Mayor John Lansing of Albany was one of three delegates from New York to the CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1787. A former member of Congress and an ally of Governor George Clinton, Lansing was chosen to represent the antinationalist sentiment of the state's political leadership. Lansing was a coauthor of the PATERSON PLAN and a spokesman for the faction that opposed creating a strong national government. He and fellow New York delegate ROBERT YATES withdrew on July 10 charging that the convention was exceeding its congressional mandate to propose amendments to the ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION.
In the New York debate over RATIFICATION OF THE CONSTITUTION Lansing was one of the anti-Federalist leaders. He was a delegate to the state ratifying convention where he urged defeat of the new Constitution and summoning of a new federal convention. After a proratification majority was assured, Lansing urged conditional ratification and then ratification reserving the right to secede. The long series of proposed amendments?including a BILL OF RIGHTS?that accompanied New York's instrument of ratification was largely Lansing's work.
After 1788 Lansing held state judicial office?serving as Chief Justice and Chancellor?but he never held any federal office except presidential elector.
DENNIS J. MAHONEY