SAILORS' SNUG HARBOR... The Establishment of the of the famous Home is said to have been due to a suggestion made by Alexander Hamilton to its founder Robert Richard Randall, when the latter's will was drawn in 1801. The institution was incorporated that year, but litigation prevented the immediate use of the money, and the property was not purchased until 1831, in which year the corner-stone of the main building was laid. Three years later twenty additional acres were added to the grounds. The main building is a massive building of cut stone, with Doric pillars in Vermont marble. A hospital, chapel and parsonage, Governor's house and several other edifices go to make up this mighty institution.
In front of the main building is a monument of Mr. Randall, who is buried beneath the stone. On one side the inscription reads: "The Trustees of the Sailors' Snug Harbor erected this monument to the memory of Robert Richard Randall, by whose munificence this Institution was founded on the 21st of August, 1834." On the other sides of the monument are inscriptions of similar import.
A fine statue of the founder, by St. Gaudens, is on the lawn near the Governor's House.
To the Harbor sailors of every nationality are admitted, the only requirement for admission being that they have had a five year' sea service under the Stars and Stripes, and are incapable of self-support. Here blind sailors, lame sailors, sailors without legs, sailors without arms, and sailors physically and mentally sound, but perhaps too old to stand the exposure of a mariner's life. They have everything they need, including tobacco, and one of the forms of punishment is to deprive Jack of his pipe. On all secular days the visitor is welcomed and inmates of the institution are glad to act as guides, for an optional fee, through the grounds and buildings, the former being laid out like a park. The men pass their time in a number of ways, many of them deriving an income from the sale of baskets, mats, and hammocks, which they manufacture.
A few figures regarding the the resources of the institution may be interesting. In 1806, the annual income from the estate was $4,283. Eight years later it was about $6,000 and it has now grown to be over $100,000, a small fortune in itself.