The Sawkill Creek - Preserving & Enhancing Nature’s Beauty

The Sawkill Creek

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Preserving & Enhancing Nature’s Beauty

One motive for preventing industrial development on the Sawkill was fear of trespassers. In his correspondence with Louise Livingston, Robert Donaldson conjured images of factory workers tramping through her property, stealing fruit from her orchards, and cutting firewood in her woodlots.

This illustration depicts a stereotypical worker of the sort they wanted to exclude. 

Wealthy easterners like Livingston and Donaldson could afford to take a romantic approach to landscape and set aside certain lands solely for scenic purposes. Such a relationship with the land was not possible for the poor and the laboring classes, whether trespassing factory workers or even members of the staff who meticulously maintained estates like Montgomery Place.  

“Paddy O’Daugherty, the Irish emigrant,” from the November 5, 1853 Illustrated News, in “Immigration and Social Stratification in Pre-Civil War New York,” by Douglas T. Miller, New York History (1968).

“No Trespassing” broadside issued by Louise Livingston. Engraving on paper, 1845. Bard College, Montgomery Place Collection.

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