Great Seal of New York State

Great The Great Seal of the State of New York may not be reproduced without the express permission of the Department of State.  Its use is prescribed by statute and is limited to specific purposes.
The Great Seal of New York State

Since the Revolution and the organization of New York as a state, the appointment by the Legislature of various commissions to prepare devices for the Great Seal of the state has resulted in five modifications:

The Great Seal of 1777 was devised by a committee consisting of Messrs. Morris, Jay and Hobart, and was to be used for all the purposes for which the Crown Seal was used under the Colony.

The second form was the Arms and Seal complete, devised by Governor George Clinton and Chancellor Livingston in 1778.

The third Seal was devised pursuant to an act passed in 1798, authorizing the Comptroller, Attorney General and Surveyor General to repair the old Seal or cause a new one to be made. The commission decided to make a new one and recorded a description of it on January 22, 1799.

In 1809 the Legislature passed an act authorizing the Governor to prepare what became the fourth Great Seal; first used on November 28, 1809.

The fifth and last form given to the Coat of Arms on the seal of the state was in 1882, following a report by a commission consisting of Governor Alonzo B. Cornell, Secretary of State Joseph B. Carr and State Comptroller James W. Wadsworth.

The Great Seal is in the custody of the Secretary of State (Section 73, State L). All matters issued under the Great Seal since March 16, 1778, continue to be issued under the seal, except for documents certified by the secretary under the Department of State seal. The Coat of Arms is the pictorial device to be used on official letterhead and public documents printed and circulated under the authority of the state (Section 72, State L). The Secretary may furnish an impression, replica or print of the Great Seal for use as a collector's item, for use in preparing a collector's item or for educational purposes (Section 74, State L).


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