Finding aid created by: KMP
Date: Apr 1984
Overview of the Collection
|Creator:||Corning, Erastus, 1909-1983.|
|Title:||Erastus Corning II Papers|
|Dates:||1843-1968 (bulk: 1966-1968)|
|Quantity:||4.5 linear ft.|
|Abstract:||Papers of the American politician from New York. Collection relates primarily to the 1967 New York State Constitutional Convention.|
|Repository:||Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
Erastus Corning II (1909-1983) was an American politician from New York State. A great-grandson of Erastus Corning I, who had been elected mayor of Albany, NY four times; grandson of Erastus Corning, Jr., who had been an Alderman of the city; and son of Edwin Corning, who had been one of the founders of the Albany Democratic party, he was elected mayor eleven times, holding the position for 41 years.
Erastus Corning II was born on October 7, 1909 into one of the most socially and politically prominent families of Albany. He graduated from Yale (where he was a Phi Beta Kappa) in 1932 with a dual major in English and History, and shortly after married Elizabeth N. Platt. They had two children, Erastus III and Elizabeth. Corning and some friends founded Albany Associates, an insurance company, in 1932. However, he was asked to run for the New York State Assembly in 1936, and won. He later served in the New York State Senate (1937-1941) and was a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1944, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1972, and 1976. Besides serving as mayor of Albany from 1942-1983, he was a Director of the National Commercial Bank and the Union River Lumber Co. He served in the U. S. Army from 1944-1945 and was a member of the American Legion and VFW.
In 1966 he was elected Delegate to the 1967 New York State Constitutional Convention. He was a member of both the Committee on Intergovernmental Relations and the Committee on Local Government and Home Rule. Based on the volume of constituent correspondence dealing with it, the most controversial issue at the Convention was whether the Blaine Amendment (Art. IX, Sec. 3), which forbade state aid to private and parochial schools, should be repealed. Other issues before the Convention that year were the "Forever Wild" status of the Adirondacks, reapportionment, local powers, state finances, and lowering the voting age to 18. The delegates themselves were hoping to correct the increasing inflexibility of the constitution and decreased responsibility of the legislature. The Convention convened on April 4, 1967 at the State Capitol and continued for six months, but preparatory work was done by committees one or two years in advance. One hundred eighty-six delegates were elected on November 8, 1966 and the President, Anthony J. Travia, appointed committee members. The Committees proposed amendments to articles which were debated and either adopted or rejected. The amendments which were adopted were submitted to the voters for approval in November, 1967. The cost of the Convention was six million dollars.
The death of Mayor Corning on May 28, 1983 meant the end of a political dynasty lasting four generations. During his 41 years as mayor, Corning never desired a higher office. He once said "I early came to the conclusion that what's important to the people is important to me." [January, 1981, CBS Sunday Morning television program]
The Erastus Corning II Papers relates -- with one exception -- entirely to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1967. It is divided into five series.
Family letter and pre-convention material contains informational booklets for delegates, committee reports and recommendations, rules, lists, maps, and other preliminary information. There is also one letter dated 1843, from Jabez Delano Hammond (1778-1855) to Erastus Corning I (1794-1872). Jabez Hammond was State Senator from 1817-1821 and author of The Political History of New York State.
Correspondence contains pre-convention correspondence as well as correspondence from constituents on particular articles and propositions to be considered at the Convention.
Committees consists of material from various advisory and related state and local committees, including Intergovernmental Relations, Natural Resources and Agriculture, Bill of Rights and Suffrage, State finances and taxation, and the Conference of Mayors.
Articles and propositions contains material on specific articles of the state Constitution and propositions for changes.
Miscellaneous includes proposed timetables, news releases and clippings, photographs of Erastus Corning II, and two poster board certificates of service on the Committee on Local Government and Home Rule and the Committee on Intergovernmental Relations, signed by Anthony J. Travia and members of each committee.
The collection is divided into five series, as listed above. Material within the series is in no particular order.
The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.
Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.
Special Collections Research Center has many collections relating to politics, government, and public affairs. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.
Allen, James E. (James Egert), 1896-1980.
Beame, Abraham D. (Abraham David), 1906-2001.
Bergan, Francis, 1902-1998.
Bridges, Earl J.
Campbell, Alan K.
Corning, Erastus, 1909-1983.
Drohan, William J.
Duryea, Perry B.
English, John F.
Gunning, Rosemary R.
Lindsay, John V.
Lomenzo, John P.
Mankiewicz, Frank, 1924-2014.
Rubano, Charles F.
Shapiro, J. Irwin.
Stockmeister, Charles F.
Ughetta, Henry L.
Vanden Heuvel, William J. (William Jacobus), 1930-
New York (State). -- Constitutional Convention (1967)
New York (State). -- Constitutional Convention (1967). -- Committee on Intergovernmental Relations
Constitutional conventions -- New York (State)
New York (State) -- Politics and government -- 1865-1950.
Genres and Forms
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Erastus Corning II Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
Gift of the City of Albany, Office of the Mayor, 1968.
Family letter and pre-Convention information
Articles and propositions
|Family letter and pre-Convention information|
|Box 1||Letter from Jabez Delano Hammond to Erastus Corning I 1843|
|Box 1||Erastus Corning 2nd's certificate of election as delegate 12/15/1966|
|Box 1||Bibliographies for further reading|
|Information booklets for delegates|
|Box 1||Local Government and the 1967 Constitutional Convention|
|Box 1||Facts About Savings|
|Box 1||The Forest Preserve of New York State|
|Box 1||Vistas on the 1967 Constitutional Convention|
|Box 1||Constitutional Conventions in NYS|
|Box 1||Issues for the 1967 Constitutional Convention|
|Box 1||1967 Convention issues|
|Box 1||Toward an effective Convention|
|Box 1||Report to the NYS Legislature and Constitutional Convention concerning actions taken by the Association of Towns|
|Box 1||Constitutional Developments in NY 1958-1967|
|Box 1||The Constitutional Convention of 1967, background information|
|Box 1||NYS Fiscal Affairs and Debt Structure|
|Box 1||Constitutional Limitations on Municipal Debt|
|Box 1||Tax Limits of Communities, Cities and Villages 1963-1967|
|Box 1||The Integrated Audit...as applied to State Agencies|
|Box 1||Conference on Metropolitan Cities June 5, 1967|
|Box 1||Real Estate Board of Central New York-Recommendations before the convention|
|Box 1||The Mayors' Task Force and the Constitutional Convention|
|Box 1||Educational Issues before the Constitutional Convention (Board of Regents proposals, etc.)|
|Box 1||Water Pollution (and State Government)|
|Box 1||Drafting and typing guide for delegates|
|Box 1||Parking map for delegates|
|Box 1||Resolution for a public accounting of Constitutional Convention expenditures|
|Box 1||Francis Bergan's remarks at the meeting of delegates January 25, 1967|
|Box 1||Mankiewicz's statements before the Constitutional Convention|
|Box 1||Ethics and the Constitutional Convention|
|Box 1||Rules of the 1967 NYS Constitutional Convention|
|Box 1||Lists of delegates and committee members|
|Box 2||Pre-Convention Correspondence - general|
|Box 2||Pre-Convention Correspondence - lobbying legislation|
|Box 2||Article I|
|Box 2||Articles V and VI|
|Box 2||Article VIII|
|Box 2||Article IX|
|Box 2||Article XIII|
|Box 2||Article XIV (Forever Wild)|
|Box 2||Proposition 100-A|
|Box 2||Proposition 773|
|Box 2||Proposition 1025|
|Box 2||Proposition 1075-A|
|Box 2||Proposition 1333|
|Box 2||Proposition 1335|
|Box 2||Proposition 1372-A|
|Box 2||Proposition 1382|
|Box 2||Proposition 1389|
|Box 2||Proposition 1390|
|Box 2||Bill of Rights|
|Box 2||Free tuition at SUNY|
|Box 2||Gift or loan of State funds|
|Box 2||Judicial reorganization|
|Box 2||Lowering voting age to 18|
|Box 2||Real estate tax limits|
|Box 2||Separate balloting on each amendment|
|Box 2||Social welfare proposals|
|Box 2||Copies of letters sent by others to Anthony J. Travia|
|Box 2||Correspondence A-C|
|Box 2||Correspondence D-Q|
|Box 2||Correspondence R-S|
|Box 2||Correspondence T-Z|
|Box 2||Correspondence, miscellaneous|
|Box 2||Post-Convention Correspondence, October and November, 1967|
|Box 3||Article XI, Sec. 3-"Blaine Amendment" - for repeal|
|Box 4||Article XI, Sec. 3-"Blaine Amendment" - for retention|
|Box 5||Advisory Committee on the Constitutional Convention|
|Box 5||Temporary State Commission on the Constitutional Convention|
|Box 5||Bill of Rights and Suffrage|
|Box 5||Conference of Mayors|
|Box 5||Economic development|
|Box 5||Executive Branch|
|Box 5||Health, housing and social service|
|Box 5||Articles and propositions|
|Box 5||Schedule of meetings|
|Box 5||Staff lists|
|Box 5||Sub-committee on Public Authorities|
|Box 5||Labor and industry|
|Box 5||Legislature and reapportionment|
|Box 5||Natural resources and agriculture|
|Local Government and Home Rule|
|Box 6||Agendas, schedules, presenters|
|Box 6||Articles (proposed)|
|Box 6||Background information for delegates|
|Box 6||Correspondence on Home Rule Provisions|
|Box 6||Position papers|
|Box 6||Public hearing, Rochester, NY June 8, 1967|
|Box 6||Staff reports no. 1-8|
|Box 6||Sub-committee on local finance|
|Box 6||State finances, taxation and expenditures|
|Articles and propositions|
|Box 7||Article I Public inspection of State records|
|Box 7||Article III Legislature|
|Box 7||Article VI Judicial districts (prop. 1100 and 1197)|
|Box 7||Article VII sec. 8 Gifts of loans of State funds|
|Box 7||Article VIII Local finances|
|Box 7||Article IX State and local powers|
|Box 7||Article X sec. 5 Interstate agreements|
|Box 7||Article XI sec. 3 Relationship of church and state (Blaine Amendment, prop. 1381)|
|Box 7||Article XIII sec. 13 County officers (prop. 1389)|
|Box 7||Article XIV Forever Wild|
|Box 7||Article XV Canals of NYS|
|Box 7||Article XVI Taxation (power)|
|Box 7||Calendar of propositions-summary of those introduced as of May 23, 1967|
|Box 7||Calendars of propositions 7/10/1967, 7/31/1967, 8/1/1967, 8/7/1967, 8/29/1967|
|Box 7||Bill of Rights 8/2/1967|
|Box 7||District attorneys and sheriffs (election and removal of) (see also article XIII)|
|Box 7||Legislature (see also Article III) 6/5/1967, 8/1/1967|
|Box 7||Local governments (see also articles VIII & IX) 6/12/1967|
|Box 7||Public Authorities 7/31/1967|
|Box 7||State finances 8/21/1967|
|Box 7||Suffrage (Article II) 6/5/1967|
|Box 7||Taxation (see also article XVI) 6/26/1967, 7/25/1967|
|Box 7||Article IV Governor and Lieutenant Governor|
|Box 7||Article V Election of Governor 6/26/1967|
|Box 7||Article VI Local courts 6/12/1967|
|Box 7||Article IX Local government 6/5/1967, 6/12/1967|
|Box 7||Article XIV Conservation 6/12/1967|
|Box 7||Proposition 1365 Powers of the Legislature|
|Box 7||Proposition 1373 (Articles I and VII)|
|Box 7||Proposition 1395-A|
|Box 8||Benediction by Rev. Lamar R. Bruner, Jr., 9/20/1967|
|Box 8||Proposed timetable of adjourning the Convention 9/22/1967|
|Box 8||Proposed Constitution of NYS 1967|
|Box 8||Resolution 114, submitting the Constitution to voters|
|Box 8||Citizens Public Expenditure Survey, Inc. The Albany Report and For your Information|
|Box 8||News releases|
|Box 8||Photograph of the delegates assembled|
|Box 8||Photographs of Erastus Corning II|
|Box 8||Newspaper clippings|
|Box 8||Albany City business (misc.)|
|Box 8||South Mail, Albany, NY, agreement between the city and New York State|
|Oversize 1||Certificates for service at the Constitutional Convention of 1967 on both the Committee on Local Government and Home Rule and the Committee on Intergovernmental Relations - signed by committee members and Anthony J. Travia, president of the Convention|