New York Assembly. Address of the
New York Legislature to Governor George Clinton1
[New York, January 20, 1787]
We the Representatives of the People of the State of New-York in Assembly, beg leave to assure your Excellency, that the several important matters mentioned in your Excellency’s Speech, and communicated in the papers that accompany it, shall, in the course of the Session engage our most serious attention.2
With dispositions truly fœderal, we shall take into consideration the different acts of the United States, and, with an earnest solicitude for the national honor, credit, and welfare, shall chearfully make such provisions as shall appear to us competent to those great objects, and compatible with the abilities and Constitution of the State.3
We learn with peculiar pleasure, that the measures adopted by the Legislature, at the last Session, for settling, otherwise than by a Fœderal Court, the territorial dispute between this State and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, have been carried into full effect; and that while through the Divine Goodness, we enjoy the blessings of internal peace and order, the sources of external discord and animosity resulting from a controverted boundary, are happily extinguished, the public tranquility in a point of such magnitude secured, and the heavy expence of a judicial investigation avoided. The conduct of our Commissioners in this delicate and important trust, meets with our entire approbation; and we shall freely concur in making adequate provision for the services rendered and expences incurred, either in preparation for trial, or towards the adjustment of the controversy.
We are also happy to observe, that the Commissioners for running the line of jurisdiction between this State and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, have made as great a progress as the season would permit. The good understanding which subsisted between them, must have contributed not less to this end, than to the œconomy which appears in their expences, and will no doubt facilitate the final accomplishment of this business.
The arrangement of the Militia under the late law, announced by your Excellency as nearly compleat, is a proof of the attention which has been paid to this interesting object. We doubt not the future conduct of that respectable class of Citizens, will justify the expectations formed from the laudable zeal by which it is thus far distinguished.4
We lament, with your Excellency, the fatal ravages to which Wheat, our staple commodity, has of late been exposed, from an insect which has already over-run so large a part of the State; and if any thing in the power of the Legislature can be devised to avert so affecting a calamity, we shall feel ourselves impelled by every motive, to adopt it.
It gives us pleasure to learn that very considerable reductions have lately been made of the debts due from the public to the Citizens of this State; an object which we shall be ready still further to promote by every prudent and equitable measure; convinced of the truth of the sentiment expressed by your Excellency, that a faithful performance of our engagements is essential to the firm establishment of the public credit and prosperity.5
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, 15–17.
1. On January 13, a committee consisting of James Gordon, H, and Samuel Jones, was appointed to prepare an address in reply to the governor’s message to the legislature of the same date. On January 16, “Mr. Hamilton, from the Committee appointed to prepare and report a draft of a respectful Address to his Excellency the Governor, in answer to his Speech at the opening of the Session, reported, that the Committee had prepared a draft accordingly; Mr. Hamilton read the draft in his place, and delivered the same in at the table, where it was again read” (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, 9).
The text of the address, except for the first paragraph, is taken from the engrossed address which was read in the Assembly and printed in its Journal on January 20. The first paragraph is from the original draft which was probably prepared by H. It is taken from the version of it read in the Assembly on January 19.
The formal title of the address was: “The RESPECTFUL ADDRESS of the Assembly, in Answer to his Excellency’s Speech, at the opening of the Session.”
2. For amendments subsequently made to paragraph one, see “Remarks on the Answer to Governor George Clinton’s Message to the Legislature,” January 17, 1787, and “Speech [First and Second] on the Address of the Legislature to Governor George Clinton’s Message,” January 19, 1787.
3. Clinton requested the legislature to comply with the congressional requisition for the services of 1786, with an act augmenting the number of United States troops and a requisition for their support, and with a requisition for arrears due the United States (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).
4. “AN ACT to regulate the militia” was passed by the legislature on April 4, 1786. See Laws of the State of New York, I description begins Laws of the State of New York Passed at the Sessions of the Legislature Held in the Years 1777, 1778, 1779, 1780, 1781, 1782, 1783 and 1784 Inclusive, being the First Seven Sessions (Albany, 1886). description ends I, 220–29. Clinton informed the legislature that the arrangements required by the act were almost completed (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, 7).
5. Clinton, after informing the legislature that “considerable reductions have lately been made of the debts due from the public, to the citizens of this State,” requested appropriations to reduce the debt still further (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, 7).