Research


New York State Governor Appointment and Other Correspondence Files

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
This series documents the governor's power to appoint or nominate for appointment certain officials, as authorized by the State Constitution and numerous legislative acts. The correspondence consists mainly of letters from persons requesting appointment; letters and petitions recommending persons for appointment; and copies of letters from the governor or his staff acknowledging receipt of application or recommendation letters.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
283.4 cubic feet
Inclusive Dates:
1883-1936, 1955-1958, 1998-2006
Series Number:
A0612

Arrangement

Numerical by file code number; this usually relates to type of position.

A0612-09: Arranged roughly by nature of correspondence (applications, resignations, designations) or by type of position.

A0612-15: Chronological.

A0612-18: Alphabetical and geographical.

Scope and Content Note

This series documents the governor's power to appoint or nominate for appointment certain officials as authorized by the State Constitution and numerous legislative acts. The correspondence consists mainly of: letters from persons requesting appointment; letters and petitions recommending persons for appointment; and copies of letters from the governor or his staff acknowledging receipt of application or recommendation letters.

The incoming letters generally provide: name of applicant or nominee; position for which applying or recommended; qualifications; and political leanings. The outgoing letters are generally routine. They usually state that the governor will consider the writer's opinion carefully; that an appointment has been made; or that no appointment will be made.

People applied or recommended others for such positions as: judgeships; county coroner; county clerk; county treasurer; county sheriff; tax commissioner; county loan commissioner; manager of a state institution; delegate to a professional, political, or trade conference; commissioner on an ad hoc or standing state commission; port warden; state architect; state historian; Executive Department clerk or messenger; superintendent of prisons; superintendent of standards and purchases; commissioner of deeds; boxing or athletic commissioner; and health council member.

In addition to correspondence directly related to appointments, these files routinely contain certain other types of records including: requests from New Yorkers planning to travel abroad for letters of introduction to foreign officials; printed proclamations from governors of other states concerning Thanksgiving Day, Labor Day, Fire Prevention Day, Arbor Day, and other special "Days"; requests to the governor to issue proclamations to celebrate special events or occasions such as Rural Life Sunday, National Music Week, etc.; annual reports from various state agencies, institutions, and commissions, often with transmittal letters; complaints from citizens against public officers or agencies; correspondence and transcripts relating to pending court cases; vacancy files containing notifications of vacancies (e.g. after death of incumbent), letters of resignation, and reminders to the governor's office that an opening exists and needs to be filled; and invitations to speak at or attend conferences, ceremonies, or other events.

A0612-53, 1933-1936, 18 cubic feet. These records were generated by the first gubernatorial administration of Herbet H. Lehman.

A0612-78, 1883-1906, 72.3 cubic feet. These records were generated by gubernatorial administrations from 1883-1906. Many of these files are lacking the outgoing correspondence acknowledging receipt of applications or recommendations.

A0612-78A, 1904-1906, 2 cubic feet. These records were generated by the administration of Frank W. Higgins. In addition to the routine appointment correspondence described above, these files also include letters urging the governor to investigate the Board of Barber Examiners and to abolish the State Barbers' Commission.

A0612-78B, 1901-1930, 21 cubic feet. The bulk of these records was generated by the administration of Charles Evans Hughes. There are also some records of governors Odell, Higgins, White, Dix, Sulzer, Smith, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. This accretion includes memoranda from Governor Hughes' counsel to Hughes expressing counsel's opinion concerning the governor's right to make certain appointments.

A0612-78C, 1910-1912, 14 cubic feet. These records were generated by the administration of John A. Dix.

A0612-78D, 1912-1913, 12 cubic feet. These records were generated by the administration of William Sulzer.

A0612-78E, 1891-1929, 16 cubic feet. The bulk of these records was generated by the administration of Martin H. Glynn. There are also a number of files of governor Whitman and some files of governors Hill, Flower, Theodore Roosevelt, Odell, Hughes, Smith, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

A0612-78F, 1906-1923, 27 cubic feet. The bulk of these records was generated by the administration of Charles S. Whitman. There are also some records of governors Higgins, Hughes, Dix, Sulzer, Glynn, and Smith.

A0612-78G, 1920-1922, 11 cubic feet. These records were generated by the administration of Nathan L. Miller.

A0612-78H, 1919-1928, 47 cubic feet. These records were generated by the two gubernatorial administrations of Alfred E. Smith.

A0612-78I, 1928-1932, 10.5 cubic feet. These records were generated by the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

A0612-09: The bulk of the correspondence in this accretion was compiled by the gubernatorial administrations of Roswell P. Flower and Frank W. Higgins. Scattered records were generated by the administrations of David B. Hill and Levi P. Morton. Correspondence concerns many aspects of the appointment process including notifications of vacancies, resignations, applications, letters of recommendation, and designations. Records pertain to a wide variety of the positions mentioned above.

A0612-15: These records were generated by the administration of George E. Pataki, and contain copies of letters from the governor to the Comptroller advising of a direct appointment of an individual to a state office. Unlike prior accretions, no other correspondence is found.

A0612-18: These records were generated by the administration of W. Averell Harriman. The records were maintained by the Assistant to the Counsel to the Governor, Milton Stewart. Correspondence in this series is primarily between Milton Stewart's office, department and agency officials, and Democratic county chairmen. Also included are lists of persons appointed in each county of New York, as well as lists of persons appointed who fit into particular categories (of political party, gender, ethnicity, race, or profession). Notable subjects covered by these records include the improvement of infrastructure (especially highway construction), environmental conservation, and efforts to appoint women to policymaking positions.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of this material.

Related Information

Related Materials

Series A3218 Alphabetic Card Index to Governors' Correspondence Files, indexes correspondence in this series for Governors Hughes, White, Dix, Glynn, Whitman, and Miller

Series A0540 Alphabetic Card Index to Governors' Appointment Correspondence Files and Other Matters, also indexes portions of this series, but apparently does not duplicate information in series A3218

Series A0197, Unfiled Governors' Correspondence and Other Records Relating to Appointments, Charges and Complaints Against Public Officials, Extraditions, and Proclamations, contains related records.

Other finding aids

A0612-78, A0612-78B, A0612-78D, A0612-78E, A0612-78F, A0612-78I, and A0612-15: Rough container list is available at the repository.

A0612-18: Container list is available at the repository.

A0612-78A, A0612-78C, A0612-78G: Folder list is available at the repository.

Custodial History

A0612-18: The records in this accretion were transferred to Syracuse University by Governor Harriman in 1959, and were transferred to the New York State Archives in 2006. They were accessioned in July 2018.

Processing Information

A0612-09: The records in this accretion were most likely transferred to the State Archives by the State Library in 1978. At some point prior to that date, these records became alienated from similar records accessioned as A0612-78. The alienated records were originally accessioned as part of record series A0525, New York State Comptroller's Office Assorted Records. The records were returned to series A0612 in 2009.

A0612-18: These records were mistakenly accessioned as part of series B2656, Counsel to the Governor Appointment Files. Later observation of the records revealed that they are homogenous with the types of materials in series A0612. The records were reaccessioned as A0612-18 in August 2018.

Access Terms

Personal Name(s):
Corporate Name(s):
Subject(s):
Genre(s):

Detailed Description

Subseries : Appointment correspondence files, Herbert H. Lehman administration

Dates:
1933-1936
Physical Description:
20 cubic feet

Scope and Content Note:

These records were generated by the first gubernatorial administration of Herbert H. Lehman.

Arrangement:

Numerical by file code number; this usually relates to type of position.