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Western S Albany,
Gloucester, The senators are divided by lot into four classes, fix in each class, and numbered, firit, fecond, third, and fourth. The seats of the first class are vacated at the expiration of one year--the second, at the expiration of the next, &c. and their places filled by new elections. Thus a small change is made in the senate every year ; but three-fourths of the members remain. ing preserve a knowledge of the business of a former feffion. A majority of the senate is necessary to do business, and each branch of the legislature has a negative upon the other.
The legislature can at any time afrer this division of the state for the choice of fenators ; and an increase of electors in any district, to the amount of one-twenty-fourth of the electors in the whole state, entitles the district to another senator. But the number of senators can never exceed one hundred.
The assembly of the state is composed of representatives from the several counties, chosen annually in May, in the following proportion :
For the city and county of New York, nine.
For the city and county of Albany, seven.
and Clinton, 3
Every male inhabitant of full age, who has resided in the state six months preceding the day of election, and poffeffing a freehold to the value of twenty pounds, in the county where he is to give his vote; or has rented a tenement therein of the yearly value of forty fillings, and has been rated and actually paid taxes, is entitled to vote for representatives in assembly. The freedom of the cities of New-York and Albany likewise entitles a person to the privilege of voting for members of allembly in the city or country where he resides. The method of voting is now by ballot, but fubject to alteration by the legislature. The house of affembly, a majority of which is necessary to proceed to business, choofes its owu speaker, and is a judge of its own privileges.
In all debates on great questions, the house refolves itself into a committee of the whole—the speaker leaves the chair, and a chairman is appointed for the occasion. After the business is completed, the committee rises the speaker takes the chairmand the chairman reports to the house the proceedings of the committee. How far this imitation of the British house of commons is supported by good reasons, it may 'not be easy to determine. Certain it is, that in other legislatures, the proceedings are equally well conducted without this formality.
The number of representatives is limited to three hundred. The present number is fixty-five.
The fupreme executive power of the state is vested in a governor, (in whose absence a deputy-governor is appointed to serve) chosen once in three years by the freemen of the state. The lieutenant-governor is, by his office, president of the senate ; and, upon an equal division of voices, has a casting vote
but has no voice on other occasions. The governor has not a feat in the legislature, but as a member of thecouncil of revision and council of appointment, he has a vast influence in the state.
The council of revision is composed of the chanchellor, the judges of the fupreme court, or any of them, and the governor. This council is empowered to revise all bills which have passed the two houses of the legislature, and if it shall appear to the council that such bills ought not to pass into laws, they shall be returned to the house in which they originated, with the objections of the council
. The house shall then proceed to reconsider the bills, with the objections, and if, notwithstanding, two-thirds of the house shall agree to the bills, they fhall be sent to the other house, where they shall be reconsidered, and the affent of two-thirds of the members pais them into laws. But if a bill is not returned in ten days, it becomes a law of course.
The subordinate officers of the state are appointed by the council of appointment, which is composed of one senator from each district, to be den annually by the legislature, with the governor, or, in his abfence, the lieutenant-governor, or the president of the senate, who has a casting vote only:
All military officers hold their commiffions during pleasure. The chancellor, the judges of the supreme court, and the firit judge of each county court, hold their oslices during good behavisur. The officers can hold no other office at the same time, except that of delegate to Congress.
Sheriffs ard coroners are appointed annually, and can serve but four years fucceffively.
A court of error and impeachment is instituted, composed of the prefident of the senate, the senate, chancellor, and judges of the supreme court, or the major part of them, under the regulation of the legislature. The power of impeachment is vested in the house of representatives, and the men:bers on trial must be sworn.
Besides the court of errors and impeachment, there is, first, a Court of Chancery, consisting of a chancellor, appointed by the council of appointment, who holds his office during good behaviour, or until he arrive at the age of fixty years. Secondly, a Supreme Court, the judges of which are appointed in the same manner, and for the same time, as the chancellor. This is a circuit court. – Thirdly, County Courts, held in each county, the judges of which are appointed in the manner above-mentioned, and the first judge holds his office during good behaviour. Besides these, there are the justicts' court, court of probates, court of admiralty, court of exchequer, a court of oyer and terminer and general goal delivery, and courts of quarter sessions.
T'he practice in the supreme court, to which an appeal lies from the courts below, is in imitation of the courts of common pleas and king's bench in England.
All free governments abound with lawyers. Where men have the privilege of thinking and acting for themselves, they will involve themselves in debt, and quarrel with their neighbours. In proportion to the debts and disputes of the people, lawyers will multiply. Of these America furnishes a plentiful growth, and New-York has its share, as it contains not less than i żó licensed attornies. In this state, the practice of law is conformed to the English mode, and is perhaps better regulated than in the other states. The several degrees in the profession, the number of critical examinations that candidates are obliged to pass through before they can be admitted as counsellors in the higher courts ; together with the time of ftudy required by the rules of admillion, render an access to the first hohours of the bar so difficult as to preclude ignorant pretenders to the important science of law. New York can boast of many men eminent in every liberal profession, and which has hitherto furnished America with some of her most able legislators
. It is however to be feared, that a too rigid adherence to the forms of legal process in England, has sometimes perplexed the road to justice, and prevented valuable improvements in the practice, not only in this, but of most of the states.
Mode of raising internal taxes.] The legislature fix upon the sum to be raised, and apportion it among the several counties. This being done, the supervisors, one from each township in the respective counties, afsemble, and assign to each township its proportion of the quota of the county. The supervisor and assessors in each township then apportion their quota among the individuals of the township, according to the value of their real and personal estates. The tax, thus laid, is collected by the cola lector of the township, and lodged with the county treasurer, who transé irits it to the treasurer of the fate.
Indians. The Oneidas inhabit on Oneida Creek, twenty-one miles west of Fort Stanwix. The tribe consilts of about 400 men, women and children.
The Tuscaroras migrated from North Carolina and the frontiers of Vira ginia, and were adopted by the Oneidas, with whom they have ever since lived, upon the supposition that they were originally of the fame nation, because there is a similarity in their languages.
The Senecas inhabit on the Chenestee river, at the Chenessee castle. The tribe consists of about 800 souls. They have two towns, of fixty or seventy souls each, on French Creek, in Pennsylvania ; and another town on Buffaloe Creek, attached to the British ; and two finall towns on Allen gany river, attached to the Americans. Obeil or Corn-planter, one of the Seneca chiefs, resides here.
The Mobawks were acknowledged by the other tribes, to use their own expreffion, to be the true old heads of the confederacy ;' and were formerly a powerful tribe, inhabiting on the Mohawks river. As they were strongly attached to the Johnson family, on account of Sir William Johnfon, they einigrated to Canada, with Sir John Johnson, about the year 1776, There is now only one family of them in the state, and they live about a mile from Fort Hunter. The father of this family was drowned in the winter of 1
1788. All the confederated tribes, except the Oneidas and Tufcaroras, fided with the British in the late war, and fought against the Americans.)
The Onondagas live near the Salt or Onondaga Lake, about twentyve miles from the Oneida Lake. In the spring of 1979, a regiment of inen were sent from Albany by General J. Clinton, against the Onondagas. This regiment surprized their town-took thirty-three prisoners killed twelve or fourteen, and returned without the loss of a man. А party of the Indians were at this time ravaging the American frontiers.
The are very few of the Delaware tribe in this ffalé.
The Five confederated Nations were settled along the banks of the Sufquehannah, ard in the adjacent country, until the year 1779, when Ge. neral Sullivan, with an army of 4000 nien, drove them from their country to Niagara, where being obliged to live on salted provisions, to which they were unaccustomed, great nunibers of them died. Two hundred of them, it is faid, were buried in one grave, where they had encamped. General Sullivan burnt several of their towns, destroyed their provisions, and defeated them in an engagement at Newton. Since this irruption into their county, their former habitations have been mostly deserted, and many of them have gone into Canada.
On the 13th of November, 1987, John Lavingston, Efq; and four others, obtained of the Six Nations of Indians a leafe for 999 years, on a yearly rent reserved of 2000 dollars, of all the country included in the following limits, viz. beginning at a place commonly known by the name of Canada Creek, about seven miles west of Fort Stanwix, now Fort Schuyler, thence north-eastwardly to the line of the province of Quebec ; thence along the faid line to the Pennsylvania line ; thence east on the said line, or Pennsylvania line, to the line of Property, fo called by the state of New-York; thence along the faid line of Property, to Canada Creek a foresaid. And on the 8th of January, 1988, the fame persons obtained a lease of the Oneida Indians, for 999 years, on a rent reserved for the first year of 1 200 dollars, and increasing it at the rate of 100 dollars a year, until it amount to 1500 dollars, of all the tract of land commonly called the Oneida country, except a reservation of several tracts specified in the lease. But these leales having been obtained without the consent of the fegiatare of the state, the senate and assembly, in their seffion, March 1788, resolved, " That the said leases are purchases of lands; and therefore, that by the constitution of this state the said leafes are not binding on the said Índians, and are not valid. --This very important and interesting dispute remains to be settled.
We shall conclude this account of the Indiang, with an Indian speech to Sir William Johnson, fuperintendant of Indian affairs, at a treaty held with the Six Nations and others, at Fort Stanwix, in October 1768, for the settlement of a boundary line between the Colonies and the Indians,
• We remember that on our first meeting, you, when you came with your thips, we kindly received you-entertained you-entered into an alliance with you, though we were then great and numerous, and your people inconsiderable and weak. And we know that we entered into a covenant-chain of bark with you, and fastened your ship therewith. But being apprehensive the bark would break, and your fhip be loft, we made one of iron, and held it fast that it should not slip from us—but seeing the former chain was liable to rust, we made a silver one to guard against it.'
Íslands. There are three islands of note belonging to this state, viz. York Inand, which has already been described, Long Island, and Staten Idand.
Long Illand extends from the city of New-York east 140 miles, and terminates with Montauk-point. It is not more than ten miles in breadth, on a medium, and is separated from Connecticut bị Long Island Sound. The island is divided into three counties į King's, Queen's, and Suffolk.
King's Contgi lies at the west end of Long Inand, opposite New-York, and is not above ten miles long, and eight broad. The inhabitants are principally Dutch, and live well. It contains a number of pleasant villages, of which Flatbush, Brooklyn, or Breucklin, and Bedford, are the principal.
Queen's Countg lies nest to King's, as you proceed eastward. It is about thirtý miles long, and twelve broad. Jamaica, Newton, Hampftead, in which is a handsome court-house, and Oyster-bay, are the principal villages in this county.
Suffolk County is about 100 miles lõng, and ten broad, and comprehends all the eastern part of the island, and several little islands adjoining, viz. Shelter Island, Fisher's Island, Plumb Ifand, and the Isle of Wight. Its principal towns are Huntington, Southampton, Smith-Town, BrookHaven, East-Hampton, in which is the academy, Southhold and BridgeHampton.
The south side of the island is flat land, of a light fandỹ foil, bordered on the sea-coast with large tracts of falt meadow,
extending from the west point of the island to Southampton. This foil, however, is well calculated for raising grain, especially Indian corn.
The north side of the island is hilly, and of a ftrong foil
, adapted to the culture of grain, hay and fruit. A ridge of hills extends from Jaunaica to Southhold. . Large herds of cattle feed upon Hampstead plain, and on the falt marshes upon the south side of the island.
Hampstead plain, in Queen’s county, is a curiosity. It is fixteen miles in length, east and west, and seven or eight miles wide. The foil is black, Y and to appearance rich, and yet it was never known to have any natural
growth but a kind of wild grafs, and a few shrubs. It is frequented by vast numbers of plovers. Rye grows tolerably well on some parts of the plain.
The most of it lies coinmon for cattle, horses and sheep. As there is nothing to impede the prospect in the whole length of this plain, it has a curious but tirefome effect upon the eye; not unlike that of the ocean.
East of this plain, on the middle of the island, is a barren heath, overgrown with thrub oaks and pines, in which, it is supposed, there are leveral thousand deer. It is frequented also by a great number of growse, or heath-hens, a very delicious bird. Laws have been passed for the prefervation of these birds and the deer.
It is remarkable, that on Montauk-point, at the east end of the island, there are no flies. Between this point and East Hampton is a beach, three quarters of a mile wide, in the center of which was found, about fifty years ago, under a sand bill which was blown up by the wind, the entire skeleton of a large whale, nearly half
a mile from the water,