Research

New York State Secretary of State First Constitution of the State of New York

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
The first constitution of the State of New York was adopted by the Convention of Representatives of the State of New York at Kingston on April 20, 1777. This draft contains numerous strikeouts, additions, and corrections. At the end are the signatures of Leonard Gansevoort, President Pro Temp., and a certificate by J.V.N. Yates, Secretary of State, dated August 30, 1821, acknowledging receipt of the manuscript by John McKesson. Following is a letter of McKesson, noting sections were missing.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
0.3 cubic feet (1 volume)
Inclusive Dates:
1777
Series Number:
A1802

Scope and Content Note

The first constitution of the State of New York was adopted by the Convention of Representatives of the State of New York at Kingston on April 20, 1777. The text is a manuscript draft containing numerous strikeouts, additions, and corrections. At the end are the signatures of Leonard Gansevoort, President Pro Temp., and a certificate by J.V.N. Yates, Secretary of State, dated August 30, 1821, stating that the manuscript had been received that day from John McKesson. Following is a letter of McKesson dated New York, August 29, 1821, noting that part of the Preamble and all of Sections 27 and 28 were missing.

The complete, official text was published as Constitution of the State of New-York by Samuel Loudon, State Printer, at Fishkill in 1777. Loudon's memorandum to John McKesson, dated May 13, 1777, stated that he printed 2090 copies. See "Samuel Loudon (1727-1813): Merchant, Printer and Patriot; With Some of His Letters," New-York Historical Society Quarterly Bulletin, 6 (1922), page 85.

Items Online

Digital Collection

Please note that only a portion of this series has been included in this digital collection. Other items exist that are not available online.

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Use of Records

Access Restrictions

Restricted: Published versions are first-use copies.

Alternate Formats Available

Published in "Constitution of the State of New-York" (1777); Charles Z. Lincoln, "The Constitutional History of New York" (1906); "New York State Constitution Annotated" (1938); William A. Polf, "1777: The Political Revolution and New York's First Constitution" (1977); and other sources.

Custodial History

This item was part of the Freedom Train exhibit that traveled the state from January 1949 to February 1950 (L. 1948, Ch. 659).

Access Terms

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