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.


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

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.


  1. in Aldridge's obit in NYT on June 14, 1922
  2. Salaries of public officials [State and Federal] in NYT on November 9, 1920
  3. Bamberger, Werner (June 19, 1966). "NEW CHIEF CITES CUSTOMS AIM HERE; Stramiello Declares He Will Strive to Improve Service". The New York Times.
  4. "Collector Hendricks Now; Mr. Fassett's Successor Sworn In And In Charge. He Looks Through The Departments Intent On "Learning The Business" -- Rumors Of Changes -- Other Custom House Matters". The New York Times. September 29, 1891.
  5. Obit
  6. "APPOINTMENTS BY BIDWELL.; New Collector of the Port Begins Work -- Joseph J. Couch Is Special Deputy". The New York Times. July 15, 1897.
  7. Good Government: Official Journal of the National Civil Service Reform League 30 (11). November 1913 Retrieved 1 May 2011. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. "MALONE NOMINATED AS PORT COLLECTOR; O'Gorman's Son-in-Law to Succeed Mitchel ;- Senator, Avoiding Comment, Tells a Story. WILSON'S PERSONAL CHOICE Appointment Thought to Show Satisfaction at Tammany's Defeat ;- Splendid Selection, Says Mitchel". The New York Times. November 11, 1913.
  9. "GROWTH OF NEW YORK PORT; Collector Newton Says This Is World's Greatest Commerce Centre". The New York Times. June 28, 1918.
  10. Obit
  11. Obit
  12. Obit
  13. s:Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 33 Part 2.djvu/151 United States Statutes at Large, Volume 33, Part 2, Chapter 721


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