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.