The Early Governors of Sailors’ Snug Harbor

The Stephen B. Luce Library serves as a repository of the records of Sailors’ Snug Harbor, America’s first home for retired seaman and one of the country’s oldest secular philanthropic institutions. Dedicated to the welfare of “aged, decrepit, and worn out” mariners, Sailors’ Snug Harbor was established in 1801 from the will of Robert Richard Randall, son of Thomas Randall, who made his fortune as a privateer during the French and Indian War and was a Revolutionary War patriot.

Below, Archivist Annie Tummino has created a timeline to delve into the history of the Harbor’s early Governors, who served as heads of the institution, and shaped so much of its culture and operations. (See Professor John Rocco’s “Brief History” for a more general overview ).

Sources Cited:

Sailors’ Snug Harbor, 1801–1976 by Barnett Shepherd; New York : Snug Harbor Cultural Center. 2nd ed: 1995, 1st ed: 1979.

The Sailors’ Snug Harbor: A History, 1801–2001 by Gerald J. Barry. New York : Fordham University Press 2000.

“Daily Life at Sailors’ Snug Harbor.” Noble Maritime Collection:



Papers, digital scholarship, and musings from faculty and staff of the Maritime and Naval Studies master’s program at SUNY Maritime College

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