Collector of the port of new york

The Collector of Customs at the Port of New York, most often referred to as Collector of the Port of New York, sometimes also as Collector of Customs for the Port of New York or (erroneously) Collector of Customs for the District of New York, was a federal officer who was in charge of the collection of import duties on foreign goods that entered the United States by ship at the Port of New York.

History

The first Collector, John Lamb, was appointed by the Congress of the Confederation in 1784. Afterwards, the Collectors were appointed by the U.S. President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

The office was described as "the prize plum of Federal patronage not only in this State but perhaps in the country, outside of positions in the Cabinet."[1] The annual salary in 1920 was $12,000 plus about $8,000 in fees.[2]

The position was abolished in 1966, with the last Collector, Joseph P. Kelly, kept on as a consultant some time after.[3]

List of Collectors

  • 1 John Lamb app. March 22, 1784–1797
  • 2 Joshua Sands nominated April 26, confirmed May 19, 1797–1801
  • 3 David Gelston app. July 9, 1801 – December 1820
  • 4 Jonathan Thompson app. November 1820 – 1829
  • 5 Samuel Swartwout rec. app. April 25, took office May 1, 1829, nominated January 13, confirmed March 29, 1830–1838
  • 6 Jesse Hoyt 1838 – February 27, 1841
  • 7 John J. Morgan February – March 1841
  • 8 Edward Curtis March 23, 1841–1844
  • Charles G. Ferris nominated by Tyler, 1844 rejected by the US Senate
  • 9 Cornelius P. Van Ness 1844–1845
  • 10 Cornelius Van Wyck Lawrence 1845–1849
  • 11 Hugh Maxwell 1849–1853
  • Daniel S. Dickinson nominated 1853 by Pierce, but declined
  • 12 Greene C. Bronson 1853
  • 13 Heman J. Redfield Nov 1, 1853 – July 1, 1857 resigned
  • 14 Augustus Schell 1857–1861
  • 15 Hiram Barney 1861–1864
  • 16 Simeon Draper 1864–1865 (11 months)
  • 17 Preston King app. August 12 – Nov 1865 (suicide)
  • Charles P. Clinch, acting Nov 1865 – May 1866
  • 18 Henry A. Smyth app. May 10, 1866–1869
  • 19 Moses H. Grinnell app. March 20, 1869–1870
  • 20 Thomas Murphy app. July 13, 1870–1871
  • 21 Chester A. Arthur app. November 1871 – 1878
  • Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. was nominated December 1877, and rejected by the US Senate
  • 22 Edwin A. Merritt 1878–1881
  • 23 William H. Robertson nominated March 24, confirmed May 18, 1881–1885
  • 24 Edward L. Hedden 1885–1886
  • 25 Daniel Magone 1886–1889
  • 26 Joel Erhardt 1889 – Aug 1, 1891
  • 27 Jacob Sloat Fassett August 1 – Sept 1891
  • 28 Francis Hendricks sworn in September 28, 1891[4] – 1893[5]
  • 29 James T. Kilbreth July 1893 – June 23, 1897 (died in office)
  • Joseph James Couch, Special Deputy Collector since 1890, Acting June 23 – July 14, 1897[6]
  • 30 George R. Bidwell July 14, 1897 – April 3, 1902
  • 31 Nevada Stranahan April 3, 1902 – July 1907 went abroad, then resigned due to ill health
  • Henry C. Stuart Acting while Stranahan was abroad July – December 1907
  • 32 Edward S. Fowler nominated December 4, 1907–1909
  • 33 William Loeb, Jr. March 9, 1909–1913
  • 34 John Purroy Mitchel (elected Mayor of New York City) nominated May, confirmed June 1913–October 8, 1913[7]
  • 35 Dudley Field Malone[8] Nominated on November 10, 1913–1917
  • 36 Byron R. Newton confirmed September 30, 1917 – 1921[9]
  • 37 George W. Aldridge nominated and confirmed April 19, 1921 – June 13, 1922 (died in office)[10]
  • Henry C. Stuart Acting June 13, 1922 – 1923[11]
  • 38 Philip Elting 1923–1933[12]
  • 39 Harry M. Durning 1933–1953 defendant in the case of Dioguardi v. Durning, 139 F.2d 774 (2d Cir. 1944), frequently used in Civil Procedure courses as a starting point to teach pleadings under the modern approach of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
  • 40 Robert Wharton Dill August 5, 1953–1961
  • 41 Joseph P. Kelly July 1961 – June 1966

A private act of the 58th Congress in March, 1904,[13] indemnified James T. Kilbreth (posthumously), George R. Bidwell, and Nevada N. Stranahan as collectors of customs for the district and port of New York for the losses through embezzlement by Byram W. Winters, a customs service clerk. Stranahan received a refund in the sum of $8,821.44 from the federal government, having personally settled the entire amount of the fraud.

Notes

Sources

  • in NYT on July 20, 1878
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