Geo[rge] G. Mackenzie


[Robert Underwood] Johnson



I am exceedingly unwilling to get him into trouble of any kind. The "grab," however, is an especially greedy one. Leonard I do not blame, for he is a poor man, struggling to support a wasteful half-breed family. If we stop this grab it will show the Washburns more than anything else that would be done just now that we mean business and can effectively fight the monopoly. I think that the reason that Leonard was not sent to "prove up" on June 16 was because I had already told J. J. Cook, (Stoneware House,) and who is a partner in the Stage company and at Wawona, that I would see that they should never get a foot of the Little Yosemite. Perhaps they have now thought that I would not learn of the new attempt to "prove up" or would not now be inclined to


Yosemite, Cal.

Aug. 3d.

Dear Mr. Johnson:

Concerning Brother Robinson, I am not likely to notice him at all in print, but were I to do so the purport of what I would say would be that his assistance or opposition in the Yosemite contest is, in my opinion, of no importance whatever. I don't know, nor do I care, how much he wrote of the Examiner's articles at the time of that paper's raid in this direction. What Robinson wrote may have been accurate enough, but the whole attack was such a stupid blunder in tone and often as to statement of fact that it only resulted in harm. As to Robinson being a "pioneer"



oppose them. The Secretary of the Interior (or, more accurately, the President) has undoubted legal power to withhold from entry or final proof land in such situation as the Little Yosemite holds with regard to the Yosemite itself and the Vandever bill. I don't suppose now that Leonard can be prevented from "proving up" at Mariposa by anything that can be done by private persons here; but there is nothing in law to prevent the Department from refusing the proof and a patent. In the stuff I sent you in answer to Warner, I perhaps repeated in substance some of the matter used in my last Times letter. I then thought that the latter would not be used. Repetition, however, is a power in itself.


it is a common weakness of nearly everybody who has been long around Yosemite to wish to pose as the sole, original pioneer in something or other. I don't propose to encourage the failing, by the frequent displays of which I am already sufficiently bored. Altogether I consider Brother Robinson's notion that I owe him some acknowledgement of error an uncommonly cheeky, not to say impudent, fancy. Yesterday I received a Times with the article in answer to Irish. I am glad that it was not emasculated, as I somewhat feared it would be. It is strong enough as it now reads. I have forgotten what else was in the original, but I dare say that I may have


dropped a little too much into the wild and wooly style, as it is extremely agreeable to me to "go for" Irish without reserve. My brother sent me your note to him, and said that my letter needed to have "a little of the 'mad' knocked out." I send on a different sheet a statement of interest concerning the Vandever bill and the Little Yosemite. Would have sent it sooner, but have waited until having made another visit to Little Yosemite to see the exact condition of affairs up to latest moment. You are at liberty to use the information as you see fit. At all events Vandever ought to have it. I have my information about the money from Archie Leonard himself. He, being a friend of mine,


But you will have known how much the screed was useful and how much "unavailable."

Yours Very Truly,

Geo. G. Mackenzie

I believe that Leonard did "prove up" on the Little Yosemite land two or three years, but that it was recently found that he had got the wrong numbers, and had "proved up" on land never occupied at all by him. I am not fully and defintely informed about this, but the Land Office records will show. If I am right, I believe the whole present proceeding to be illegal, even if Leonard had a bona fide residence on the claim. The usual way of correcting mistakes about numbers is quite different.



Yosemite, Calif.

Circa Date

[1890] Aug 3


Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 06, Image 0609

Collection Identifier

Online finding aid for the microform version of the John Muir Correspondence

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Some letters written to John Muir may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Owning Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.


2 pages


Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters



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