Oliver Partridge (1712 - 1792)

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Birthplace: Hatfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts
Death: Died in Hatfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts, USA
Managed by: Jeremy Jed Lyman
Last Updated:

About Oliver Partridge

DAR Ancestor #: A088449

Oliver Partridge was born June 13 or 15, 1712, Hatfield, MA; and died July 21, 1792, Hatfield. He was graduated at Yale in 1730. While waiting an official appointment to clerk for Judge Israel Williams of the general Court (provincial government), Oliver studied and practiced surveying, anteceding Washington in this profession by sixteen years. He married Anna Williams (1716-) in 1734. She was the daughter of Rev. William Williams of Weston, MA, and granddaughter of Rev. Solomon Stoddard. Oliver studied law, and practiced at Hatfield. By 1747, he was High Sheriff of Hampshire County, MA (then including what became Berkshire county in 1761), and a member of the commonwealth’s legislature. As the French and Indian Wars got under way, he attended a council of representatives from several colonies at Albany in 1751 and 1754. The delegates at the 1754 gathering also included Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, who was six years older than Oliver Partridge. In his autobiography, Franklin said of this meeting,

"In the 1754 war with France being again apprehended a congress of commissioners from the different colonies was by an order of the Lords of Trade [in London] to be assembled in Albany; there to confer with the chiefs of the Six Nations concerning the means of defending both their country and ours."

At each of these meetings delegates exchanged wampum belts with the Native leaders in their efforts to strengthen the ties between them. In this year, Oliver Partridge came to be addressed by the military title of colonel, and is subsequently mentioned in many instances as Colonel Oliver Partridge, Esq. (esquire signifying an attorney). “In July 1758, Colonel Partridge was directing one of the divisions of the army at Lake George when Abercrombie with sixteen thousand men was defeated with a loss of two thousand. (Whipple, 1909, p. 22)”

In 1765 Oliver Partridge was one of the delegates from nine of the 13 colonies who met in response to the levying of the Stamp Act by King George III. Oliver Partridge was one of Massachusetts’ three representatives — along with Timothy Ruggles, the chairman of the congress, and James Otis, its foremost speaker. Drawn together for the first time in organized opposition to British policy, the attendees adopted a Declaration of Rights and Grievances and wrote letters or petitions to King George III and both houses of Parliament. This Stamp Act Congress is viewed by some as the first American action in or as a precursor of the American Revolution. The representatives claimed for American colonials entitlement to the same rights as the residents of Britain and protested the colonies' "taxation without representation." As a member of the Stamp Act Congress, Oliver Partridge voted in favor of the actions of the body, This Congress met in New York City’s Old City Hall, a building later called Federal Hall. (See a picture of this building posted to Geni, along with photos of the stamps.)

In 1769-'74 Oliver Partridge was judge of common pleas for Hampshire County.

When hostilities with the mother country were impending, he was at first opposed to revolution, but soon embraced the cause, becoming a colonel commanding a division against the British and Hessian troops during the 1777 Battle of Ticonderoga in the Revolutionary War.

[There have been claims that Oliver Partridge was a member of the First and /or Second Continental Congresses. This is worth further investigation, although I have not found Oliver Partridge's name among those on rolls of the members of either body. George Partridge is officially listed as a delegate from Massachusetts in 1779 and 80, as were Samuel Adams, Elbridge Gerry, Samuel Holten, and James Lovell. In 1781, the delegates from Massachusetts included Samuel Adams, Jonathan Jackson, James Lovell, Scott Osgood, George Partridge, and Artemas Ward. 1782: Samuel Adams, Jonathan Jackson, James Lovell, John Lovell, Scott Osgood, George Partridge. In 1787: Nathan Dane, Nathaniel Gorham, Samuel Holten, Rufus King, Samuel A. Otis, and George Partridge. Was George Partridge related to Oliver Partridge, and if so, how? - Michael Delahunt, November, 2011]

Katharine Manierre (Newbury) wrote (1905-06) that "Hon. Oliver Partridge graduated at Harvard in 1730. One of the most distinguished men of the age in Western Massachusetts. He was High Sheriff and Judge of the Court. He was a member of the first and second Colonial Congress at Albany 1754 and 1765. He had 13 children." Katharine Newbury Manierre also indicated (1905-06) that "Hon. Oliver was a first cousin to his wife, Anna Williams." Oliver's mother was one of Anna's father's sisters.

Source: Excerpted from an original genealogical document written by Katharine Manierre (Newbury) in 1905-06, in the collection of Michael Delahunt, and posted by him to Geni in November, 2011.

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[The following is the text of the article about Oliver Partridge downloaded 2010 from Wikipedia.]

Oliver Partridge (1712-1792) was a military commander and politician in colonial America. He represented Massachusetts at the Albany Congress of 1754, and at the Stamp Act Congress of 1765. He was also the first senior military commander of Massachusetts.

Contents

   * 1 Life
         o 1.1 Family
         o 1.2 Education and early offices
         o 1.3 Later offices and the Revolution
         o 1.4 Epitaph
   * 2 See also

Life

Family

Partridge was born in Hatfield, Massachusetts to a family of English colonial officers and magistrates. He was a member of the Dudley-Winthrop Family, known for their involvement in colonial politics. He was a great-grandson of Massachusetts Governor Simon Bradstreet and a great-great-grandson of Massachusetts Governor and Harvard founder Thomas Dudley. He was the only son of Colonel Edward Partridge, and grandson of Colonel Samuel Partridge. His grandson, Edward Partridge (1793 - 1840), was an early convert to the Latter Day Saints.

Education and early offices

His commanding position among the "River Gods" or ruling families of Western New England is reflected in his ranking 2nd in his Yale class of 1730 at a time when Harvard and Yale graduates were ranked according to their family’s social position, rather than academic merit. Oliver’s uncle, Rev. Elisha Williams, of the numerous and influential Williams clan, was the head of Yale College during Partridge’s student years there, reading law and surveying. In 1734 Partridge married Anna, the daughter of the Reverend William Williams of Weston and was appointed joint Clerk of the Court of Hampshire County. He also served as a selectman of Hatfield almost every year from 1731 to 1774 and again in 1780–81; a representative in the Massachusetts General Court 1741, 1761, and 1765-1767; and High Sheriff of Hampshire County from 1741-1743.

Later offices and the Revolution

In June 1744, at the outbreak of King George's War, he was appointed to a committee of 3 by Massachusetts Governor William Shirley (along with John Leonard and his cousin John Stoddard) to oversee the construction of a line of military forts along the western frontier of the Colonies to defend against the French. In 1754 he represented Massachusetts in the Albany Congress that ultimately passed Benjamin Franklin’s plan for colonial union. Upon his return to Massachusetts from New York he was commissioned a Colonel and succeeded his uncle Israel Williams in command of Britain’s western provincial forces. In 1765 he, alongside James Otis, Jr. and Timothy Ruggles, represented Massachusetts at the Stamp Act Congress in New York. While Partridge was a Loyalist and a Tory, as was common among the landed gentry, he reconciled himself to the inevitability of separation from the British Empire once it had become an accomplished fact, and resumed his legal duties as an American. Such was the respect in which he was held by his countrymen that his revolutionary neighbors did not dare molest his person or property during the Revolutionary War, and in 1780 and 1781 he was again appointed selectman for Hatfield.

Epitaph

He died at Hadley. His epitaph states that "His usefulness in church and state was early known to men; Blest with an active life, till late, and happy in his end."

See also

   * Franklin Bowditch Dexter, Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College October, 1701 - May, 1745, New York Henry Holt & Co., 1885
   * Michael Coe, The Line of Forts, Historical Archaeology on the Colonial Frontier of Massachusetts University Press of New England, 2006
   * Richard Melvoin, New England Outpost: War & Society in Colonial Deerfield, 1988
   * Lucretia Lyman Ranney, My Children's American Ancestry, Published Privately 1959

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Hon. Oliver Partridge, Esq.'s Timeline

1707
May 14, 1707
Hatfield, Connecticut
1712
June 13, 1712
Hatfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts
1735
August 15, 1735
Age 23
Hatfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts
1736
July 27, 1736
Age 24
Hatfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts
1738
August 19, 1738
Age 26
Hatfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts
1739
November 8, 1739
Age 27
Hatfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts
1742
February 15, 1742
Age 29
Hatfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts
1744
March 15, 1744
Age 31
Hatfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts
1748
August 3, 1748
Age 36
Hatfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts
September 5, 1748
Age 36
Hatfield, MA, USA