Jonathan Thompson (Collector)

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Jonathan Thompson
Collector of the Port of New York
In office
President James Monroe
John Quincy Adams
Preceded by David Gelston
Succeeded by Samuel Swartwout
Personal details
Born (1773-12-07)December 7, 1773
Islip, Suffolk County, New York, U.S.
Died December 30, 1846(1846-12-30) (aged 73)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic-Republican
Elizabeth Havens
(m. 1796)
Children 7, including David

Jonathan Thompson (December 7, 1773 – December 30, 1846) was an American merchant, banker and politician.

Early life

Thompson was born on December 7, 1773 at Sagtikos Manor in Islip.[1] He was the son of Isaac Thompson (1743-1816), judge of the Suffolk Court of Common Pleas, and member of the New York State Assembly in 1795, and Mary (née Gardiner) Thompson (d. 1786), who wed in 1772. His brother was Abraham Gardiner Thompson.[2]

His paternal grandparents were Mary (née Woodhull) Thompson (a first cousin of Gen. Nathaniel Woodhull) and Jonathan Thompson, a Justice of the Peace for forty years. His maternal grandfather was Col. Abraham Gardiner of East Hampton, New York, son of the lord of the manor of Gardiners Island (descendants of Lion Gardiner).[3]


Along with his brother and Nathaniel Gardiner, he became a partner in Gardiner & Thompson, a New York City import firm trading in the West Indies.[4] From 1813 on, he was a director of the Bank of the Manhattan Company.[3]

The first peak of the transatlantic company "Black Ball Line" began in 1820 with packet-ships voyages as per schedule. The company was founded by Jeremia Thompson, Francis Thompson and others and one packet-sailing ships of the "Black Ball Line" had name "James Monroe" , - named in honor of President James Monroe.[5]

From March 1840 until his death, he was President of the Bank of the Manhattan Company.[6]

Political career

For ten consecutive years, he was the chairman of the Democratic-Republican general committee.[1]

In 1813, he was appointed collector of direct taxes and duties by President James Madison until that role was abolished in 1819.[1] In 1820, President James Monroe appointed Jonathan Thompson Collector of the Port of New York. He held this office until 1829, when he was removed by President Andrew Jackson and replaced by Samuel Swartwout (later known for his role in the Swartwout-Hoyt scandal).[7]

Personal life

On June 4, 1796, he was married Elizabeth Havens (1773-1868), daughter of James Havens of Shelter Island. Together, they were the parents of seven children, including:[8]

  • David Thompson (1798–1871), who served as President of the New York Life Insurance and Trust Company who married Sarah Diodati Gardiner, a daughter of John Lion Gardiner, 7th Lord of the Manor of Gardiner's Island.[9]
  • Junius Thompson, who died young.[1]
  • George W. Thompson (1805–1884), who married Eliza Ann Prall.[1]
  • Mary Gardiner Thompson (1807–1887), who married Hon. Samuel Buell Gardiner (1815–1882), 10th Lord of the Manor of Gardiner's Island and a son of John Lion Gardiner, in 1837.[10]
  • Elizabeth Thompson, who married Alonzo Brown, Esq.[11]
  • Dr. Abraham Gardiner Thompson (b. 1816).[1]

Thompson died in New York City on December 30, 1846.[1]


Through his daughter Mary, he was the grandfather of Sarah Griswold Gardiner (1848–1927), who married John Alexander Tyler (1848–1883), second son of President John Tyler and his second wife, Julia Gardiner Tyler.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g White, James Terry (1922). The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. J.T. White. p. 69. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  2. ^ Thompson, Benjamin Franklin (2008). The History of Long Island, from Its Discovery and Settlement to the Present Time. BiblioBazaar. p. 429. ISBN 9780559453588. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b Lamb, Mrs. Martha J.; Harrison, Mrs. Burton (1896). HISTORY OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK; ITS ORGIN RISE, AND PROGRESS | Volume III. New York: The A.S. Barnes Company. p. 637. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  4. ^ Pessen, Edward (2017). Riches, Class, and Power: United States Before the Civil War. Routledge. p. 135. ISBN 9781351492935. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  5. ^ «A Tribute To A Dynasty. The Black Ball Line and The Pacific Northwest 1817~2006» (
  6. ^ The Bankers' Magazine, and Statistical Register, Vol. 16, Part 2. Wm. Crosby and H.P. Nicholes. 1862. pp. 689–690. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  7. ^ Hoyt, Jesse (1842). Letters from J. Hoyt, Late Collector, to the Secretary of the Treasury: (including Many Not Before Published,) Explanatory of the Action of George Poindexter, and His Colleagues, Commissioners for the Investigation of the Affairs of the Custom House at New York. Embracing the Published Correspondence Between Messrs. Poindexter and Kelley, Two of Such Commissioners. Evening Post. p. 129. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  8. ^ Greene, Richard Henry; Stiles, Henry Reed; Totten, John Reynolds; Forest, Louis Effingham De; Mann, Conklin; Maynard, Arthur S. (1896). The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. p. 17. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Mary Gardiner Thompson (1844-1935)". New-York Historical Society. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  10. ^ a b History of the Buell Family in England: From the Remotest Times Ascertainable from Our Ancient Histories, and in America, from Town, Parish, Church and Family Records. Illustrated with Portraits and Coat Armorial. Society Library. 1881. p. 303. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  11. ^ Town), Smithtown (N Y. : (1898). Records of the Town of Smithtown, Long Island, N.Y.: With Other Ancient Documents of Historic Value. Long-Islander Print. p. 470. Retrieved 17 April 2019.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
Government offices
Preceded by
David Gelston
Collector of the Port of New York
Succeeded by
Samuel Swartwout
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