Scope and Content Note

The governor's appointment clerk maintained these letter copybooks to document correspondence regarding appointments or nominations made by the governor. The vast majority of the letters concern appointments of notaries public, who were nominated by the governor and confirmed by the senate.

Occasionally, letters concern other offices to which the governor made appointments or nominations, such as: judicial offices; commissioners of deeds; port wardens of the Port of New York; county loan commissioners; railway policemen; managers of state hospitals or other institutions; and delegates to conferences.

A large number of letters inform individuals that the governor has approved, denied, revoked, or accepted a resignation from an appointment. Many of the letters respond to inquiries regarding vacancies in particular offices or procedures for applying for appointment or reappointment. Other letters request recommendations or more information from individuals who know the applicants. Letters cover such matters as: the proper way to apply for appointment or reappointment; from whom the applicant should garner references; whether the applicant would make a reliable notary; procedures for filing charges against notaries accused of overcharging or defrauding; background of notaries whose qualifications were considered questionable or fraudulent; and notary appointment fees collected by county clerks and due to be paid to the governor's office.

Of particular interest are letters requesting further information about the background and qualifications of Italian-born notary applicants. The letters express reluctance to nominate such applicants, labeling them "irresponsible" and even "dangerous" (August 10, 1897).

Volumes 1-3 are entitled "Executive Chamber" and apparently are more general office correspondence. They occasionally contain letters responding to district attorneys' requests for "requisition" (extradition) of criminals from other states, or approval or denial of requisitions received from governors of other states. These volumes also contain correspondence relating to routine matters such as: appropriations or reimbursements for government expenses; forwarding or acknowledging receipt of reports or other requested items; and requests for information from state officials. These types of correspondence are rarely if ever present in volumes 4-33, which are entitled "Appointment Clerk."

Volumes 1-3 (1857-1859) are manuscript copybooks with frequent fading or blurring of ink. Volumes 4-33 are typescript. Of these, Volumes 30-33 (1905-1906) use a green ink which has faded to the point where it is often barely legible.