel Pitcher (Acting)||1828–1829||”|
|Martin Van Buren||1829||Democrat|
|Enos Thompson Throop (Acting)||1829–1831||”|
|Enos Thompson Throop||1831–1833||”|
|William Learned Marcy||1833–1839||”|
|William Henry Seward||1839–1843||Whig|
|William C. Bouck||1843–1845||Democrat|
|Myron Holley Clark||1855–1857||Whig-Repub.|
|John Alsop King||1857–1859||Republican|
|Edwin Dennison Morgan||1859–1863||”|
|Reuben Eaton Fenton||1865–1869||Republican|
|John Thompson Hoffman||1869–1873||Democrat|
|John Adams Dix||1873–1875||Republican|
|Samuel Jones Tilden||1875–1877||Democrat|
|Alonzo Barton Cornell||1880–1883||Republican|
|David Bennett Hill (Acting)||1885–1886||”|
|David Bennett Hill||1886–1892||”|
|Roswell Pettibone Flower||1892–1895||”|
|Levi Parsons Morton||1895–1897||Republican|
|Frank Swett Black||1897–1899||”|
|Benjamin Barker Odell||1901–1905||”|
|Frank Wayland Higgins||1905–1907||”|
|Charles Evans Hughes||1907–1910||”|
|John A. Dix||1911–||Democrat|
Bibliography.—Physical Features and Climate:—R. S. Tarr, Physical Geography of New York State (New York, 1902), with a chapter on climate by E. T. Turner; Reports of the New York Geological Survey from 1842 to 1854 (Albany); Reports of the Topographical Survey of the Adirondack Region of New York (Albany, 1873–1880); Reports of the New York Meteorological Bureau (1889 sqq.); and publications of the United States Weather Bureau. Fauna and Flora: Reports of the Forest, Fish and Game Commissioner (Albany, 1902 sqq.); Ralph Hoffmann, Guide to the Birds of New England and Eastern New York (Boston, 1904); and Bulletins of the New York State Museum (Albany, 1888 sqq.). Government: W. C. Morey, The Government of New York: Its History and Administration (New York, 1902) after tracing briefly the development of the governmental system describes its structure and operation. C. Z. Lincoln, The Constitutional History of New York (5 vols., Rochester, 1906) is an elaborate and able study of the growth of the constitution. See also J. A. Fairlie, The Centralization of Administration in New York State (New York, 1898); Annual Reports of the State Board of Charities (Albany, 1867 sqq.); Annual Reports of the State Education Department (Albany, 1904 sqq.); and Sidney Sherwood, History of Higher Education in the State of New York (Washington, 1900), Circular of Information No. 3 of the United States Bureau of Education. History: E. H. Roberts, New York: The Planting and Growth of the Empire State (2 vols., Boston, 1896) is a popular but rather superficial treatment of the entire period. The early historical documents of the state were collected by E. B. O'Callaghan in his Documentary History of the State of New York (4 vols., Albany, 1849–1851); and more completely in Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York procured by J. R. Brodhead (15 vols., vols. i.-xi. edited by E. B. O'Callaghan and xii.-xv. by B. Fernow; Albany, 1853–1883). O'Callaghan edited A Calendar of Historical Manuscripts in the Office of the Secretary of State of New York (2 vols., Albany, 1865–1866). E. B. O'Callaghan, History of New Netherland (2 vols., New York, 1846), and J. R. Brodhead, History of the State of New York (2 vols., New York, 1853 and 1871) are the standard works on the early history. Mrs Martha J. Lamb’s History of the City of New York (2 vols., New York, 1877) and Mrs Schuyler Van Rensselaer’s History of the City of New York in the Seventeenth Century (2 vols., New York, 1909) include the history of the province.
William Smith’s History of the Late Province of New York, from its Discovery to 1762 (1st part, 1757, reprinted in the 1st series of the New York Historical Society Collections, 2 vols., 1829–1830) is still the chief authority for the period from the English Revolution of 1688 to the eve of the War of Independence. For the same period, however, consult C. W. Spencer, Phases of Royal Government in New York, 1691–1719 (Columbus, 1905). John Fiske, The Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America (2 vols., Boston, 1900) is admirable in its generalizations but unreliable in its details. G. W. Schuyler, Colonial New York: Philip Schuyler and his Family (2 vols., New York, 1885) is a family history, but especially valuable in the study of Indian affairs and the intermarriages of the landed families. A. C. Flick’s Loyalism in New York during the American Revolution (New York, 1901) and H. P. Johnston’s Campaign of 1776 around New York and Brooklyn (Brooklyn, 1878) are thorough studies. For the military history of the War of Independence see also Justin Winsor’s Narrative and Critical History of America, vol. vi. (Boston, 1888). For strictly political history see a series of articles by Carl Becker in the American Historical Review, vols. vi., vii. and ix., and the Political Science Quarterly, vol. xviii., J. D. Hammond’s History of Political Parties in the State of New York (2 vols., Albany, 1842) and D. S. Alexander’s Political History of the State of New York (3 vols., New York, 1906–1909). See also E. P. Cheney, The Anti-Rent Agitation in the State of New York (Philadelphia, 1887); Charles McCarthy, “The Anti-Masonic Party” in vol. i. pp. 365-574 of the Annual Report for 1902 of the American Historical Association; N. E. Whitford, History of the Canal System of the State of New York (Albany, 1906). (N. D. M.; W. T. A.)
- These include: the Adirondack Hatchery at Upper Saranac, Franklin county; the Caledonia Hatchery at Mumford, Monroe county; the Cold Spring Harbor Hatchery, at Cold Spring Harbor, Suffolk county; the Delaware Hatchery, at Margaretville, Delaware county; the Fulton Chain Hatchery, at Old Forge, Herkimer county; the Linlithgo Hatchery, at Linlithgo, Columbia county; the Oneida Hatchery, at Constantia, Oswego county; and the Pleasant Valley Hatchery, at Taggart, Steuben county.
- The population at preceding census years was: (1790) 340,120; (1800) 589,051; (1810) 959,049; (1820) 1,372,812; (1830) 1,918,608; (1840) 2,428,921; (1850) 3,097,394; (1860) 3,880,735; (1870) 4,382,759.
- Increased from ten days in 1894.
- For further regulations relating to the employment of women and children see the Labour Law enacted in 1909 and the subsequent amendments.
- In 1906 a law was enacted for the establishment of a new state prison in the eastern part of the state to take the place of Sing Sing Prison.
- James Fenimore Cooper’s novels Satanstoe (1845), The Chainbearer (1845) and The Redskins (1846) preach the anti-rent doctrine.