Petition of William Hammell
New Haven Oct 23d 1801
The Petition of William Hammell of the City of New Haven in the State of Connecticutt, humbly sheweth—
That your Petitioner is informed that the United States are about to erect a Light House on Falkland Island in Long Island Sound; that there is to be appointed a keeper or overseer of said Light house—your Petr flatters himself that the certificate herewith sent will shew that he is well fitted to minster this office of Keeper or overseer of said Light house he therefore prays that he may be appointed Keeper or Overseer of said Light House whenever an appointment shall be made to said office
RC (DNA: RG 26, MLR); at head of text: “To His Excellency Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States”; endorsed by clerk: “Falkner Island Lt house. Keeper recomd—this recomd. was handed by Mr Hillhouse of the Senate Jany 30, 1802.” Enclosure: Certificate of Abraham Bradley and 35 others, New Haven, 21 Oct. 1801, stating that they are well acquainted with Hammell, that he is “an honest industrious, prudent, trusty man,” and is “well fitted” to serve as keeper or overseer of the proposed lighthouse at Falkner Island (MS in same; in Hammell’s hand, signed by Bradley and others).
For background on the construction of a lighthouse on Falkner (Falkland) Island, see Albert Gallatin to TJ, 15 Aug. 1801. Joseph Griffing was appointed the first keeper of the Falkner Island lighthouse in 1802 (Harlan Hamilton, Lights & Legends: A Historical Guide to Lighthouses of Long Island Sound, Fishers Island Sound and Block Island Sound [Stamford, Conn., 1987], 116).