New York Assembly. Remarks on the Answer to
Governor George Clinton’s Message to the Legislature1
[New York, January 17, 1787]
Several propositions were now canvassed in a desultory manner, for getting over the motion for amendment; and it was agreed, that the committee should rise and report; they had made some progress, which was agreed to; but first Mr. Hamilton said he would reserve himself on this subject until it came again properly before the house; when he hoped to be enabled to use such argument as would strike with conviction the candid part of this house.
The [New York] Daily Advertiser, January 18, 1787.
1. On January 13, 1787, Governor George Clinton delivered his annual message to the Senate and Assembly. He discussed briefly his reasons for not complying with a request by the Continental Congress that he convene a special session of the legislature to reconsider its act of the previous spring which granted Congress the revenue from the impost but qualified the grant in a way unsatisfactory to Congress. See “Inhabitants of the City of New York to the Legislature of New York State,” January–March, 1786, note 2. Clinton explained his refusal to call a special session by “an anxiety to preserve unimpaired the right of free deliberation on matters not stipulated by the Confederation” (New York Assembly Journal description begins Journal of the Assembly of the State of New York (Publisher and place vary, 1782–1788). description ends , 1787, 6).
On January 16, H reported the draft of a reply to the governor’s message, and on the following day the House resolved itself into a committee of the whole to consider the draft. The absence in the reply of any reference to the governor’s refusal to call a special session of the legislature produced controversy. H’s remarks came at the end of the debate.