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AUGUST 2009

Dwight Williams Huntington
Lawyer, Sportsman, Artist, Editor, Wildlife Conservationist
1851 - 1938

Dwiight Williams Huntington

. Dwight Williams Huntington Pen and Ink sketch

Dwight Williams Huntington

Early Sketches of Dwight Williams Huntington (ca. 1880)

preserved by George Buckland

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1851, Dwight Williams Huntington developed a deep interest in nature and wildlife that eventually became the focus of his life. From childhood, he sketched and painted the natural landscape of Ohio ’s forests, fields, and marshes. After graduating from Yale in 1873, young Huntington signed on to the Marsh scientific expedition to Yellowstone, serving as a correspondent for the Cincinnati Gazette. Upon his return, Dwight’s father, merchant John C. Huntington insisted he study law. He was admitted to the bar in 1875 and for the next several years, Huntington developed his law practice and immersed himself in Ohio politics, becoming a member of the state legislature from 1881 to 1883.

All the while, he continued to pursue his passion for hunting and fishing, sketching, and painting the natural world around him. He witnessed firsthand the rapid decline of America ’s massive flocks of waterfowl due to overhunting. His visits with his sister and brother-in-law at military posts in the West gave Huntington a greater understanding of the magnitude of the problem.

Deeply concerned, he began writing about the need for wildlife conservation through the development of preserves, seasonal hunting, game farming, and limits. In an effort to raise public awareness, Huntington wrote articles for Field and Stream, Century, Country Life, Scribner’s and Harper’s. He joined the Cincinnati Art Club and displayed his landscape watercolors at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1898, the Cincinnati Sportsman’s Society published Sedge, Brush. And Stubble: A Picture Book. It was to be the first of many books Huntington would write and illustrate on wildlife conservation.

Huntington gave up the legal profession and in 1900 headed to New York, becoming editor of the Amateur Sportsman, where he continued to advocate for wildlife conservation. Elected the first president of Game Conservation, he edited the organization’s publication, Game Breeder Magazine. Huntington wrote the nation’s first game breeding bill. With the assistance of Franklin D. Roosevelt, then head of New York ’s Forest, Fish, and Game Commission, his bill became law in 1912. Huntington worked tirelessly for wildlife preservation until his death in 1938 at Oceanside, New Jersey .