David Gardiner (1784-1844)

of New York City & Gardiner's Island; Member of the New York State Senate

He was a lawyer in New York City and for many years lived at 43 Lafayette Place, opposite the old Astor Library, in a house on Colonnade Row. He was described as, "a man of most elegant and dignified manners, of scrupulous neatness, and of splendid physique". In 1814, he married Juliana, the only surviving child and sole heir of Michael MacLachlan who made made a fortune in the West Indies before acquiring a brewery in New York. Gardiner gave up his legal practice in New York and between 1816 and 1825 rented Gardiner's Island from the widow of his cousin, John Lyon Gardiner. He was the author of "Chronicles of the Town of East Hampton," first published in 1840.

In the early 1840s, he took his wife and daughters on a two year tour of Europe and on returning to the States in 1844 they visited his old friend in Washington D.C., President Tyler. Gardiner and his daughters were among the guests of the President aboard the steam frigate Princeton on its maiden voyage up the Potomac. But during the voyage tragedy struck when one of the cannons exploded and Gardiner was one of those killed. The following year, the President and Gardiner's elder daughter, Julia (the third of his four children), were married in New York and she became First Lady of the United States.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 14/03/2019 and last updated on 06/02/2024.