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important letter to Congress enclosing maps of the harbors, descriptions
of the beaches, etc. He recommended the erection of a fort near Setauket
to have an armament of six or eight guns, and another at Stony Brook
to have two six or nine pounders. He also wished a capable gunsmith
sent to them.

In 1777 more than three hundred light horse, on their way east,
bivouacked for the night on the estate of Judge '1 hompson, and made, as
usual, free use of his property. The commanding officers, among whom
was Sir Henry Clinton, in their tours of the island, frequently stayed at
Sagtikos. On one occasion the house was assaulted in the night by some
British sailors belonging to a vessel of war, and Judge Thompson was
himself dragged by a rope around his neck across the highway, and threat-
ened with death, but was saved by one of their number saying that, as he
was a magistrate under ihe king, they should not hang him. He was
also fired at while going up-stairs in his house, but lortunately was not
hit. The bullet is in possession of his descendants. They took with
them some of his furniture and carried it on board of a frigate at New
York, but he succeeded in having it restored to him after much trouble.
His wife, Mary Gardiner, was daughter of Col. Abraham Gardiner of
Easthampton. They were married June 4, 1772, and had children, two
sons, Jonathan and Abraham Gardiner, both of whom became distin-
guished citizens of New York.

Col. Gardiner, the father of Mrs. Thompson, was. the second son of
David Gardiner, fourth Lord of the Manor of Gardiner's Island ; he resided
at Easthampton, and was a leading character on Long Island during the
war of the Revolution. Col. Gardiner, as executor, had charge of the
manor during the minority of John Lyon Gardiner, the seventh Lord and
proprietor, and as Gardiner's bay was occupied by the British fleet under
Admiral Arbulhnot, who obtained from the island nearly all their pro-
visions, his duty to his ward obliged him to be careful in his conduct
so that the "British would not vent their spite against this young gen-
tleman," who was not of age. Nevertheless Col. Gardiner co-operated
with Lieut. -Col. Livingston, who commanded the troops on the east end
of Long Island, until the town of Easthampton was occupied by a de-
tachment of British soldiers under Sir William Erskine.

As Col. Gardiner's house was the finest in Easthampton, it was natu-

1 89 1. J The Family of Thompson, Suffolk Co., N. Y. ^j

rally selected as the headquarters, and he entertained, at different times,
Lord Percy, Lord Cathcart, Gov. Tryon, Major Andre, and others. The
unfortunate Andre was a great favorite in the family, and left with them
several mementos of friendship ; and two of the wine-glasses from his camp
chest, presented by him to Col. Gardiner on the eve of his departure, in
exchange for two of Col. Gardiner's, are still preserved in the family.

Dr. Nathaniel Gardiner, son of Col. Gardiner, who studied medicine
under the celebrated Drs. Shippen and Rush of Philadelphia, served
in the war as surgeon in the First New Hampshire Regiment.

Col. Gardiner married Mary Smith, a descendant of Chief Justice
Smith (who had been governor of Tangier) of St. George's Manor.
Their children were : ist, Rachel, married Col. David Mulford and after-
ward John Gardiner, of Eaton's Neck.

2d, Dr. Nathaniel, married Eliza Dering (the Derings were one of the
best families of the County of Kent, England).

3d, Mary, married Judge Thompson.

4th, Capt. Abraham of the Militia (which title he went by to dis-
tinguish him from his father), married Phoebe Dayton. He had children :
Abraham S., married Abby Lee, and left descendants mentioned in note
on the NicoU family ; Mary, married Philip G. Van Wyck (a grandson of
Gen. Van Cortlandt, of the manor), and had : Joanna ; Cortlandt, died
unm., a midshipman U. S. N. ; Eliza, married Wm. Van Ness Living-
ston ; Pierre C. ; and Anna Van Rensselaer, m. Judge Wells ; David mar-
ried Juliana McLachlan of Jamaica, W. L, whose grandfather was Capt.
McLachlan who commanded the united clans of McLachlan and ^Ic-
Lean at the battle of Culloden, Scotland, and was beheaded for treason.
Their children were : Julia, who married John Tyler, President of the U. S.
(and had children Gardiner, John Alexander, Lyon G.,Lachlan, Fitzwalter,
Julia, and Margaret) ; Alexander, died unmarried, clerk of the U. S. Cir-
cuit Court, N. Y. ; Margaret, married John Beeckman (had one child,
Henry, who was killed by a fall from his horse in Va., Aug. 4, 1875).
Mr. Beeckman was killed by the accidental discharge of his gun while
shooting. Mr. Beeckman's mother was a Livingston. Col. David I>ion
married his cousin Sarah Gardiner, daughter of David Thompson (and
has David, Sarah Diodati, and Robert Alexander). Samuel S., son of
Capt. Abraham, married Mary, daughter of Ezra L'Hommedieu, a mem-
ber of congress, and had Mary, married Prof. Eben N. Horsford of Har-
vard University ; she died, when he married her sister, Phcebe. Frances
married Prof. Lane of Harvard University, and has Gardiner and a
daughter who married Bayard Van Rensselaer of Albany,

Nathaniel, son of Capt. Abraham, married Eliza Frances, and had
John B., William, and Eliza, rn. Dr. L Hartshorne.

Dr. Nathaniel, son of Col. Gardiner, had two children, Robert S.
who died unmarried, and Eliza P. who married Reuben Brum ley, and
died without children.

Jonathan, son of Judge Isaac Thompson, was born at Sagtikos, Dec.
7, 1773, died at New York, Dec. 30, 1846, and married July 4, 1796,
Elizabeth, born on Shelter Island, May 19, 1773, died at Sagtikos, May
31, 1868, daughter of James Havens, of Shelter Island. He became a
distinguished merchant in New York City, under the firm of Gardiner &
Thompson, being in partnership with Nathaniel Gardiner. They were in
ithe West India importing business, which they carried on very extensively,

A 2 The Family of Thompson, Suffolk Co., N. V. [Jan.,

but being unfortunate, the firm was dissolved, and Mr. Thompson con-
tinued it under his own name. As a politician previous to and during
the war of 1812, Mr. Thompson was prominent in the old Democratic
Republican party of that period, favoring the war and officiating for ten
successive years as chairman of the Republican General Committee, at that
time a very important position. As such he presided at the first public
meeting held in Tammany Hall. In consequence of his long services as
presiding officer, he received the appellation of the "Everlasting Chair-

"On Nov. 24, 1813, he was appointed by President James Madison col-
lector of direct taxes and internal duties, under the Act of July 22, 1813,
and continued as such until the closure of the office in 1819. On Dec.
20 he was appointed by President Monroe, by and with the consent of
the Senate, collector of the customs for the district of New York, to
which office he was re-appointed by the same chief magistrate Jan. 13,
1825, and again re-appointed by President John Quincy Adams Jan. 27,
1829, and removed by President Andrew Jackson April 25, 1829, in order
to award the oflfice to his (the President's) particular friend Samuel
Swarthout, who proved a defaulter to a large amount. During the
official connection of Jonathan Thompson with the government, his
fidelity and accuracy were so remarkable, that, with all the rigid scrutiny
exercised by the examiners at Washington, no error was found except one
often cents discovered during the administration of Mr. Adams. About
the time that strenuous eff"orts were being made to effect his removal from
ofifice on political grounds, he having favored the election of William H.
Crawford to the Presidency, Mr. Adams had so much confidence in the
integrity of Mr. Thompson, as proven by the correctness of his accounts,
that he declined removing him, and at an interview in New York person-
ally narrated the whole story. From 1829 he was in no public position,
but continued the warehousing business in the valuable "'Thompson
Stores," which he owned in Brooklyn ; he added to the river front and
erected new buildings. In 1840 he was chosen president of the Man-
hattan Company at the time of its financi5.1 embarrassment, and by his
prudence and able management it was reinstated among dividend paying
institutions. He continued in this office until his death, Dec. 30, 1S46,
aged 73 years and 23 days. Mr. Thompson was unostentatious in man-
ners ; he courted no popularity, yet carried vvith him no stinted share of
that respect which belongs to genuine worth, and dying left behind him a
name which relatives and friends have never heard and never will hear con-
nected with aught but expressions of approbation and esteem." In this
connection the following verses are copied from a poem by Mrs. Saltus,
which were written at a summer resort about the different visitors. These
lines are in relation to the late David Thompson, the eldest son of the
above-named Jonathan, and were written about 1850.

The Thompsons' descendants of Long Island's glory,

Whose ancestors' fame ascends from the sod,
His name is ennobled in Manhattan's story

By virtue and justice, the good gifts of God.

His mantle of honor on his son has descended,

The richest inheritance mortal can hold ;
For vain are escutcheons if truth is not blended

Amid their devices in letters of gold.

1891.] The Family of Thompson, Suffolk Co., X. Y. 43

Jonathan Thompson had six children who grew up, viz. : David, who
married Sarah Diodati, daughter of John Lyon Gardiner, Lord of the
Manor of Gardiner's Island.

George W., married Eliza Prall.

Jonathan, married Katharine Todhunter.

Abraham Gardiner, married Sarah E. Strong.

Mary Gardiner, married Samuel B. Gardiner, 10th proprietor and
Lord of the Manor of Gardiner's Island ; and Elizabeth, married Alonzo
Brown, but had no issue.

David Thompson, born May 3, 1798, died Feb. 22, 1871, married
Sarah Diodati, daughter of John Lyon Gardiner, 7th proprietor and Lord
of the Manor of Gardiner's Island, and sister of Hon. Samuel B. Gardiner
who married Mr. Thompson's sister. Mrs. Thompson's mother was a
Griswold of the distinguished Connecticut family of that name, so many of
whom have been governors of the State and distinguished public men.
Her uncles John and Charles Griswold were prominent shijjping mer-
chants in New York, and rivals in importance of their cousins N. L. and
George Griswold. John left no children, and Charles had but two : Eliza-
beth, who married Judge Lane, a very wealthy and distinguished citizen
of Sandusky ; and Sarah, who married Lorillard Spencer. (Her eldest
daughter married Prince Virginio Cenci, Duke of Vicovaro. ) Mrs.
Thompson's middle name of Diodati* was received from her great-grand-
mother on her mother's side. 'I his family is now entirely extinct in this
country. Mrs. Thompson's maiden name was Gardiner, f she being of

* The Diodati family originated in Lucca, from whence they went to Switzerland,
from there to London, and finally William Diodati came to America. He was a
gentleman and a man of education, and left his library to Yale College when he died.
His sister married an Englishman named Scarlett, of good family. She had no
children, and he (William Diodati) came into possession by her will of considerable
silver plate marked with the arms of the Scarlett family, which is now preserved by
his descendants, who are very few in numbers, the male line having died out entirely
in this country. The representative of the family in Switzerland, M. le Comte Ga-
briel Diodati of Geneva, a gentleman of wealth and position, has in his possession a
number of documents showing the importance of this family. Among them are " an
elegant bordered parchment from the chancery of the Duke of Lucca, reciting in Latin
the illustrious history of the Diodatis and their right to bear certain dignities and
titles. A patent from Louis Fourteenth of France, which is a large parchment signed
with his own hand and recognizing the nobility of the family and their right to hold
estates in Frances, with a large wax seal hanging from it. The parchment slates that
the Diodatis back to the 14th century have always been the flower of chivalry. There
is also in the possession of the family a superb folio, bound in crimjon, of 14 pages of
vellum, with the imperial seal of Joseph Second hanging from it, in a gilt box. It
states the dignities of the family in magnificent terms, and confirms to it the title of
count of the empire. One of the pages is illuminated with the family arms, the shield
being placed on the imperial eagle. The descent of the American Diodatis is well
authenticated and acknowledged."

f The Gardiners of Gardiner Island are descended from Lion Gardiner, who was
a lieutenant by rank, and master of works of fortification in the encampment of the
Prince of Orange. He came to this country in the employ of Lord Say and Sele and
Lord Brooke, Sir Arthur Haslerigge, Sir Matthew Boynton, Col. George Fen wick, and
others, and he was to be employed in the drawing, ordering, and making of a city,,
towns and fortifications, and was to have 300 able-bodied men under his command.
He sailed from London on August II, 1635, '^ a small Norsey barque of 25 tons,
with his wife and female servant, Eliza Colet. Gardiner brought with him materials
for a portcullis, a drawbridge, stuff for flags, and a number of guns were sent to-
him by a vessel which arrived soon after. He landed at Boston on Nov. 28, 1635..
During his brief stay in that place the citizens availed themselves of his skill as an-

A A The Family of Thompson, Suffolk Co., N. Y. [Jan,,

the family of that name of Gardiner's Island. David Thompson above
named was a gentleman well known to all old New Yorkers of the better
class. He received a thorough classical education when young, and at
the age of eighteen entered his father's office — two years afterwards was made
cashier of the Custom House. He remained there eight years, and then

• engineer in completing the fortress already begun by Gov. Winthrop on Fort Hill.
It was agreed to compel 14 days' work by each citizen, and a committee consisting of
the Deputy Gov. Bellingham, the celebrated Sir Henry Vane, Gov. John Winthrop,
and John Winthrop, Jr., were appointed to carry out the arrangement. Under the
direction ot Gardiner the work soon assumed the dignity and proportions of a fort.
It was a structure eminently adapted to its purposes, and continued in use till after
the war of the Revolution, and was garrisoned by English troops at the time of the
Battle of Bunker's Hill. Sir Edmund Andros sought protection in its walls in 1689.
Lieut. Gardiner was ordered to the mouth of the Connecticut River, where he built
Saybrook Fort and commanded it for four years. It was during these perilous times
of Indian wars, that on the 29th of April, 1636, his son David was born, being the
first white child born in Connecticut. After completing the term of service for which
he had engaged, he turned over the command to Geo. Fenwick and removed to an
island in Long Island Sound which he called the Isle of Wight, but which became
known as Gardiner's Island. Col. Fenwick, who succeeded him in command of the
troops, was an Englishman of good family, who was afterwards M. P., Governor of
Berwick, and Colonel in the Parliamentary Army. His wife. Lady Alice, died and
was buried at the fort ; she was the daughter of Sir Edward Apsley, and widow of Sir
John Boteler. Fenwick afterward married a daughter of Sir Arthur Haslerigge.

Gardiner, while at the fort, had many conflicts with the savages, and on several
occasions barely escaped with his life. Once he was surrounded by Indians and
obliged to defend himself with his sword, and had it not been for the protection of his
military coat of mail would undoubtedly have been killed ; as it was, he was severely
wounded. When he removed to his island he tork with him several of the soldiers
who had served under him at Saybrook fort, and probably some had been under his
command in Holland in the army of Lord de Vere. This island was the first Eng-
lish settlement in the present State of New York. On the 14th of September, 1641,
Elizabeth, his last child, was born ; she being the " first child of English parentage
born in the Colony of New York."

In 1653 Lieut. Gardiner removed to Easthampton and left his estate in charge of
his farmers. In 1663 he died, regretted by all. The profession of arms in which he
had spent the earlier part of his life inured him to hardships and prepared him to
contend successfully with the fatigues and hazards of life in the wilderness. His
home and table were ever free, and he was generous and kind as well to the stranger
as to his comrades. (Jov. Winthrop, Gen. Mason (who succeeded Fenwick in com-
mand at .Saybrook fort), and Sir Richard Saltonstall made favorable mention of his
hospitality at the fort. Mason says that on his return from the Pequot war " he was
nobly entertained by Lieut. Gardiner, who was chief commander at Saybrook fort,
with many great guns, and received from him many courtesies."

The patent of Gardiner's Island, granted by the deputy of the Earl of Sterling,
erected it into " an entirely separate and independent plantation, with the power to
execute and put in practice such laws for church and civil government as are agree-
able to God, the king, and the practices of the country."

Mrs. Gardiner, whose maiden name was Willemsen, was born in the town of
Woerden, Holland, of highly respectable parents. She survived her husband only
two years. The island was entailed on the eldest son David, who was educated in
England, where, in the Parish of St. Margaret's, Westminster, he married Mary Her-
ringman. He received from Gov. Dongan the last patent of the island, erecting it
into a " Lordship and Manor to be henceforth called the ' Lordship and Manor of
Gardiner's Island.' It granted the right forever in the said lordship and manor one
Court Leet and one Court Baron to hold and keep at such time and times as shall be
meet. To distrain for rent. The advowson or right of patronage to all churches, to
be holden of his Most Sacred Majesty his heirs and successors in free and common
socage according to the tenure of Earl Greenwich, in the Kingdom of England, yield-
ing and paying therefor yearly one lamb on the first day of May, at New York, in lieu
•of all services whatsoever."

1 89 1.] The Family of Thompson, Suffolk Co., N. F. ac

successively became the cashier of the Fulton bank under John Adams,
Cashier and Vice-President of the Bank of America (which was the suc-
cessor of the old Bank of the United States) under the late George New-
bold, and President of the New York Life Insurance and Trust Company.
This latter institution he took charge of after they had sustained large
losses from the dishonesty of a former officer, and by judicious and care-
David Gardiner died July 10, 1689, at Hartford, Conn., where he was engaged
on public business. He was buried in Hartford, and on his monument in the old
burial ground is the inscription : " Well, sick, dead in one hour's space."

His children were John, David, Lion and Elizabeth. John inherited the island
and was the third proprietor and Lord of the Manor. It was during his life that the
estate was pillaged by Spanish buccaneers ; and the notorious pirate, Capt. Kidd,
made it the repository of his stolen treasures. Hisiieathwas caused by the fall of his
horse at Groton. He had several children. His daughter Elizabeth married Thomas
Greene of Boston, and was the mother of the distinguished merchant prince Gardiner
Greene, whose wife. Miss Copley, was sister of Lord Lyndhurst, Lord Chancellor of
Great Britain.

His eldest son David succeeded to the estate. He was born Jan. 3, i6gi, and
the following entry in the church records tells us of his death :

" I75i» J'-'ly 4' died Lord Gardiner, aged 60, havingbeen sick for some months."

" His sons were John, Abraham, Samuel and David. John and David were edu-
cated at Yale College, and took their degrees in 1736. Abraham was the Col. Gardiner
of the Revolution. John became the fifth proprietor and lord. A stone in the burial
ground at Easthampton records the death of "Elizabeth, wifeof his Excellency John
Gardiner, Lord of the Lsle of Wight, in 1754." After her death he married Deborah
Avery, and left her a widow, when she married Gen. Israel Putnam of the American
army. She died at his headquarters in the Highlands and was buried in the vault
of Col. Beverly Robinson. John Gardiner's sons were David, John and Septimus.
Septimus was an officer in the army and died young. John had a large estate known
as Eaton's Neck. David, the eldest, was educated at Yale College ; he received the
island by entail, and was the sixth pro])rietor. His wife was daughter of the Rev. Samuel
Buel, D.D., a distinguished clergyman of his day. She was a lady of great talents
and literary acquirements. A sketch of her life has been written by the Rev. Dr. Wool-
worth. His sons were John Lyon and David. They took their degrees at the College of
New Jersey in 1789. John Lyon, the seventh proprietor of the Manor, was a gentleman
of culture and refinement. Local history is indebted to him for some rntirtus and im-
portant information. He died Nov. 22, 1816, leaving a wife, Sarah Gri-^wold, a lady
highly respected (she belonged to one of the most distinguished families of Connec-
ticut), and five children, viz.: David J., John fjriswold, Samuel B., Mary B. and Sarah
Diodati. David J., the eighth proprietor of the island, was educated at Yale College,
wb' re- he graduated in 1824. He di. ' in 1829 in the twenty-sixth year of his age, in-
teslf eand unmarried. Heretofore th ^ estate had always been entailed on the eldest
son, u' that law having been abrogat 1 by the Legislature of this State, the island
now I'ccnded to his brothers and sisters. John G., the eldest survivor, purchased
the.ishares and became the ninth proprietor. He died unmarried and intestate, when
the island again descended to his brother, Samuel B. and his sister Mrs. Sarah Diodati
Thompson, wife of David Thompson of New York, Mary B. having died previously.
To keep the estate still in the Gardiner name, Mrs. Thompson sold her half of the
island to her brother Samuel B., who became the tenth proprietor. It is remarkable
that since the first proprietor this island has descended according to the laws of pri-
mogeniture, and the proprietors have been named alternately David and John, and
until the present generation the If scent has been from father to son. At the present
: ime there are a number of persons named Gardinei- not of this family who have set-
tled on Long Island.

Sir Thomas Christopher Banks, a distinguished genealogist, says in his " Dormant
and Extinct Baronage of England," that the family of Gardiner of Gardiner's Island are
descended from the Gardiner who married one of the co-heiresses of the Barony of
Fitzwalter, and that the claim can be proven properly if duly inquired into. A dia-
mond left by the pirate Capt. Kidd, when he visited the Manor of (iardiner's Island,
is now in the possession of the family of Gardiner Greene, of Boston, who married
Miss Copley.

^5 The Family of Thompson, Suffolk Co., 7\\ F. [Jan.,

ful management made this company the foremost of iis kind in the city,
the shares having increased in value from 80 per cent, to 600. He
remained connected with the company until his death, which occurred
Feb. 22, 1 87 1, a period of nearly twenty-five years. Mr. Thompson was
a person of fine appearance, high minded, honorable, and a sincere
Christian. His funeral took place from his residence, 25 Lafayette Place,
on Saturday, Feb. 25. The clergymen were the Rev. Mancius S. Hutton,
D. D. ; Rev. Thomas De Witt, D.'D. ; and the Rev. Samuel R. Ely, D.D.
The following named gentlemen acted as pall-bearers : John David Wolfe,
John Q. Jones, Thos. W. Ludlow, Moses Taylor, William B. Astor,
Robert Ray, William H. Aspinwall, and Joseph Sampson.

The following notice in regard to this event is copied from the Evening
Post: "The funeral of this respected citizen was performed on Satur-
day the 25th inst. at 10 o'clock a.m., at his late residence, Lafayette Place.
Notwithstanding the early hour of the 'day, the spacious mansion was
densely crowded with the prominent bankers and distinguished men of
the city. Mr. Thompson has been identified with the banking insti-
tutions of the city for the last fifty years, and by his blameless life, his
mature judgment, his perfect rectitude in all financial transactions, com-

Online LibraryNew York Genealogical and Biographical SocietyThe New York genealogical and biographical record (Volume 63) → online text (page 6 of 30)