Annie K. Bidwell
those granted by it, honorary degrees," and that "the records of the old College of California shew that General Bidwell was granted an honorary detree in 1865, his name being the very first in the list, and will be the first of our list of some 6000 graduates."
General was not a "graduate," but he was granted the degree of Master of Arts, Dr Willey wrote me this, also. Another singular incident is that the Chico State Normal School held very impressive memorial services for him on April 4, and one paper was entitled "How best can we honor General Bidwell: By striving to preserve the forest" etc. I can not recall the
1711 Q St. Washington D.C.
May 4, 1905.
Dear Mr Muir.
Just a line to tell you how very grateful I am for your letter to me, and to Dr Benjamin, and to Mr Johnston, about dear General.
Dt Benjamin is so very much in earnest in his enthusiasm for General Bidwell, as one to be honored by California, in the Hall of Fame, that he proposes to push the matter, and is urging it in
the California Society of Washington, and with individuals. Mr Garner of the Civil Service now, but of the Forestry Department recently, is very enthusiastic on the subject, and is "talking it up" with some who prefer Stanford etc. Dr Benjamin was a resident of California from his birth until he was a man. He is compiler of biographies for the Smithsonean Institution and, publishing, so is in line to be interested. He told my sister some time ago that he wished I would let him write General Bidwell's biography. He & his wife are neighbors and very beloved friends of my sister and Mr Alexander.
Mr Johnston sent Dr Benjamin
The Centurys containing General's account of his trip overland, and wrote a very kind note. So you see you have set in motion a force of value in this matter. It is very strange that for the first time in my life, when East, articles have been sent me about General which were very important for Dr Benjamin's "paper," and will be important for his work, and are still arriving, the senders wholly ignorant of their peculiar value at this time, to us.
Mrs Cheney wrote to know date of General's death, stating that the Unviersity of California is "about to publish a list of its graduates and of
done on that line and proposes "that one of our National Parks be named for him." I wish I had a spare clipping to send you. It was from the Call of Apr 12, 1905. This all impresses me as very strange, all combining at once, as it were. "Senator Perkins is not for Gen. Bidwell but I intend talking to him," said Mr Garver to me, recently. He made that [illegible] eloquent plea for General at the Washington California Society, of which I may have written you.
I have a very unsteady
right hand, from neuritis, (which doctor tells me will be unsteady for some months), hence this dreadfull scrawl.
I hope to be at home by June first, & Mr A. sister and Willie, to follow in July. Oh how I wish you would join us there, with as many of your dear ones as possible.
Please give my most cordial greeting to Mrs Muir and my love to the dear daughters.
Yours heartily and always,
Annie K. Bidwell
Dr Willey also sent me a Call clipping, saying, "I do not know from what paper this is, or who sent it to me, but I thought you would like to have it." That seems strange, too. Dr Willey was Chaplain of the first Senate of California, when General was a senator - etc.
A. K. B.
exact title of the paper. It was given by one of the students who knew and loved General. Dr Van [Leiv?] has written me that these memorial services were of the highest order and the most impressive he has attended. A friend from the East (recently located in Oakland) has sent me a clipping from the San Francisco Call - an editorial referring to these Normal Exercises in a remarkably sympathetic manner, and stating that Genl. Bidwell mapped out long before the govt. began Forestry work, all that the govt has since
1905 May 4
Original letter dimensions: 13.5 x 27 cm.
Bidwell, Annie K., "Letter from Annie K. Bidwell to John Muir, 1905 May 4." (1905). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 3323.
Reel 15, Image 0413
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