Clarence McKenzie Lewis Papers (PP)

Archives, The LuEsther T. Mertz Library
The New York Botanical Garden
200th Street and Kazimiroff Boulevard
Bronx, New York 10458-5126
Phone: 718-817-8604

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This finding aid was produced in English.

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Collectors: Lewis, Clarence McK. (Clarence McKenzie), 1876-1959
Title: Clarence McKenzie Lewis Papers (PP)
Dates: 1915-1959
Abstract: Incoming and outgoing correspondence, news clippings, obituary, articles.
Quantity: 1 box; 5 linear inches.
Call Phrase: Clarence McKenzie Lewis (PP)

Biography of Clarence McKenzie Lewis

Clarence McKenzie Lewis (1877-1959) graduated in 1898 from Columbia College with a degree in engineering. After practicing as a civil engineer with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, he joined the investment banking house of William Salomon and Company and later Blair and Company. In 1922 Lewis bought Skylands, a thousand acre estate in the highlands of northern New Jersey, from the prominent attorney, Francis Stetson. He replaced Stetson's Victorian house with a 45-room Tudor manor, designed by the distinguished architect, John Russell Pope, and transformed the property into a botanical showplace. The most prominent landscape architects of the day, Feruccio Vitale and Alfred Geiffert, designed the gardens.

For thirty years Lewis collected plants from around the world, resulting in one of the finest collections of plants in New Jersey. In 1966 the state of New Jersey purchased the estate and in 1984 the 96 acres surrounding the house was designated as the New Jersey's official botanic garden, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

Lewis was a trustee of the New York Botanical Garden and in 1953 donated to the Library a collection of 1177 bound volumes, 439 unbound, over 1000 periodicals and the same number of reprints and bulletins.

Scope and Content

The Clarence McKenzie Lewis collection contains incoming and outgoing correspondence from various agricultural and academic institutions. Items include seed requests, seeding advice, and requests for books and reprints of articles pertaing to a variety of horticulture subjects including care, identification, and general gardening techniques.


The Collection is organized into two series:
Series 1: Miscellaneous. 1939-1959.
Series 2: Correspondence. 1915-1953. arranged alphabetically.
Series 3: Artifacts.


Access restrictions

This collection is open for research with permission from Mertz Library staff.


Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be submitted in writing to the LuEsther T. Mertz Library of the New York Botanical Garden.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Lewis, Clarence McK. (Clarence McKenzie), 1876-1959--Archives.
Horticulture--New Jersey.
New Jersey Botanical Garden--History.
New York Botanical Garden--History--Sources.
Document Types
Clippings. aat.
Correspondence. aat.

Related Material

New York Botanical Garden

VF Clarence McKenzie Lewis

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Clarence McKenzie Lewis (PP), Archives, The New York Botanical Garden.

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated to the library by Clarence McKenzie Lewis in 1953.

Processing Information

Processed April 2005 by Kathleene Konkle under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) PA-50678-04.

Container List


Series 1. Miscellaneous.

Scope and Content:

Contains various personal documents including an obituary for Lewis, journal articles written by Lewis, and library donation materials.

Folder Title Date
1.1 Miscellaneous 1939-1959

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Series 2. Correspondence.

Scope and Content:

This series contains incoming and outgoing correspondence seeking advice on seeding and propagation practices, seed and cutting requests, book loans, and reprint requests. Most correspondents are from national and international agricultural institutions and academic departments.

Folder Title Date
1.2 Agee, Alga 1915
1.3 Angela, Sister Helen 1932
1.4 Anson, Mortimer Lewis 1936
1.5 Bailey, L.H. 1943
1.6 Bear, Firman E. 1943
1.7 Blair, A. W. 1917
1.8 Blair, D.S. 1949
1.9 Botsford, (B.T.) Ltd. 1942
1.10 Burt, Joseph B. 1937
1.11 Cave, Norman Leslie 1951
1.12 Collison, R.C. 1943
1.13 Coventry, Bernard Oakes 1933
1.14 Cowles, Raymond B. 1949
1.15 Dunn, Stuart James 1943
1.16 Elliot, Clarence 1950/1953
1.17 Everett, S.A. 1939
1.18 Freeman, Oliver Myles 1942
1.19 Graf, J.E. 1942
1.20 Greulach, Vicotr August 1945
1.21 Haskett, Clarence R. 1941
1.22 Hatton, R. Marion 1941
1.23 Hurst, Charles Chamberlain 1925
1.24 Kendall 1953
1.25 Klauber, Lawrence M. 1950
1.26 Koehler, Arthur 1932
1.27 Luedy, Arthur E. 1943
1.28 Maxon, William R. 1941-1942
1.29 Merrill, E.D. 1946
1.30 Morris, Robert Tuttle 1936
1.31 Morton, C.V. 1943
1.32 Nauss, Ruth M. 1948
1.33 Nyland, W.A. 1942
1.34 Oliver, R.W. 1940
1.35 Oliver, Walter Reginold Brook 1940
1.36 Robbins, W.J. 1948-1954
1.37 Robinson, E.S.G. 1949
1.38 Russell, Paul 1938
1.39 Sargent, C.S. 1924-1926
1.40 Small, John K. 1937
1.41 Stager, Walter 1923
1.42 Stearn, William T. 1949
1.43 Sanford, A.F. 1932
1.44 Schrenk, Hermann von 1932
1.45 Spingarn, Joel Elias 1937
1.46 Weston, Thomas A. no date
1.47 Wherry, Edgar T. 1925/1941
1.48 Whetzel, H.H. 1925
1.49 White, Elizabeth C. 1934
1.50 Wilson, E.H. 1927-1929
1.51 Worthen, E.L. 1943

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Series 3. Artifacts.

Scope and Content:

36 Chinese reed pigeon whistles; 11 "rose rocks". Objects dated May 1, 1953; "from the library of C. Lewis."

Box Title Date
2 Whistles and Rocks ca. 1953

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