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town, commonly called " Bull " Smith.



»^ a tDj_

Great South Bav

1896.] The Family of Thompson, of the County of Suffolk, N. Y. \\

G., President of William and Mary College, Virginia; Lachlan; Fitzwalter;
Julia, who married Spencer, Esq., of Geneseo ; and Margaret, who

married, November 13, 1884, Honorable William Mumford Ellis, Speaker
of the House of Delegates, Virginia) ; Alexander (died unmarried, Clerk of
the United States Circuit Court, N. Y.); Margaret (married John Beeck-
man, and had one child, Henrv, who was killed by a fall from his horse
in Virginia, August 4, 1875; Mr. Beeckman was killed by the accidental
discharge of his gun while shooting; Mr. Beeckman 's mother was a Liv-
ingston ; and Colonel David Lion who married his cousin Sarah Gardiner',
daughter of David" Thompson, and has David 9 , Sarah Diodati", and
Robert Alexander", B.A. Yale, 1887). Samuel S., son of Captain Abra-
ham, married Mary, daughter of Hon. Ezra L'Hommedieu, a member of
Congress, and a descendant of the Sylvester family, of Shelter Island.
[He had Mary (who married Professor Eben N. Horsford of Harvard Uni-
versity); Phcebe (who also married Professor Horsford after the death of
her sister Mary); Frances (who married Professor George Martin Lane of
Harvard University, and had children — Gardiner; a daughter, Louisa
Greenough, who married Bayard Van Rensselaer of Albany; and Katha-
rine Ward, who died 1893).]

Nathaniel, son of Captain Abraham, married Eliza Francis, and had
John B., William H., and Eliza, married Dr. I. Hartshorne.

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

Jonathan', son of Judge Isaac' Thompson, was born at Sagtikos
Manor, Appletree Wicke, December 7, 1773, died at New York, De-
cember 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, Esq., a prominent citizen of Shelter Island. She was a lady of
strong and vigorous intellect and many accomplishments. He became
a distinguished merchant in New York City, under the firm name of Gar-
diner & Thompson, being in partnership with Dr. Nathaniel Gardiner.
Thev were in the West India importing business, which they carried on
very extensively, but being unfortunate, the firm was dissolved, and Mr.
Thompson continued it under his own name. As a politician previous
to and during the war of 181 2, Mr. Thompson was prominent in the old
Democratic Republican party of that period, favoring the war (he held
the commission of Captain in 1813. Previously, in 1803, he had been
an ensign in an independent company), 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 presid-
ing officer, he received the appellation of the '-Everlasting Chairman."
" He was the intimate friend of five different Presidents of the United
States, and held a high position in the fashionable society of that day."

"November 24, 1813, he was appointed by President James Madi-
son collector of direct taxes and internal duties, under the Act of July
22, 1 S 1 3, and continued as such until the closure of the office in 1819.
December 20, 1820, 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 magis-
rate January 13, 1825, and again re-appointed by President John Quincy

12 The Family of Thompson, of the County of Suffolk, N. Y. [Jan.,

Adams January 27, 1829, and removed by President Andrew Jackson
April 25, 1829, in order to award the office to his (the President's) par-
ticular friend Samuel Swarthout, who proved a defaulter to a large amount.
During the official connection of Jonathan 6 Thompson with the govern-
ment, 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 of ten cents discovered during the administration of
Mr. Adams. About the time that strenuous efforts were being made to
effect his removal from office 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 personally 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 Brookljn; he
added to the river front, and erected new buildings. In 1840 he was
chosen president of the Manhattan Company at the time of its financial
embarrassment, and by his prudence and able management it was'rein-
stated among dividend paying institutions. He continued in this office
until his death. December 30, 1846, aged seventy-three years and twenty-
three days. Mr. Thompson was unostentatious in manners ; he courted
no popularity, yet carried with him no stinted share of that respect which
belongs to genuine worth, and dying left behind him a name which rela-
tives and friends have never heard and never will hear connected with
aught but expressions of approbation and esteem. Jonathan 6 Thompson
was prominent in high life in New York for many years." In this con-
nection 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 6 , 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.

Honorable Jonathan 5 Thompson and his wife were both interred in
the family burying ground on Sagtikos Manor.

Jonathan 6 Thompson had six children, who grew up, viz.: David"
who married Sarah Dodati, 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 Lord of the Manor
of Gardiner's Island : and Elizabeth" married Alonzo Brown, but had no

David" Thompson, born May 3, 1798, died February 22, 1871, married


1896.] The Family of Thompson, of the County of Suffolk, X. V. \ a

Sarah Diodati,* daughter of John Lyon Gardiner, 7th Lord of the
Manor of Gardiner's Island, and sister of Honorable Samuel B. Gar-
diner 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 C. Griswold were prominent shipping
merchants in New York, and rivals in importance of their cousins N. L.
and George Griswold. John lelt no children, and Charles C. had but two :
Elizabeth, who married Judge Lane, a very wealthy and distinguished
citizen ol Sandusky ; and Sarah, who married Lorillard Spencer. (Her
eldest daughter married Prince Virginio Cenci, Duke of Yicovaro.) Mrs.
Thompson's middle name of Diodati f was received from her great-grand-

*Mrs. Sarah Diodati Gardiner Thompson died on Sunday, March S, iSgi, at her
residence No. 25 Lafayette 1'lace. New York Cily, from the effects of a lall which
she sustained about six weeks previously. Mrs. Thompson was born at the Manor
House, Gardiner's Island, November I, 1S07, and was consequently in her eighty-fourth
year. Her father, John Lyon Gardiner, was seventh Lord of this ancient manor.
Her mother, Sarali Griswold, was the daughter of John Griswold and granddaughter
of Honorable Matthew Griswold of Black Hall, Chief Justice and Governor of Con-
necticut. Mrs. Thompson was married, at the Manor House on the island, to her
Cousin David* Thompson, a gentleman who occupied a high social position, and held
many financial offices. At the lime of his death, February 22, 1871, he was President
of the New York Life Insurance and Trust Company, and Vice-President of the
Bank of America. Mrs. Thompson was a lady of lovely disposition, aristocratic air,
cultured, refined, and a thorough gentlewoman of the old school. She was a devoted
wife and mother and respected and loved by a large circle of friends. The funeral
occurred on Wednesday, March 11, at 10.30 A.M., at her home where she had lived
for the past fifty years, and was altended by a large gathering of the old colonial
families. The Rev. Dr. George Alexander officiated. The interment took place in the
family vault in Greenwood Cemetery. Mrs. Thompson was a member of the Society
of Colonial Dames. — NeittYork Genealogical and Biographical Register, April. 1891.

J 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 Vale College when he died.
His sister married an Englishman named Scarlett, of gootl 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 Conne
Gabriel 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 aie
" 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 recognizing the nobility of the family and their right to
hold estates in France, with a large wax seal hanging from it. The parchment
states 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
crimson, of fourteen pages of vellum, wilh 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 Holy Roman 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." The
Diodatis have held many important positions in many countries, but are extinct at pres-
ent except in Geneva. Count Jules Diodati was a general under Wallenstein, Rev.
Jean Diodati was a disciple of Calvin and translated the Bible into Italian. Another
Diodati was a Grand Prior of Venice, others have been a General in ihe Spanish
Army and an Ambassador from Baden to France. Count Diodali, who lived at the
Villa Diodati on Lake Leman, was Lord Byron's intimate companion, while another
member of the family, Charles Diodati, was the great poet Milton's dearest friend.

I a The Family of Thompson, of the County of Suffolk, K. Y. [Jan.,

mother on he mother's side. This family is now entirely extinct in this
country. Mrs. Thompson's maiden name was Gardiner,* she being of

* The Gardiners of Gardiner's 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, Colonel George Fenwick,
and others, and he was to be employed in the drawing, ordering, and making of a
city, towns, and fortifications, and was to have three hundred able-bodied men under
his command. He sailed from London on August II, 1635, in a small Norsey
barque of twenty-five 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 November 2S, 1635. Luring his brief stay in that place the citizens availed them-
selves of his skill as an engineer in completing the fortress already begun by Gover-
nor Winthrop on Fort Hill. It was agreed to compel fourteen days' work by each
citizen, and a committee consisting of the Deputy Governor Bellingham, the cele-
brated Sir Henry Vane, Governor John Winthrop, and John Winthrop, Jr., were
appointed to carry out the arrangement. Under the direction of 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. Lieutenant Gardiner
was ordered to the mouth of the Connecticut River, where in company with Lieuten-
ant Gibbons, afterwards Major-General of Massachusetts Bay forces and Commander
of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Boston, 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 George Fenwick and removed to an island in Long
Island Sound which he called the Isle of Wight, but which became known as Gardi-
ner's Island. Colonel Fenwick, who succeeded him in command of the troops, was
an Englishman of good family, who was afterwards Member of Parliament, Governor,
of Berwick and Colonel of the Coldstream Guards, in the Parliamentary Army. He
was killed at Dunkirk, 1657. His wife, Lady Alice, died and was buried at Saybrook
fort ; she was the daughter of Sir Edward Apsley, and the 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 took 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 tlie
first English 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 Lieutenant 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 pre-
pared him to contend successfully with the fatigues and hazards of life in the wilder-
ness. His home and table were ever free, and he was generous and kind as well to
the stranger as to his comrades. Governor Winthrop, General Mason (who succeeded
Fenwick in command 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 Lieutenant Gardiner, who was chief
commander at Saybrook fort, with many great guns, and received from him many
courtesies." The grave of Lion Gardiner in Easthampton is marked by a monu-
ment constructed of Westerly granite, a stone of fine grain and lasting qualities.
Erected in the year 1SS6, it is probably the only one of its kind in this country. A
recumbent figure represents the sturdy old warrior clad in the military garb of his
day with the visor of his helmet closed. A roof supported by eight pillars serves to
protect the effigy from the action of the elements and the base upon which the figure

1896.] The Family of Thompson, of the Comity of Suffolk, N. Y. j -

rests has on its four sides, cut in old-fashioned letters, a short sketch of Lion Gardi-
ner's life as soldier and citizen. The monument is enclosed by a handsome wrought-
iron railing embellished with a foliated design and a coat of arms.

It is a beautiful and enduring memorial — handsome but not ostentatious — of Lion
Gardiner, one of the finest characters of our early history. It is the conception of
the late James Renwicl;, Esq., architect of St. Patrick's Cathedral and Grace Church,
New York, besides many other important ecclesiastical edifices. It was erected at
the expense of Mrs. Sarah Diodati Thompson, daughter of the seventh Lord of the
Manor, and of Mrs. Mary Thompson" Gardiner, widow of Samuel Buel Gardiner the
tenth Lord.

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
Herringman. He received from Governor 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 East Greenwich, in the Kingdom of
England, yielding and paying therefor yearly one lamb on the first day of May, at
New York, in lieu of all services whatsoever."

David Gardiner died July 10, 16S9, at Hartford, Conn., where he was engaged
on public business. He was buried in Hartford, and on his monument in the old
burial ground attached to the Centre Church, 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, Captain
Kidd, made it the repository of his stolen treasures. His death was caused by the
fall of his horse at Groton. He had several children. The distinguished merchant
prince Gardiner Greene of Boston, whose wife, Elizabeth C. Copley, was sister of
Lord Lyndhurst, Lord Chancellor of Great Britain. Hon. J. C. Bancroft Davis ;
Hon. George Bancroft, the distinguished historian, and the Hon. Gardiner Greene
Hubbard are all descendants of His Excellency, John Gardiner 3d Lord of the Manor.

His eldest son David succeeded to the estate. He was born January 3, 1691, and
the following entry in the church records tells us of his death :

" 1751, July 4, died Lord Gardiner, aged 60, having been sick for some month'.."

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 Colonel
Gardiner of the P.evolutionary period. John became the fifth lord. A stone in the
burial ground tit Easthampton records the death of " Elizabeth, wife of his Excel-
lency John Gardiner, Lord of the Isle of Wight, in 1754." After her death he mar-
ried Deborah Avery, and left her a widow, when she married General Israel Putnam
of the American army. She died at his headquarters in the Highlands, and «
buried in the vault of Colonel 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 the Manor of Eaton's Neck. David, the eldest, was edu-
cated at Yale College ; he received the island by entail, and was the sixih Lord. 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 writlen bv the Rev. Dr. Woolworth. His sons were John Lyon and David.
They took their degrees at the College of New Jersey in I7 8 9- J ' 1 " Lyon, the
seventh Lord of the Manor, was a gentleman of culture and refinement. Local his-
tory is indebted to him for some curious and important information. He died
November 22, 1816, leaving a wife, Sarah Griswold. a lady highly respected (she
belonged to one of the most distinguished families in Connecticut), and live children,
viz.: David J., John Griswold, Samuel B., Mary B., and Sarah Diodati. David J..

1 6 The Family of Thompson, of the County of Suffolk, 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 standing high as he did in the fashionable world. 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 successfully
became the Cashier of the Fulton Bank under John Adams, Cashier and
Vice-President of the Bank of America (which was the successor of the
old Bank of the United States) under the late George Newbold, 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 careful
management made the company the foremost of its kind in the city,
the shares having increased in value from eighty per cent, to six hundred.
He remained connected with the company until his death, whicli occurred
February 22, 1871, a period of nearly twenty-five vears. Mr. Thompson
was a gentleman of fine appearance, high-minded, honorable, and a sincere
Christian. His funeral took place from his residence, 25 Lafayette
Place, on Saturday, February 25th. The clergymen were the Rev.
Mancius S. Hutton. D.D.; Rev. Thomas De W : tt, D.D.; and the Rev.
Samuel R. Ely, D. D. The following-named gentlemen, all of whom
were known in financial and social circles, acted as pall-bearers : John
David Wolfe, John Q.Jones, Thomas 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 Saturday,
the 25th inst. at 10 o'clock ,\. m., at his late residence, Lafayette Place.

the eighth Lord of the island, was educated at Yale College, where he graduated in
1S24. He died in 1829 in the twenty-sixth year of his age, intestate and unmarried.
Heretofore this estate had always been entailed on the eldest son, but tlial law having
been abrogated by the Legislature of this State, the island now descended to his
brothers and sisters. John G., the eldest survivor, purchased their shares and became
the ninth Lord. 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 Lord. It is remarkable that since the first pro-
prietor this island has descended according to the laws of primogeniture, and the
proprietors have been named alternately David and John, and until the present gen-
eration the descent has been from father to son. On the death of Samuel Duel Gardiner,

Online LibraryNew York Genealogical and Biographical SocietyThe New York genealogical and biographical record (Volume 74) → online text (page 3 of 34)