Edward L. Partridge
Papers, 1897-1929

Quantity: 6 Boxes (2.0 cu. ft.)
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: Purchased by the NYSL from Harold Nestler, July 1990. Accretion purchased from the same, October 1999
Processed By: Fred Bassett, Senior Librarian, Manuscripts and Special Collections, 1992; revised 2009.

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Biographical Note:

Edward Lasell Partridge (1853-1930), a practicing obstetrician in New York City, is best known for his endeavors to preserve the natural beauty of the Hudson River Highlands and Palisades. As a part-time resident of Cornwall-on-the-Hudson, New York, he was able to enlist the support of other prominent area residents, such as Edward H. and Mary A.W. Harriman, Lyman Abbot, Henry Fairfield Osborn, George F. Kunz, Herbert L. Satterlee, and Ernest A. Stillman. Together, they first petitioned the Federal government, seeking national park status to protect land on both sides of the Hudson River. The Federal government, however, rejected their proposal, so they shifted their lobbying efforts to the New York State government. The State officials proved to be more receptive, enacting legislation during the 1909 session that established Bear Mountain State Park. A year later, an additional 100,000 acres adjoining Bear Mountain State Park was bequeathed to the State by Mary Harriman as a memorial to her late husband. Both the Bear Mountain and Harriman state parks were placed under the jurisdiction of the Palisades Interstate Park of New York and New Jersey, which was administered by appointed commissioners from both states. Edward Partridge was appointed to the commission in 1913, and subsequently reappointed for five-year terms in 1915, 1925 and 1930. During his terms of service the Bear Mountain section was extended by nearly 50,000 acres, and the Storm King Highway was constructed largely from a land grant of Ernest G. Stillman.

Scope and Content Note:

This group of papers is related specifically to Edward L. Partridge’s endeavors to preserve the natural environment of the Palisades and Hudson Highlands. It includes correspondence with federal and state government officials regarding legislation to protect the lands, as well as with other prominent individuals who shared his interest such as Mary Williamson Averell Harriman, George F. Kunz, Henry Fairfield Osborn, Gifford Pinchot, Charles M. Schwab, and John Barton Payne. Some of this correspondence also is related to Edward Partridge’s position with the Palisades Interstate Park Commission.  Other papers include speeches delivered by Partridge; notes and memoranda related to legislation; a scrapbook containing news clippings, maps, and photographs, chronicling the establishment of Bear Mountain and Harriman state parks and the construction of the Storm King Highway and Bear Mountain Bridge, and photograph albums that include pictures of family members and friends, homes and haunts, and the Hudson River highland region.

Container List
Box Folder Description
    Correspondence and reports, 1907-1924
1 1 Correspondence and reports, 1907
1 2 Correspondence and reports, 1908
1 3 Correspondence and reports, 1909
1 4 Correspondence and reports, 1909 (cont.)
1 5 Correspondence and reports. 1910-1912
1 6 Correspondence and reports, 1913
1 7 Correspondence and reports, 1914
1 8 Correspondence and reports, 1915
1 9 Correspondence and reports, 1916-1924
2 1 Speeches (text and related notes), ca. 1907-1909
2 2 Papers related to state and federal laws and legislation on forestry, ca. 1908-1910
2 3 Papers related to bills of New York State Assembly and Senate to preserve the Hudson River Highlands and Palisades
2 4 Papers related to a United States Congress bill for the creation of a national preserve to commemorate the American Revolution and for the preservation of the natural beauty of the Hudson River and the Highlands of the Hudson, 1908
2 5 United State Congress legislation related to national military parks, 1907-1908
2 6 Memoranda concerning property value of land expropriated for Palisades Interstate Park, ca. 1909-1915
2 7 Annotated court proceedings concerning the construction of Storm King Highway, 1916
3 1 v. Scrapbook of clippings, photographs, and maps chronicling the establishment of Bear Mountain and Harriman state parks and the construction of the Storm King Highway and Bear Mountain Bridge
3 (Roll) Map of the new Jersey section of the Palisades Interstate Park showing roads, paths, buildings, pavilions, and playgrounds, August 1920, revised to October 1927
    Publications and Periodical Articles, 1907-1929
4 1 Country Life in America (Vol. 14, No. 5; September 1908). Contains article written by Edward L Partridge: “A Forest Preserve near the Metropolis: A Plea for Legislation That Will Perpetuate a Tract of Rare Natural Beauty in the Hudson Highlands and That Will Prove of Great Economic Value to the State”
4 2 Hudson Fulton Celebration Commission. Official Program: Hudson Fulton Celebration, September 25 to October 9, 1909 (New York: Redfield Brothers, 1909)
4 3 New York Forestry (January 1918) – Article: “Palisades Interstate Park:  A Paper Read at Lake Placid by Dr. Edward L. Partridge”
4 4
  1. The Outlook (Vol. 87, No. 10, November 9, 1907) – Article: “A National Park on the Hudson,” Edward L. Partridge
  2. The Outlook (Vol. 88, No. 9, February 1908) – Article: “The Highlands of the Hudson a National Forest?”
  3. The Outlook (Vol. 90, No. 2, September 12, 1908) – Article: “The Hudson River Forest Preserve”
4 5 Robert Latou Dickinson. Palisades Interstate Park ([New York]: American Geographical Society, 1921) – Includes 3 map plates that provide panorama of the Palisades from Fort Lee to Alpine, New Jersey
4 6
  1. Commissioners of the Palisades Interstate Park Inspection Trip, June 10, 1923 ([New York: Palisades Interstate Park Commission, 1923]) – annotated by Edward L. Partridge
  2. Commissioners of Palisades Interstate Park. The Henry Hudson Drive ([New York: The Commission, 1921]) – Cover title: The Henry Hudson Drive: Formal Opening of Englewood-Alpine Section, October 29, 1921. A piece of the ribbon which was cut by Mrs. George W. Perkins at the opening ceremony is affixed on verso of front cover.
  3. Commissioners of the Palisades Interstate Park. The Palisades Interstate Park, 1900-1929: A History of its Origins and Development ([New York]: The Commission, [1929])
4 7
  1. State Service (Vol. 3, No. 10, October 1919) – Contains article:  “Joys of Palisades Park for City Waifs” by George W. Perkins
  2. Survey Graphic (Vol. 13, No. 3, June 1928) – Contains article: “Those Private Palisades” by Lucia D. Lasker
4 8 New York State. State Council of Parks. Annual Report of the State Council of Parks (New York; Albany, N.Y.: The Council, 1925) – annotated
4 9 Sargent, Charles S. A Guide to the Arnold Arboretum (Cambridge: Printed at the Riverside Press, 1925) – annotated
5 1 v. Photograph Album, 1897-1925 (bound; 32 leaves; 26 x 36 cm.) –Includes pictures of family members and friends, homes and haunts near Cornwall-on-the-Hudson, and the Hudson River highland region;  some of the pictures show recreational pursuits such as picnicking, horseback riding, playing tennis and boating.
6 1 v. Photograph Album, 1920-1927 (bound; 40 leaves; 21 x 30 cm.) – Content similar to earlier album; also includes several pictures of the garden and arboretum at their home near Cornwall-on-the-Hudson; included letter from Robert L. Dickinson, October 22, 1929 (letter placed in separate folder in box)
Last Updated: May 24, 2021