Thomas Jefferson Papers
Note: this document has content that may require expanded/print view for best results (icons above right)

Enclosure: Alden Partridge’s Table of Altitudes of Northern Mountains, [before 6 September 1815]


Alden Partridge’s Table of Altitudes of Northern Mountains

[before 6 Sept. 1815]

A Table.
Containing the Altitudes of Mountains calculated from Barometrical Observation, by
A Partridge Captain in the US. Corps of Engineers.
of the Ranges
Names of the different Peaks Altitudes in feet. Remarks.
above their Bases above the Sea.
White Mountains Mount Washington.  4885.—  6634— The White Mountains are situated in the northeast part of the State of New Hampshire, and are Probably the Highest on this side the Missisippi.
1st Peak South of M. W.  3904.—  5653—.
2d do do do  3584.  5333—.
3d do do do  3430.—  5179.
4th do do do  3367—  5116.
5th do do do  2881—  4630—
Base of the Mountains    1749.
Catts-kill Mountains Round Top.  3105.—  3804.— These peaks lie west from Catts-kill town, and are probably as elevated as any in the range.
High Peak.  3019.—  3718.
Highest part of the turn-pike  1729—  2425.1 The Turn-pike passes over the range of2 Catts-kill Mts. from Catts-kill town to Delaware Rr
Base of the mountains.    699.
Green Mountains Killington Peak.  2994—  3924— Killington Peak is situated in the town of Killington, & is said to be the highest in the range
Base of the Mountains    930—
New York High Lands. Crows Nest.    1418. These Mountains are situated on Hudson’s River, below New Burgh, as most of them rise, immediately from the River, their altitudes above their Bases is not consider’d.
Butter Hill    1529.
Bull Hill    1484.—
Old Beacon    1471.
New Beacon    1585—
Bare Mountain.    1350—
Break Neck    1187—.
Anthony’s Nose.    935—.
Sugar Loaf    866—.
Fort Putnam    598.
West Point Plain.    188.

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 80:13924); in an unidentified hand; undated; endorsed by TJ. MS (VtNN: Partridge Papers); in a bound volume of Partridge manuscripts; in an unidentified hand; undated. Printed in Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 10 Sept. 1816, with the addition of altitudes for Hempstead Harbor Hill in New York and three points in the Highlands of Navesink in New Jersey.

In February 1812 Jonathan Williams presented an earlier version of Partridge’s calculations to the American Philosophical Society, and in that form they were subsequently published in APS description begins American Philosophical Society description ends , Transactions, new ser., 1 (1818): 147–50. Correspondence from Partridge to Williams and tables of these earlier calculations can be found in InU: Williams Papers.

TJ noted in a manuscript revision to the query on mountains in his Notes on the State of Virginia composed sometime after November 1815, that “The highest of the White mountains in N.H. by barometrical estimate made by Capt Partridge was found to be 4885.f. from it’s base, and the highest of the Catskill mountains in N. York 3105. feet” (Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia [London, 1787; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 4167; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 7 (no. 365); TJ’s copy in ViU, with revisions, including this one, tipped in between pp. 28 and 29]).

1Thus in manuscript, but the correct figure should be either 2,428 for the altitude above sea level or 1,726 above the base.

2Manuscript: “from of.”

Index Entries

  • altitude; barometers used to calculate search
  • American Philosophical Society; Transactions search
  • barometers; altitude calculated with search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Notes on the State of Virginia search
  • New Hampshire; mountains in search
  • New Jersey; mountains in search
  • New York (state); mountains in search
  • Notes on the State of Virginia (Thomas Jefferson); TJ’s revisions to search
  • Partridge, Alden; and calculation of altitude search
  • physics; barometric calculation of altitude search
  • Vermont; mountains in search
  • Williams, Jonathan; and American Philosophical Society search