E[dward] T. Parsons
R[obert] U[nderwood] Johnson
To explore, enjoy, and render accessible the mountain regions of the Pacific Coast: to publish authentic information concerning them: to enlist the support and cooperation of the people and the Government in preserving the forests and other natural features of the Sierra Nevada Mountains."
Board of Directors-1908-1909Honorary Vice-Presidents
Mr. John Muir. President . Prof. A. O. McAdle, Vice-President Prof. J. N.Le Conte. Treasurer . Mr. William E. Colby. Secretary . Prof. Wm. F. Bade . . Prof. George Davidson . . . Prof. W. R. Dudley Mr. Warren Olney . Mr. B. T. Parsons. Martinez . San Francisco Berkeley San Francisco . . . Berkeley San Francisco Stanford University . San Francisco San Francisco Prof. George Davidson Mr. R. U. Johnson . Pres. David Starr Jordan Mr. Gifford Pinchot. San Francisco The Century, New York Stanford University Washington, D. C.Outing Committee
Mr. Wm. B. Colby, Chairman
Prof. J. N. Le Conte Mr. B. T. Parsons
Committee on PublicationsMr. Elliott McAllister, Editor San FranciscoProf. Wm. P. Bade. Book Reviews BerkeleyProf. Wm. R. Dudley, Forestry Notes . Stanford Univ. Mr. Alex. O. Bells Prof. H. W. RolfeMr. B. T. Parsons Mr. Wllloughby RodmanBan Francisco, Dec. 1st, 1908.
Mr.R.U.Johnson, , 'Associate Editor "Century Magazine",Union Square, New York.
Dear Sir:-Again I want to intrude on your attention regarding the Hetch-Hetchy proposition. I do so because I do not know how closely other Interested people nay be keeping you posted, and lest the particular points I send herewith nay be overlooked, I take the liberty of writing you again personally myself.
You doubtless are advised of the results of the City election on this matter. While the large proposition in favor of Hetch-Hetchy and Bond proposition may surprise you, yet had you been on the ground and seen the persistent campaign made by all of the papers of this city| who many of them unscrupulously used the most virulent abuse and misrepresentation of opponents of the scheme, you would wonder that as many as did had the nerve to openly oppose the proposition, and to vote against it. The entire unthinking public and the rabble of the city all favored the proposition of course, through a factitious hatred of the Spring Valley corporation, fostered for many years by the systematic and continuous abuse by the newspapers.
-But I will cut it short. I enclose you herewith two full page ads. over the names of a number of unquestionably the very best and soundest citizens of this city. To no name attached to those ads. can a single criticism be made. They are honest, Just-minded citizens who sincerely wish the best for our city.
I also enclose you a clipping from the morning paper showing what the city officials are now proposing to do. One of the aldermen will accompany the City Engineer to Washington to promote their bill in Congress, confirming the concession and agreement made with Garfield.
It seems to me that to the best of my study of the question, the different things that can be done to oppose this confirmation in Congress are-
FIRST: That you have a reprint made from the CENTURY of John Muir's article, together with your editorial, and the four pictures of the Valley, and that enough of these be prepared at once so that you may be able to place one in the hands of each member of Congress together with a personal letter from yourself on this topic.
SECOND: If you think best, you may state in this personal letter, or some other form of communication, to Congress, the opposition made by the best citizens of California, giving the names of the ninety-six who openly opposed it in the newspapers.
THIRD: That Mr. Mofarland and Mr. Chamberlain, either or both of them, also write personal letters representative of their organic
[Illegible]sations to each member of Congress.
FOURTH:That John Muir write it-personal letter to each member of Congress. I myself, will suggest this action to Mr.Muir forthwith, and if possible have him got his letters off at an early date.
It seems to me that these communications and the information of Mr. Muir's article and your editorial,altogether, should cause enough of the individual members of the House of Representativesand the Senate, to pause and delay in this matter, to shove it over beyond this short session of Congress.
I will say that the advocates of this proposition and the City officials who are now moving to have Congress confirm Garfield's Agreement, recognizing the possibility of strong opposition, are willing to have the grant confirmed in the exact terms of the Agreement with Garfield.That they are going to propose a bill, or have proposed one, on these exact terms, hoping in later sessions of Congress to get through other bills modifying or changing this Agreement, as they may later on wish. I have it from reliable sources that the California Representatives who have been consulted hare strongly advised that they do not attempt at this time in any way to change this Agreement, warning them that if they do, the opposition would perforce delay it and carry it through beyond this short session Of course beside us of the enlightened class who oppose this measure on the broad grounds that it is unnecessary, there being plenty of other sources for this city's water, there are other interests also at work, and while we need not ally ourselves in any way with them, we certainly will find possibly that they will help in defeating this proposed bill at this present session.
Trusting that thisrather rambling and hurried letter may give you some aid in the fight we all of us are making in this iniquitous proposition, and with heartiest best wishes, I am-
P. S.Please note that the proponents of this proposition always refer to the National Park as a national Reservation. They speak of it in this way to disguise the fact that the Hetch-Hetchy is actually in a United States National Park.
1908 Dec 1
Original letter dimensions: 28 x 21.5 cm.
Parsons, Edward T., "Letter from E[dward] T. Parsons to R[obert] U[nderwood] Johnson, 1908 Dec 1." (1908). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 5579.
Reel 17, Image 1029
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