Catherine H. [Katie C.H.] Hittell
Dear friend Mr. Muir
I suppose Mrs. Myrick has told you how we ladies worked to get the meadowlarks protected by the State Legislature. The Sportsmen’s Convention, which met last April, incorporated into their new game law, a section protecting the larks and it was to urge that that section be make into a law, that we ladies sent petitions signed by fifteen hundred prominent persons, to the legislature. Mr. Brassford of Vacaville, chairman of the Game Committee in the Assembly cut out the clause protecting the larks from the new Game
Bill, saying at the same time: “The meadow larks can’t sing. They can only gallup out a note or two.” Of course we ladies, who had worked so hard for the larks, felt very unhappy over the outcome of our work, especially as so many larks and robins are sold in our markets every day. On Sunday, March 24th, a boarder of one of the boarding houses in the City, gold me that they had had lark pie for breakfast and as there were one hundred boarders in that house, it meant one hundred “slaughtered innocents.”
Yesterday, I thought I would find out whether the Board of Supervisors of San Francisco, had done something"
For the larks, as they were requested to do, last year by the Committee from the Sportsmen’s Convention. To my great joy, I found the following ordinance of the Board
“Order No. 2765.
Section I. Every person who, in the City and County of San Francisco, State of California, shall between the first day of March and the first day of October of each year, buy or sell, or offer for sale, or have in his possession, any red-breasted robbing, or any brush robin or meadow lark shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
“Section 2. This order shall take effect, and be in force from and after its passage.
Board of Supervisors, San Francisco
May 28, 1894.” +++++"
But this ordinance seems to be a dead letter at present as I saw robins in the Market, yesterday, and larks were eaten at one place at least a week ago; therefore some of the energetic women of the Century Club of California are going to take this matter up and try to have this law enforced. They intend very soon to have a meeting devoted to the discussion of the larks and of ways and means for enforcing that ordinance. They would be more than delighted if you would speak a few words to them about our birds etc and our duty to protect our natural beauties but I suppose it is out of the question for them to expect that of you as I know that you "
Are overwhelmed with requests for speeches and that you make it a rule not to speak in public. If you should be willing to break this rule of yours in this case, I wish you would let me know. Anyhow, your letter was of immense help to us last year and I see that Miss Knapp has incorporated a part of it into her article, which I herewith send. I hope you will not be displeased at it being printed. I let Miss Knapp see the latter, as I count it among my best possessions and she printed it.
I write this letter to you because I thought you would like to know shat we are doing to" "[page 6]
Save “our divine midgets of songlarks.”
Your sincere friend
Catherine H. Hittell
808 Turk St
P.S. At Christmas time I sent several of your books as Christmas presents to Eastern friends and the praise they received was perfectly delightful. One friend made New Year’s presents of the book to his friends. First I thought I would send you some of the words of praise but then I remembered that a noble work was its own reward and I refrained.
C. H. H."
San Francisco, Calif.
1895 Apr 3
Original letter dimensions: 18 x 11 cm.
Hittell, Catherine H., "1895 Apr 3 Catherine Hittell to JM p1" (1895). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 4860.
MSS 301 Shone
Online finding aid for the microform version of the John Muir Correspondence http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt0w1031nc
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Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters