enter name and hit return
Find in Page
Brooklyn Union-Argus
Monday 21 July 1879

It's Officers for Ninety Years-An Interesting Record

The Importer's Record gives a list of certain Federal offices in New York, 
which we copy below.  It seems that there have been twenty-five Collectors 
of Customs at the port of New York since the Custom House was organized in 
1789.  Also twenty-five Naval  Officers and twenty-three Surveyors.  

The first Collector was a personage of much note in his day, having been 
one of WASHINGTON'S most trusted officers in the Revolution.  He was 
appointed by WASHINGTON, against the protest of HAMILTON and others, 
notwithstanding he was a political opponent.  

LAMB was an extreme partisan; but WASHINGTON wanted to reward him for 
his great service as a soldier.  He was a wine merchant before the Revolution, 
and was not, therefore, unacquainted with trade.  He became involved by 
the peculations of a subordinate to such an extent that he was compelled 
to resign, and lost all his property in making up his deficiencies 
to the Government.

There was David GELSTON, the third Collector.  He was a confrere of LAMB 
and an anti-Federalist.  He was  quite as active in politics as some of our 
latter day Collectors.  Nevertheless, that fact did not militate against 
him as Collector of Customs.  Politics in the Custom House is no new thing, 
it would seem.  Indeed, partisanship ran higher in the ancient days than 
now.  If one will follow down the list here given, he will see many 
familiar names associated with important events, and in all the long roll 
of appointees it will be noted that only two declinations are 
recorded.  These are noticeable features, both for their fewness and for 
their wide departure from the general rule.

Names                   When appointed          Remarks
John LAMB               Aug 06, 1789            Dismissed
Joshua SANDS            May 28, 1797            Removed
David GELSTON           Jan 26, 1802            Resigned
Jonathan THOMPSON       Jan 13, 1821
Samuel SWARTOUT         Mar 29, 1830            Com. expired
Jesse HOYT              Mar 29, 1838            Resigned
John J. MORGAN  	     Mar 01, 1841            Removed
Edward CURTIS           Sept 10, 1841           Removed
Charles G. FERRIS       ............  	  Rejected- June 14, 1841
C.P. VAN NESS           Dec 18, 1844            Resigned-
                                                July 01, 1845
Cornelius W. LAWRENCE   Feb 24, 1846            Resigned
Hugh MAXWELL            Sept 26, 1850           Removed
Daniel S. DICKINSON     Mar 30, 1853            Declined
Greene C. BRONSON       Apr 8, 1853             Removed
Heman J. REDFIELD       Jan 26, 1854            Resigned
Augustus SCHELL         Jan 14, 1858            Removed
Hiram BARNEY            Mar 27, 1861            Resigned
Simeon DRAPER           Mar 03, 1865            Resigned
Preston KING            Sept 01, 1865           Deceased
C. P. CLINCH            Nov 14, 1865            Act'g Coll'r until May 15, 1866
Henry A. SMYTHE         May 16, 1866            Removed
Moses H. GRINNELL       Apr 01, 1869            Removed
Thomas MURPHY           July 31, 1870           Resigned
Chester A. ARTHUR       Dec 15, 1871            Removed
Edwin A. MERLITT        Jul 16, 1878            ---------------

Names                   When Appointed          Remarks
Benjamin WALKER         Aug 31, 1789            Resigned
Richard ROGERS          Feb 20, 1797            Removed
Samuel OSGOOD           Nov 18, 1803
John FERGUSON           Feb 03, 1814
Enos T. THROOP          Jan 10, 1833            1887 Resigned
William S. COE          Mar 29, 1838            Removed
Thomas LORD             Sep 10, 1841            Removed
Jeremiah TOWLE          Jun 15, 1844            Removed
Michael HOFFMAN         Mar 18, 184?            Deceased
Cornelius S. BOGARDUS   Jan 31, 184?            Removed
Philip LONE             Sep 25, 1850            Deceased
David A. BOKEE          Feb 09, 1852            Removed
Heman J. REDFIELD       Mar 30, 1853            Appointed Col'r.
John R. BROADHEAD       Jan 31, 1854            Com. expired
Ausburn BIRDSALL        FEb 15, 1858            Removed
George DENISON          Jul 26, 1861            Com. expired
Moses F. ODELL          Aug 31, 1865            Vice G. DENISON
Special Deputy          Jun 13, 1866            M. F. ODELL, de'd.
John A. DIX             Oct 01, 1866            Resigned  Nov 24, 1866
Special Deputy          Apr 01, 1867
E. A. MERRITT           Apr 01, 1869
M. H. GRINNELL          Aug 01, 1870            Vice, E. A. MERRITT
A. H. LAFLIN            Apr 17, 1871            Vice, M.H.GRINNELL
A. B. CORNELL           Feb 01, 1877            Vice,A.H. LAFLIN,
Silas W. BURT           Jul 16, 1878            Vice, A.B. CORNELL

Names                   When Appointed          Remarks
John LASHER             Aug 03, 1789          Confirmed Aug 03, 1789
Wm. S. SMITH            Feb 23, 1801
Peter A. SCHENCK        Mar 21, 1806
John HAFF               Feb 15, 1814          Removed
Joseph G. SWIFT         Nov 30, 1818          Com expired
Peter STAGG             Jan 22, 1827
M. M. NOSH              Apr 25, 1829
Hector CRAIG J.             10, 1833'37
Eli MOORE               Jan 24, 1840          Removed
Wm. TAGGARD             Sep 10, 1842           do.
Henry C. ATWOOD         .............         Temp'y com ex.
Elijah F. PURDY         Mar 15, 1845          Com. expired.
Zebedee RING            Mar 16, 1849            do.
John COCHRANE           Mar 30, 1853            do.
Emanuel B. HART         Jun 03, 1858          Removed
Rufus F. ANDREWS        Jul 16, 1861            do.
Abram WAKEMAN           Aug 25, 1864            do.
Alonzo B. CORNELL       Apr 01, 1869          Resigned
James L. BENEDICT,      Acting Surveyor       Jul 01, 1873
George H. SHARPE        Apr 01, 1873          Term expired.
James L. BENEDICT       Acting Surveyor       Dec 05, 1877
Edwin A. MERRITT        Dec 21, 1877          Resigned.
Charles K. GRAHAM       Jul 26, 1878          in office.

Transcriber Kathy Jost-Shouse