Letter, S. L. Gardiner to S. Fosdick, Esq., 1840 December 18: Sag Harbor, N.Y.

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Gardiner, Samuel L’Hommedieu
Fosdick, Samuel. , Customs administration -- New York (State) -- Sag Harbor. , Sag Harbor (N.Y.) -- History.
This letter was written at Sag Harbor, N.Y. by Samuel L’Hommedieu Gardiner to his friend S. Fosdick of Cincinnati, requesting his support in securing the appointment of Collector of Customs Officer for the port of Sag Harbor. Born August 10, 1816 in Sag Harbor, N.Y., Samuel L’Hommedieu Gardiner was a member of the Yale University Class of 1835. After being admitted to the New York bar in 1839, he moved to Cincinnati where he worked in the law office of Charles Hammond for eighteen months before returning home in 1840. In 1852 he was appointed collector of customs, a position he held until 1857. Samuel L. Gardiner died in 1885.
3 unnumbered pages; 21 x 25 cm. Transcript: Sag Harbor Dec 18th 1840. S. Fosdick Esq. Dr Sir, I ask leave to solicit your favor in the procurement of the appointment of Collector of this Port. I do this without consultation with any friend or acquain-tance, for my residence here has been too short to expect the countenance of strong partisans who look upon an office but as the spoils of victory. Neither can I boast of any great services rendered to Genl. Harrison, nor promise any for the future. But I think that I come within the Jeffersonian rule he has taken to guide him, and am “capable honest and faithful.” Between this time and the 4th of March next you will meet the individuals herein after enumerated either in the street, or in your counting room(?), and can add any recommendation, or use any persuasion you may think proper. I think they all have a persona if not are intimate acquaintance with me, and your own standing in the community will be a quality of my fituep(?), aside from any knowledge of theirs. The great distance at which they live will free them from fears of personal interest or prejudice; and their personal and with many, intimate acquaintances with Gnl. Harrison will give weight to their recommendation. It will cost you but a word to each, and I hope diffidence or distrust of success will not deter you. If you try, I am sure I shall succeed, and in a matter of this kind more can be asked for a friend than for ones self. To offer you any promise of reward were to insult you, and I rely entirely on your friendship. It may interfere with your business, but not more than a moment at a time. I can obtain the cooperation of Senator Caelurum(?) I think, and the names of many influential men here. The office is worth about $800 per year. Others will perhaps apply, but I am as well qualified as they, as good a Republican as any, and need the office more. Partizan services are no merit, and I place my application solely upon the rule before even timed fidelity. Capacity and integrity. Mr. Chase I am confident will aid me in this matter, if you think it best consult him. If you are unwilling to do any thing about it, please put this letter in the fire, and keep the secret. If we suc -ceed Col Pendelton I think will make the application. S. Fosdick Daniel Wade S.P. Chase Jno C. Vaughan Jon P. Garip(?) Wm. Greene Ambrose Dudley Wm. R. Foster O.C. Spenser R.H. Southgate Henry C. Spenser I.C. Wright Jas Southgate W.D. Gallagher Wm. Southgate R. Hodges Richard Southgate A.N. Riddee Jas Taylor Daniel Gaus Edward Woodruff Wm. H.H. Taylor I.J. Strait Geo J. Williamson Wm. Johnson V. Nottington G.W. Thomas B. StinerJ. T. Conner C. Fox A. Wright D.K. Este I could mention the names of many other but they would be those of younger men, who are not of much notoriety or influence. I omit others of equal influence with those mentioned for you to select. A heading after this fashion will I think answer. “We the undersigned believing Samuel L Gar -diner late a resident of the city of Cincinnati to be a good and true Republican and having full faith and confidence in his integrity capac -ity and friendship do recommend him as a fit and proper person to be appointed to the office of Col -lector of the Customs of the Port of Sag Harbor in the State of N York where he now resides.” This is the first communication to you since my return to the East. and it depends upon you whether it is the last. I am declared from the signed and society, until next spring, when I may return forth to Wash -ington. Your business and other calls when your time require so much of your attention that any correspondence of a friendly character would be fulfilled and laborious I fear, with me. In the list of names I have given, I have omitted two, which if offered you may accept, but I do not wish you to ask. You will not misunderstand me. All here are well. Please give my highest respects to your sister, and to your wife. My best love to your children. If you are so fortunate as to know Mr. Must, please remember me to him and add my most fervent wishes for his success. I find that I have omitted your brother, wife + children, whom for me you will please not forget. I hope I may one day visit Cincinnati again, and renew many pleasant acquaintances I formed while there; Winter has commenced in earnest, and for these months. I shall call my -self a man of leisure. After that time I shall be busily employ -ed I hope. Please write me at your earliest convenience. Yrs Resp. S.L. Gardiner