Jno. T. McLean
on the overland train going east near Rawlins Wyoming 7 p.m.
Feby 2nd 1896
Mr. John Muir
My Dear Sir
As you see I am on my way east - bound for Washington expecting to remain East mostly in Washington, though visiting N. York & Boston & then northern cities while away from California I go as a delegate from the Renier & Harbor Improvement Association of Central California (there being five other delegates) to secure as liberal appropriations as possible from Congress for the improvement of the Sacramento & forgiven Rivers & their tributaries, and the harbors of San Francisco & Oakland. Petaluna & Napa Creek & Alviso Slough & Creek.
In addition I go to secure the passage if possible, of an Act providing for the perchase & making free of the four toll roads passing through the Yosemite National Park -- the Tioga Road, the Oak Flat Road, the Coul-
terville & Yosemite Road & the [Wallona?] Road. the Government to pay them the cost of their construction.
It is an anomaly, & not in accordd and with the fitness of things, as you know, that the Govt. should establish this Grand Park, & invite our own people, & the people of the world, to visit it, & see its wonderful forest, rock & water scenery, & then allow them to be charged toll for passing over it. Secy of the Interior Noble realized this & sent a Commission to California to examine these roads. & to report to the Interior Dept. on their origin, title under our laws, length, cost, character of construction present condition etc. This report was made & the recommendation accompanied it that the Govt. buy the road, at the cost of their construction & make them free. Secy Noble sending this report to Congress with his favorable recommendation, Senator White has introduced a Bill in the Senate providing for this purchase to be made by the U.S. and Representative Johnson a similar bill in the House of Representatives & they are referred to the [illegible] in each House. Both our Senators and all our Representatives from Cal a favor the passage of this Bill. But it will need work
specific influence to pass it & secure Prest. Cleveland's approval.
I take it for granted that you would favor is passage, & so write to ask you to send me, to my address, at Willards Hotel, Washington, letters of introduction to such friends of yours in the East, as would be disposed & able to help me with Senators & Represenatives & other offices in Washington having a voice in the passage of this bill. I thought Mr. Johnston & Mr. Gilden of the Century Magazine, would have powering influence in this direction; but I do not know them personally. You do. & you know me. So I thought I would ask you to send me letters to them, & to such others East as might suggest themselves to you being known by you and as likely to help to a consumation so desirable as free roads in our Yosemite National Park.
I intended to write & ask this favor of you before starting from home. but I was very much occupied & could not do it.
I am reading on my way East, your very interesting book on "The Mountains of California" and congratulate you on this presentation of these grand mountains of ours, with their glaciers & forests & animal life, in such truthful & yet entertaining & delightful form, as that we can hardly leave off when once enjoyed in reading it. I hope it may have many readers, and you great satisfaction and profit as the result of its publication. & that many thousands may be drawn by its perusal to visit our Sierras.
I wrote with a pencil & while the train is in motion so please excuse penmanship. & my long explanatory letter. Hoping to hear from you at your earliest conveniences in reply.
I am, Very Truly, Your Friend
Jno. T. McLean
[Near Rawlins, Wyo., aboard train]
1896 Feb 2
Original letter dimensions: 27 x 20.5 cm.
McLean, Jno T., "Letter from Jno. T. McLean to John Muir, 1896 Feb 2." (1896). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 9.
Reel 09, Image 0043
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