New York (State). Governor (1921-1922 : Miller)

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Legislation of 1921 established a Board of Estimate and Control and directed it to conduct a survey of all state departments, offices, and institutions to determine where waste and duplication of effort existed. The Board was then to recommend improvements to each agency or recommend to the legislature that agencies or functions be consolidated or discontinued.

The legislation also directed that agency budget requests be submitted to the Board for examination and revision; the Board was to file with the legislature annually a recommended budget.

Further 1921 legislation abolished the State Printing Board and assigned all of its functions and duties to the Board of Estimate and Control.

From the description of Board of Estimate and Control report files, 1921-1922. (New York State Archives). WorldCat record id: 83936201

Nathan Lewis Miller was born in Solon, New York on October 10, 1868. Trained as a lawyer, he served in local government and was active in the Republican Party in Cortland County before serving as state comptroller from 1901 to 1903. Miller was subsequently appointed to fill a vacancy in the state supreme court, where he served until assuming a seat on the state Court of Appeals in 1913. After two years on the state's highest court, Miller resigned and returned to the practice of law in Syracuse. In 1920, he received the Republican gubernatorial nomination and successfully unseated Governor Alfred E. Smith. After Smith defeated him to reclaim the governorship in 1922, Miller retired from politics and returned once again to his legal career, including service as general counsel for the United States Steel Corporation. Nathan Miller died on June 26, 1953 at the age of eighty-four.

Highly respected as an attorney, Miller was known for fiscal conservatism in politics. While governor, he pursued the reorganization of state government, but approached the process in piecemeal fashion as opposed to the broader restructuring proposed by Governor Smith. In 1921, on Miller's recommendation, the Department of Labor was reorganized. The Industrial Commission was replaced with a single industrial commissioner and a three-member Industrial Board was created to issue, amend, and interpret the state Industrial Code Rules and to review and determine claims in workers' compensation cases. Also during Miller's administration, the two state public service districts were abolished and replaced by a single Public Service Commission with statewide authority over all public utilities except rapid transit in New York City, which was placed under a new Transit Commission.

Miller supported the recommendations of the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate Seditious Activities (Lusk Committee) for curbing the spread of radical thought, signing into law a package of legislation previously vetoed by Governor Smith. Miller also supported the creation of the Motion Picture Commission (later replaced by the Motion Picture Division within the Education Department) to review the moral character of motion pictures prior to licensing for exhibition in the state. Lastly, Miller actively advocated the establishment of the Water Power Commission, which was directed to investigate the state's developed and undeveloped water power resources. The commission was empowered to issue licenses to private entities authorizing the diversion of state waters for power development or other purposes.

For further information regarding the life and political career of Nathan Miller, see "Miller, Nathan L." In Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, vol. 3, ed. Robert Sobel and John Raimo, 1100. Westport, Ct.: Meckler Books, 1978; and Case, Dick. "Miller, Nathan L(ewis)." In The Encyclopedia of New York State, ed. Peter Eisenstadt, 985-986. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2005.

From the guide to the Central subject and correspondence files, 1921-1922, (New York State Archives)

Relation Name
associatedWith Conference on the Limitation of Armament (1921-1922 : Washington, D.C.) corporateBody
associatedWith Miller, Nathan L. 1868-1953. person
associatedWith New York (State). Banking Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Dept. of Farms and Markets. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Dept. of Health. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Dept. of Highways. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Dept. of Prisons. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Dept. of Public Works. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Education Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Executive Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Executive Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Governor. corporateBody
associatedWith New York State Library. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Motion Picture Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith New York State Museum. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Secretary of State. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). State Engineer and Surveyor. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Treasurer's Office. corporateBody
associatedWith Port of New York Authority. corporateBody
associatedWith United Traction Company (Albany, N.Y.) corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State)
New York (State)
New York (State)
New York (N.Y.)
Arms control
Cayuga Indians
Expenditures, Public
Finance, Public
Indians of North America
Industrial relations
Local transit
Motion pictures
Motion pictures
Oneida Indians
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Public utilities
Seneca Indians
Strikes and lockouts

Corporate Body

Active 1920

Active 1922



Ark ID: w6tr213c

SNAC ID: 40710654