Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Governor Is Inaugurated . . . 100 Years Ago

The following excerptsincluding the text of Governor William Sulzer's inaugural address--are from the inauguration coverage that appeared in the New York Sun on January 2, 1913.


Says He Begins Duties Free From All Pledges and Influence.


Friend of Honest Business, Whether Big or Little.


New Executive Walks From Mansion to InaugurationNotables There.

Albany, Jan. 1Gov. William Sulzer walked from the Executive Mansion to the Capital to-day, where he took the oath of office at noon in the Assembly chamber. Afterward he addressed the thousands standing in Capitol Park who were unable to gain admission to the ceremonies.

Gov. Dix walked with the Governor-elect from the mansion. The military staffs of the Governors went to the mansion in carriages from the Hotel Ten Eyck but followed the lead of the two Governors in walking to the Capitol. The score of carriages trailed along beside the Gubernatorial procession, but they were empty. It might have been taken for a funeral cortege but for the gorgeous uniforms and gold lace of the members of the staff.

The ideal day made possible the simplicity of the Governor's inauguration plans. Despite the absence of a military parade the number of visitors in Albany to-day was even larger than usual. Every element of Democracy and every section of the State was well represented. Even the suffragists took a hand in making Gov. Sulzer's inauguration an enthusiastic one. 

Executive Chamber Crowded.
Not in years have so many people crowded the Executive Chamber to greet a new Governor as shook hands with Gov. Sulzer during his first public reception after his address. Later in the afternoon at the Executive Mansion Gov. Sulzer and Mrs. Sulzer held a reception for more than three hours. They were assisted by State officers and their wives, and by Mrs. William Randolph Hearst, Mrs. Perry Belmont, Mrs. J. Charles Lippincott of Baltimore and Mrs. Anthony Cuneo, Mrs. Clarence J. Stearn and Mrs. F. W. Straus of New York. This proved to be one of the most popular receptions because of the real show of hospitality on the part of the Sulzers.

The Governor and Mrs. Sulzer were up early, and Mrs. Sulzer came to the door personally to receive the first package to be shipped from New York to Albany by parcel post. It was a piece of Lenox pottery from Trenton and it cost twenty-six cents to send it.

Gov. Sulzer's staff arrived about 11 o'clock and half an hour later Gov. Dix, his private secretary, John A. Mason, and his staff came in carriages. . . . 

"Good morning, gentlemen; we walk over," [Sulzer] said, and helped himself into his overcoat.

The two Governors abreast, their respective secretaries and staffs behind them in single file, the procession started for the Capitol. The waiting carriages were spurned, but a mounted policeman had to go ahead of the line on the sidewalk to clear a path through the throngs near the mansion.

As the party turned up the south side of State street from Eagle they were met by a procession headed by a band and a score of delegates from the German Democracy of Greater New York on white horses and nearly 400 men in command of ex-Sheriff William F. Groll of New York. They were on they way to the mansion to escort the Governors to the Capitol but were a little late.

Mr. Sulver announced that he had determined to enter the Capitol by way of the front entrance, necessitating a march up the main entrance stairway. The mounted men and officers afoot cleared the way for the column, which was greeted with cheers.

At the top there was a slight delay because the doors had been locked by order of the Superintendent of Public Buildings. When these had been thrown open the lines moved in and through the halls to the Executive Chamber, where the Governors and their escorts waited several minutes before starting for the Assembly Chamber.

Ex-Sheriff Groll's men arrived at the Capitol about his time and, refusing to take the elevators because all could not ride at once, wound their way up two long flights of stairs yelling "Hurrah for Sulzer!" and chanting sentiments about "the conquering hero." . . .

Governors Loudly Cheered.
Governors Sulzer and Dix reached the Assembly chamber at noon. They were greeted with prolonged cheering, in which handsomely gowned women and men in the conventional black, rising to their feet, joined. . . . 

Gov. Sulzer in his address struck a vibrant note among his hearers and the cheering forced him to halt in his speech until the enthusiasm had subsided. Gov. Sulzer said:

"I realize to the fullest extend the solemnity of the obligation I have just taken as the Governor of New York. Conscious of my own limitations I keenly appreciate the responsibilities it entails.

"Grateful to the people who have honored me with their suffrages, I enter upon the performance of the duties of the office without a promise, except my pledge to all the people to serve them faithfully and honestly and to the best of my ability. I am free, without entanglements, and shall remain free. No influence controls me but the dictates of my conscience and my determination to do my duty, day in and day out, as I see the right, regardless of consequences. In the future, as in the past, I will walk the street called straight, and without fear and without favor I shall execute the laws justly and impartiallywith malice toward none.

"Those who know me best know that I stand firmly for certain fundamental principlesfor freedom of speech; for the right of lawful assembly; for the freedom of the press; for liberty under law; for civil and religious freedom; for constitutional government; for equality and justice to all; for home rule, and the reserved rights of the State; for equal rights to every one, and special privileges to no one; and for unshackled opportunity as the beacon light of individual hope and the best guarantee for the perpetuity of our free institutions.

"New York is the greatest State in the Union. It should always stand as an exemplar of economical and efficient and progressive administration. As the Governor I shall, in so far as I can, give the people of the State an honest, an efficient, an economical and a businesslike administration of public affairs. I say businesslike advisedly, because I assure the business men in every part of our State that they can rely on me at all times to do my utmost to promote the commercial interests of our Commonwealth. I realize how important they are, and shall always be exceedingly careful to take no step that will jeopardize the financial and the commercial supremacy of the first State in the republic.

"Suffice it to say that I am a friend of every business, whether big or little, as long as it is legitimate, and will always have its welfare in view in the administration of State affairs. To this end I shall work increasingly for quicker and better transportation agencies, and for improved and larger terminal facilities, in order that New York shall continue to receive her just share of the trade and commerce of the country.

"It is my purpose to be the Governor of all the people, and, in so far as possible, to follow in the footsteps of Silas Wright in the honesty and the simplicity of my administration; and to the best of my ability to try to emulate the example of Samuel J. Tilden in my efforts for progressive reforms along constructive and constitutional lines.

"Let me ask all to be patient and charitable. To avoid mistakes I must go slow. It is better to be slow than to be sorry.

"I know that I am human, and that I shall make mistakes in human ways. Being human, I believe in the welfare of my fellow man, and whatever concerns the good of humanity appeals to me, and will ever have my constant care and earnest consideration.

"Whatever I do as Governor will always be open to all and aboveboard. I shall confide in the people, and I indulge the hope that when my official term, this day begun, comes to an end, that I shall have accomplished something to merit their approval and to justify the confidence they have reposed in my intentions. Hence I shall promise little, but work unceasingly to secure the things now demanded by the people. They know an ounce of performance is worth a ton of promise, and they will judge my administration not by what I say now but what I do hereafter.

"The hour has struck, and the task of administrative reform is mine. The cause is the cause of the State and is worthy of the zealous efforts of any man. I grasp the opportunity the people now give me, and am resolved to shirk no responsibility; to work for the welfare of the people; to correct every existing abuse; to abolish useless offices, and wherever possible consolidate bureaus and commissions to secure greater economy and more efficiency; to uproot official integrity; to simplify the methods of orderly administration; to advance the prosperity of all the people; to be ever dissatisfied with conditions that can be improved; to promote the common weal; to guard the honor, and protect the right of the Empire State; and last but not least to reduce governmental expenditures to the minimum, and thus lessen as much as possible the heavy burdens of taxation."

After the ceremonies Gov. Sulzer and ex-Gov. Dix marched through the corridors and down the stairs to the Executive Chamber. Gov. Sulzer came out again immediately, however, and made a short speech to the thousands gathered on the steps and the Capitol lawn. It is estimated that 5,000 persons were there. . . .

Great Crowd at Mansion.
Due to Mrs. Sulzer's announcement that she planned an open house for all, the crowd at the public reception of the Sulzers in the Executive Mansion was the largest that ever attended such a function. Many people came in carriages, but many hundred others walked and joined the throng which extended from the doors to Eagle street, and spread out over a large area of the sidewalk. For three hours the people passed in single file before Governor and Mrs. Sulzer and the receiving line.

Mrs. Sulzer has announced that she will get along without a social secretary or a housekeeper. Her sisters, the Misses Roselheim of Philadelphia, will stay with her and help. 

"I think I can get along very well without a social secretary," Mrs. Sulzer said. "My sisters will help me a great deal, and as for a housekeeper, I have a most competent butler and I love to run my own house. I prefer not to have either the friction or the expense of a housekeeper.

"We shall not entertain on an elaborate scale. My idea is to keep open house the year round, without any great formalities or expenditure of money. I shall be at home informally to any one who desires to call on two or three afternoons a week from 3 until 5 o'clock. I have not decided what days. And I hope we always will be able to welcome everyone.

"When Mr. Sulzer brings some one home to luncheon I hope we always will have enough to offer. You know I am not a society leader, but I do want every one to like to come here and to feel as if they would get a welcome. I shall go out very little."

Mrs. Sulzer says she is a suffragist.

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