History of the Islip Seal

The following is a reproduction of a letter written in 1883 to the Town of Islip by the Seal’s designer, A. G. Thompson. It provides an explanation for the seal’s design and the history contained within it.

Selah R. Clock, Esq.
Clerk of the Town of Islip

October the 12, 1883

Dear Sir:
The Seal that I have designed and now present to the Town of Islip has a significance that can be appreciated by all who are conversant with the history of the town.

The Branch on the upper portion represents Smithtown given by Wyandanche, Sachem of Montauk, to Lion Gardiner in 1659; sold to Richard Smythe in 1663, patented to him in 1665.

The creeping vines with rootlets at the upper or north end represent on the right Brookhaven, patented in 1666-1686; on the left Huntington, patented 1666-1686.

The tendency of the rootlets is to creep towards the Branch of Smithtown, while the growth southward of the vines is to entwine and embrace the cluster or bunch of Grapes which represents the several patents and necks of land in the territory called Islip.

The Eye is the mark of vigilance and refers to a remark by Colonel Tredwell Scudder, who was supervisor 1795 to 1796 and 1804 to 1815, that it was an “Eye Slip” on the part of Brookhaven and Huntington in not including in their patents the territory now called Islip.

The date 1683 refers to the first purchase to William Nicoll granted November 29, 1683.

The Latin motto “Fide sed cui vide” is from armorial bearings of the Nicoll family. It signifies “Trust but look out in whom” or more fully translated: “Have confidence but be careful in whom you confide!” This motto should ever guide in the choice of town officers.

With Sincere regards,
A.G. Thompson