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action was the doubtful satisfaction of putting the
voters on record.

(joyernor Hoffman re-elected.— In the autumn
of 1870, Governor Hoffman was re-elected, and the
legislature was about evenly divided between the two
parties. In 1871, as a result of the Tweed exposures,
it was again changed, and became strongly republican
in both senate and assembly.

In January, 1872, it impeached Judge Barnard*
for his share in the Tweed frauds.

National and State elections^ 1872. — The cam-
paign of 1872 was a mem-
orable one. A faction of
the republican party broke
away from that organiza-
tion, and at Cincinnati
nominated for president
Horace Greeley, the vet-
eran republican editor of
the Xew York Tribune.
The new party called them-
selves "liberal republi-

*]^ot Judge Joseph Barnard of Poughkeepsie, but
his brother, George C.

Horace Greeley. 181 1-1 872


Local Optiois^

[Period XI

cans". When the democrats indorsed Mr. Greeley,

his election was thought
to be certain; but Grant
was re-elected by a major-
ity of 763,000. Even New
York, the home of Mr.
Greeley, gave General Grant
a majority of 53,000, and
elected General John A.
Dix governor by a majority
of 55,000.

John Adams Dix. 1798-1879 ._- _ ^, ^r.^^

Governor, 1873-74 LoCal OptlOll, 1873.—

Among the important measures which passed the
legislature in this year was one giving " local option "
to towns on the question of granting license for the
sale of intoxicating liquors. The bill passed, but
Governor Dix vetoed it. His objection as stated in
his message was not to the principle but to the manner
of the prohibition; by which, he explained, he meant
that the act conferred on localities no power, except
absolute prohibition. By the law, the trafhc must be
prohibited or left entirely unregulated. This he held
was not, in effect, "local option".

An attempt to pass the bill over the veto failed.
For his action in this matter. Governor Dix was severely
censured by the temperance people of the State.

The civil rights bill, passed in 1873, provided that
" no citizen of this State shall by reason of race, color
or previous condition of servitude be excepted or ex-
cluded from the full and equal enjoyment of any
accommodation, advantage, facility, etc., by owners or

1874] Constitutional Amendments 449

lessees of any theatre or other place of amusement."
Such a law would seem to be an effort to make men
civil by legal enactment.

School and factory legislation. — In 1874, attend-
ance on school was for the first time made compulsory
in New York State, and a law was passed prohibiting
the employment of children in factories except under
conditions specified.

Samuel J. Tilden^ goyeruor. — In the campaign
of 1874 there were three
candidates for the office of
governor. The republicans
re-nominated Governor Dix ;
the prohibitionists n o m i -
nated Ex-Governor Myron
H. Clark ; and the dernocrats
l^ut forward Samuel J. Til-
den. The campaign was an
animated one, resulting in

Samuel Jones TiLDEN, 1814-1886 nur r^\•^ n

Governor, 187^76 the election of Mr. Tildcu.

His high character and his distinguished service to the
State in the Tweed affair gave promise of an honest
and able administration.

Constitutional amendments. — Several important
amendments to the State constitution were ratified at
this election. Among them were the following: 1.
Thirty days residence in an election district was re-
quired. 2. The property qualification for colored
voters was finally removed. 3. A stringent regulation
against bribery at elections was made. 4. The salary
of members of the legislature was fixed at $1,500. 5.

450 Summary [Period XI

Eegulations governing the passage of bills by the
legislature were added. 6. The term of governor and
lieutenant-governor was changed from two years to
three, and their salaries made $10,000 and 15,000

Legislative enactments, 1875.— In this year the
chief matters acted upon by the legislature were with
reference to the management of the canals, in which
many reforms were made; the administration of sav-
ings banks; the punishment for bribery at elections,
and the prevention of cruelty to children.


1. Consequences of war; recuperation.

2. Financial troubles.

3. Fenian raid.

4. Constitutional convention.

5. New York's candidate for the presidency.

6. New York city elections.

7. Death of Horatio Seymour; his character.

8. The Tweed ring.

9. The 15th amendment.

10. Black Friday.

11. Governor Hoffman and the 15th amendment.

12. New York and the presidential campaign.

13. Civil rights bill; local option.

14. School and factory legislation.

15. Samuel J. Tilden, governor.

16. Constitutional amendments.

Recen-t EvEi^TS, 1876-18.S3

The centennial year.— We have now reached a
period which properly separates history from the cur-
rent annals of our time. The year 1876 closed a cen-
tury of American independence, 99 years of the his-
tory of Xew York as a State, and 88 years of the
federal union.

The centennial year of national independence was
celebrated at Philadelphia by an international exhibi-
tion. The State of Xew York made a worthy con-
tribution from her vast treasures of art, manufactured
articles, and natural products.

Statue of Lafayette.— In September, 1876, there
was unveiled in Union Square, in the city of New
York, a bronze statue of Lafayette, the work of
Bartholdi. It was a gift from the government of
France in recognition of the assistance given to the
city of Paris by the citizens of New York during the
Franco-Prussian war.

Ninety-nine years before, Lafayette had voluntarily
come to this country and had given his services to the
young republic. His memory is cherished in the
heart of Americans as that of no other foreigner has
ever been.

New York political parties, 1876.— In the fall
elections New York had four candidates for the office



The Electoral Count [Period XI


of governor. Lucius Robinson, democrat, received

519,831 votes; Edwin D.
Morgan, republican, 489,371 ;
William J. Gross, prohibi-
tionist, 3,412; E. M. Griffin,
greenback, 1,436. These
figures illustrate the relative
strength of the political par-
ties of the State at that
period. This election was
the first under the new con-
stitutional provision which

made the governor's term of office three years.

Tildeii-Hayes electoral count. — In the presiden-

Lucius Robinson. 1810-1890
Governor, 1877-79



Rutherford Uirchard Hayes,
1822-1893; President, 1877-81



tial campaign of 1876 the democratic candidate was
Governor Tilden of New York, while the republicans
nominated Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio. At this
time Roscoe Conkling was the leading republican
politician of New York. He had been elected to the
United States senate in 1867, and had ably represented
his State since that time. Like Clay and Webster and

1877] More Constitutional Amendments 453

Seward before him he had been ambitions to secnre
the presidency, and had entered the national republi-
can convention of 1876 with a strong*delegation in his
favor. The nomination went to Mr. Hayes. The
result of this election was so long in doubt, the final
decision so widely commented upon and so frequently
discredited, that many people still believe the presi-
dency should have been given to Xew York's distin-
guished son, Samuel J. Tild'en.

Constitutional amendments. — Two amendments
to the State constitution were ratified in the election
of 1876, providing for the appointment by the gover-
nor, with the consent of the senate, of a superintendent
of public works, and a superintendent of State prisons.

The " State bounty debt " was created during the
civil war, and by law was limited to 30 millions. It
actually reached the sum of 127,644,000. A sinking
fund was provided, and the last of the debt came due
April 7, 1877, all of which was paid except 1132,418,
which was not presented.

A test vote. — An odd illustration of the working

of politics occurred in the

. \ State republican convention

/ \ of this year. George William

/ \ Curtis introduced a resolu-

W\ tion declaring President
Hayes's title to the presi-
dency " as good as George
Washington's". Under the
leadership of Eoscoe Conk-
ling the resolution was de-

George William Curtis, 1824-1892 f^^^^^ ^y ^ ^^^^ ^f 295 tO 105.

454 Occupation of the New Capitol [Period XI

Legislative enactments. — The legislature of 1877
passed an act prohibiting the sale of intoxicating
liquors to boys under 14 years of age; also an act
for the sale of three lateral canals — the Chenango ex-
tension, the Chemung, and the Genesee Valley.

This legislature also appropriated 1500,000 to con-
tinue work on the State capitol.

The civil damage act was in 1878 sustained by
decision of the court of appeals affirming its constitu-
tionality. It made the landlord liable for damages
consequent upon the sale of liquors in buildings owned
by him. The year 1878 was remarkable for the growth of
the greenback party, their vote being increased to 75, 173.
The new capitol. — In 1879 the legislature met for
the first time in the new capitol. This had been be-
gun in 1867, was to cost four millions, and to have
been completed in six years. It had now been in pro-
cess of construction twelve years; had cost 15 millions
and was but little more than half completed. The
commissioners estimated that 14,200,000 would be
required to complete the work.
Alonzo B. Cornell^ governor, 1879.— In the
election of this year Alonzo
y ^y'~ '^^^ ^ Cornell received a major-

r^is^ *-.^ ity of 42,000 over Governor

/ p^ , '^1 Robinson, re-nominated.

There were three other can-
didates in the field, — John
Kelly, independent demo-
cratic; Harris Lewis, nation-
al ; and Prof. John W. Mears,
ALONZO 13. coRNKL., 1832-18- prohibitiou. Mr. Kclly was
Governor, 1880-83 the Candidate of a faction

1880] Stalwarts akd Half-breeds 455

which withdrew from the democratic convention as
opponents of Governor Robinson. He received 77,566
democratic votes, showing on how narrow a margin
elections'in l^ew York are secured.

Stalwarts and half-breeds, 1880. — As the time
for holding the national conventions approached, there
was developed a strong tendency to place General
Grant in nomination for a third term. This led to
controversy in Xew York. Those who favored Gen-
eral Grant's nomination were called " stalwarts ", and

James Abraham Garfield. Chester Allan Arthur, 1830-1886

1831-1881; President, 1881 President. 1881-85

those of the opposition "half-breeds". Xew York's
delegation was divided, and after the election of Gar-
field to the presidency, he found himself seriously at
variance with some of the political leaders of the
State. Chester A. Arthur of Xew York was elected

The Conkling-Platt resignation, 1881. — Xew

York was now represented in the United States senate
by two able men, — Roscoe Conkling and Thomas C.
Piatt. President Garfield sent to the senate the name

456 Resignations of Conkling and Platt [Period XI

of William H. Robertson to be collector of the port of
New York. Vice-President Arthur, Postmaster-Gen-
eral James, and the two senators, all New York men,

This protest not being heeded, Conkling and Platt
sent their resignations to Governor Cornell. It was
the duty of the legislature, then in session, to fill the
vacancies, and the two senators had taken this course
as an appeal to the State for a vindication of their con-
duct. It soon became evident that their re-election
would not be without violent opposition. The con-
troversy on the republican side of the legislature was
extremely acrimonious, and has become historic as a
test of the question whether the senators of a State
shall control the presidential appointments in their

The democrats, naturally not interested in the return
of the republicans, placed in nomination candidates
of their own. After 48 ballots, lasting from May 31
to July 17, Warner Miller was chosen to succeed Mr.
Platt, and Elbridge G. Lapham to succeed Mr. Conkling.

Chester A. Arthur^ president. — On the death of
President Garfield, September 19, 1881, Mr. Arthur
succeeded to the presidency, thus making New York
again prominent in national affairs.

Free canals. — The legislature of 1881 voted to
submit to the people at the next election an amend-
ment to the constitution abolishing tolls on all the
State canals. The amendment was carried, and the
canals became free in 1883.

Cleopatra's needle. — Iq January, 1881, the Khe-
dive of Egypt presented to the United States the re-

1883] Grover Cleveland elected Governor 457

markable obelisk known as " Cleopatra's needle ". It
was brought over at the expense of Mr. William H.
Vanderbilt, and now stands in Central park*.

A democratic governor.— The animosities of the
preceding year had caused a
division in the republican
party. As a consequence
Judge Charles J. Folger, a
man of spotless personal
character and of excellent
ability, an ex-secretary of
the United States treasury,
was rejected at the polls be-
cause of his supposed con-
nection with the " Conkling-
Platt" affair.
This placed in the governor's chair a man then little
known, but who has since become one of the most con-
spicuous figures in American politics. This was Grover
Cleveland, then sheriff of Erie county. When his
nomination was announced, men but a hundred miles
from Buffalo asked, "Who is he?" His career has
been a most remarkable one — an example of " Ameri-
can ways " which Europeans cannot understand. Like
Lincoln, he is a man of the people; almost as silent
as Grant, with a broad comprehension of national
affairs, united with a strong personality which made
him able to lead rather than follow his party.

Grover Cleveland, 1837-

GovERNOR, 1883-85
President, 1885-89: 1893-9

* This obelisk is a solid granite shaft 69^ feet high,
and dates back to about 1600 B. C.

458 Civil Service Reform [Period XI

Political assessments. — The custom of taxing
every employe of the State for the benefit of the party
in power had grown into a system. It was practised
openly, and no one dared refuse to' pay. The legisla-
ture of 1883 passed a law absolutely prohibiting these

Civil service reform. — When the old council of
appointment was abolished it was supposed that
thereafter merit would have the chief weight in the
selection of candidates for civil offices. This had
not proved to be the case. Its power to reward and
punish had come to be the chief reliance of each
party by which to secure or retain the government of
the State. With each change in the administration
there was expected to be a complete overturning in all
the offices filled by appointment.

The legislature of 1883 passed the first civil service
reform law, which promptly received the signature of
Governor Cleveland and with some amendments re-
mains in force to-day.

The Niagara reservation. — One who visits Niag-
ara at the present time can scarcely imagine the condi-
tions which existed twenty years ago, when the tourist
had difficulty in finding a spot from which he could
without payment view the falls, and when all the
beauty was marred by unsightly mills lining the banks
of the river.

In 1883, a law was enacted providing a commission
of five men who, serving without salary, were to make
all the preliminary arrangements for securing a State
reservation at Niagara, removing all obstructions and

1883] Niagara AND AdikondackEesekyations 459

making the American side forever free to all visitors*.

The Brooklyn bridge was begun in 1870. The
plans and estimates were made by John A. Roebling,
the chief engineer until his death in 1869, when he
was succeeded by his son, AVashington A. Roebling.
The bridge was opened to the public May 24, 1883. It
cost 15 millions. The total receipts for the year end-
ing December 1, 1893 were 11,590,140.

The Adirondack park.— To Ex-Governor Seymour
our State is in a large measure indebted for its great
forest reserve about the sources of the Hudson. He
gave much time and money to a study of that region,
and reported on the necessity of preserving its forests.

The legislature of 1883 took definite meaures in that
direction, but not until twelve years later, 1895, did
the great Adirondack park become the property of the
State. Lands have, at different times been purchased,
until the State now owns more than two million acres
in that region, at a cost exceeding a million dollars.

Evacnation day.— The 25th of November, 1883,
being the 100th anniversary of the evacuation of New
York by the British, the event was celebrated with
appropriate ceremonies, during which a bronze statue
of Washington was unveiled on the steps of the sub-
treasury building.


1. Centennial celebration.

2. Political parties of 1876; Hayes-Tilden contest.

3. Constitutional amendments.

*The acquisition of the necessary titles cost the
State nearly one and a half million dollars.

460 ^ Summary [Period XI

4. State bounty debt.

5. Sale of lateral canals.

6. Civil damage act.

7. New capitol.

8. " Stalwarts " and '^ half-breeds ".

9. Conkling-Platt resignation.

10. Free canals.

11. Mr. Cleveland governor; Cleopatra's needle.

12. Political assessments.

13. Civil service reform bill.

14. Niagara reservation.

15. Brooklyn bridge.

16. Adirondack park; evacuation day.

Recent Eyein^ts, 1884-1893
The presidential election of 18S4.— The fall

James Gillespie Blaine, David Bennett Hill. 1843—

1830-1893 Governor, 1885-91

elections were anticipated with much interest, for Gov-
ernor Cleveland had received the democratic nomina-
tion for the presidency, and against him the republi-
cans had nominated James G. Blaine, a man very
popular in Xew York. The result was close, — Mr.
Cleveland carrying the State by only 1,149.

When the legislature convened in January, 1885,
Mr. Cleveland resigned the office of governor, and
Lieutenant-Governor Hill succeeded him.

Death of General Grant.— General Grant, by his
character and distinguished services, was a citizen of
no single State. It was fitting that the most promi-
nent man of his times should spend his last days in
the Empire State, and find his burial place on the


462 Death of Ge:n^eral Grant [Period XI

banks of the historic Hudson. He had made New
York city his residence since 1881. There his shat-
tered fortunes drove him to that literary work which
was needed for a complete history of the war; there
his rapidly failing health drew about him his old com-
rades in arms ; thither came the great military chiefs
of the confederacy also, to pay their last tribute of
regard to a generous conqueror, and at Mt. McGregor
when the last days of his life approached, to him was
poured out the homage of a grateful nation.

Great in war, great in peace, unconquerable in
death, Ulysses S. Grant breathed his last on July 23,
1885. His tomb like that at Mt. Vernon, and another
at Springfield, will be a Mecca for loyal Americans
while our government endures.

Tlie statue of liberty, the gift of the people of
France to the people of the United States, was in
1885 fittingly erected on Bedloe's Island in New York
harbor, where the light from its torch may be the first
to greet the stranger coming to our shores, and the
last upon which the eye of the departing American
shall rest*. .

Soldiers and the civil service. — During 1886 an
amendment to the civil service laws was passed, in-
tended to give honorably discharged soldiers and sailors
a preference over others in appointments. This law
has been practically inoperative since its passage.

An act for the protection of our song-birds also be-
came a law. This was followed in 1900 by a much
more sweeping and stringent legal protection.

* This statue cost the people of France a million
francs. The base built by New York cost 1300,000.


Contract Labor in Prisons


Legislative enactments.— The legislature of 1887
enacted laws for the purchase and care of the old his-
toric " State house " at Kingston; for the collection
and preservation of battle-flags ; for the incorporation
of "Young Men's Christian associations", and for
the formation of building and loan associations.
National and State elections, 1888.— Again the
election of president and a
governor of New York oc-
curred in the same year.

Mr. Cleveland was the
candidate of his party for
president, but was defeated
1)V Benjamin Harrison.
David B. Hill was re-elected
governor of the State.

Prison reform. —In 1883

various labor organizations

legislature their protest against

then in operation in our State


Benjamin Haiuiison. 1833-
Pkesident. 1889-93

of the State sent to the
the " contract system "

The ground of their complaint was that the pro-
ducts of prisons were put into competition with free
labor. A bill to abolish certain classes of contract
labor was brought in, but failed of passage.

The whole question was submitted to the people at
the next election, and they voted to abolish the system
entirely as soon as existing contracts expired.

By 1888 many of the prisoners were idle, and Gov-
ernor Hill called a special session of the legislature to
consider the matter. An act was then passed forbid-
ding the use of motive power in the prisons. In the

464 The great Blizzard [Period XI

constitutional revision of 1894 it was provided that
after January 1, 1897, all contract labor should cease,
and the products of the prisons should be sold only to
the various public institutions of the State.

The great blizzard. — In 1888 occurred the great-
est snow storm that has ever visited our State. It was
particularly severe in Xew York city. Rain began to
fall March 11, and for forty-eight hours a north-east
storm with strong winds and a heavy fall of snow

Communication with the country was suspended,
and many articles of food became scarce. Passengers
on railroad trains within the city limits were held pris-
oners for 36 hours. A sad feature of the storm was
the great loss of life from exposure *.

Arbor day. — The legislature of 1888 directed that
the Friday following May 1 should be observed as
*' arbor day" in the schools of the State, the purpose
being to encourage the planting and care of trees.

A centennial. — The centennial of Washington's
inauguration as first president of the United States
was observed in the city of Xew York, April 29-30,

The great flood. — The year 1889 is memorable for
the disastrous floods which occurred. Xew York
suffered less than Pennsylvania, but the loss of life
and property in the southern portions of the State was
very great. Our State contributed $500,000 to the
Johnstown sufferers.

Enactments of 1890. — A difference between Gov-

* Ex-Senator Roscoe Conkling was one of the victims
of this storm.

1890] Electiox Reform 465

ernor Hill and the legislature left at the close of the
session nearly 200 bills in his hands unsigned, but
many important measures became laws. Among them
were the following:

1. A law requiring weekly payments to factory hands.

2. The " corrupt practice law ", requiring candidates
to render an itemized account of all election expenses.

3. The " Saxton ballot reform law ", providing a
secret ballot, and preventing all electioneering at the

4. The " personal registration law ".

All these have done much to cleanse our State elec-
tions by preventing fraud and intimidation at the polls.
The State flower.— On arbor day, 1891, a vote
was taken in 113 commissioner districts, 32 cities, 7
normal schools and two Indian reservations for a
*' State flower". The vote stood: for the rose, 294,-
816; for the golden-rod, 206,402. In the cities the
vote for the two flowers was very nearly equal ; in the
country, it was three to one in favor of the rose.
Roswell P. Flower^ governor. — At the Novem-
ber election of 1891 the
democratic candidate, Mr.
Flower, received 582,393
votes; J. Sloat Fassett, re-
publican, 534,956; John W.
Bruce, prohibition, 30,353.
The presidential cam-
paign of 1892 was a quiet
one. Xew York gave Mr.
Cleveland a maiority of

RosAVELL P. Flower, 1835-1899 ^ J ^

Governor, 1892-94 45,518.

466 The Chicago Exposition [Period XI

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