New York State Legislature

State of New-York. In Assembly, January 31st, 1788

[Poughkeepsie, N.Y.?: Printed by Nicholas Power? 1788]
New-York Historical Society Library

The Constitution provided for its ratification when approved by nine states in conventions specially called to ratify. The Philadelphia Convention asked the state legislatures to call these conventions. The New York legislature, convened on January 1, 1788, and was, said James Madison, "much divided" on calling a convention. But on January 31 the Assembly, and on February 1 the Senate, passed a resolution calling for the election of the New York State Ratifying Convention to meet at the courthouse in Poughkeepsie on June 17, well after most other state conventions had met. The elections of delegates to the Convention were to take place from April 29 until completed, but not more than five days. For the first time ever, the property qualifications for voting were eliminated, and for the first time in legislative elections, voting was by secret ballot.