Elliott McAllister


R[obert] U[nderwood] Johnson


[ca May 1893]


R. U. Johnson Esq.

Editorial Department of Century Magazine

New York.

My dear Sir

I have long intended to write you again concerning the Yosemite Park reservation and in looking over the correspondence of the Sierra Club (I have recently been elected its Secretary) I find your letters of October 18th and of February 17th to Mr. Armes. Shortly after receiving your letter on the subject of recession, while at the Legislature, I happened to obtain the Yosemite Commissioners view of the matter. They were at the Legislature asking for funds. I am free to confess that I did not feel ready to argue the resolution sent me by Mr. Olney concerning recession, as I could not reply to the Commissioners’ statement that the Federal Government would not properly care for the park and did not now take sufficient interest in the Yellowstone but allowed various abuses to continue. During my conversation I managed to condemn their “electric-search-light” scheme. Since all this began we have been fortunate enough to obtain as a member of the Sierra club one of the Commissioners. He is in sympathy with us & already has accepted some



of our suggestions. And we hope during the year to gain still further ground in this direction. Could you let me know where I can obtain information concerning the conduct by the government of the Yellowstone. I am anxious to satisfy myself one way or the other and to give the commissioners a fair chance. And without being fortified with such facts, i.e. that the government would be ready to take a better care than is now taken, we would be knocked out during the first round. — With a properly organized Sierra Club, which sprang into existence since the recession question arose, one of our greatest spheres of usefulness would be to control the appointments by the governor and to be sure that they are [illegible] in [sympathy?] with us. I may add that during the past Session of the Legislature, a petition from Fresno & resolution to Congress were presented endorsing [Caminetti’s?] bill changing the boundaries of the National Park. I was determined to defeat this, when it came on for action. Fortunately it died in the files & was not pulled out. — This boundary question must be watched carefully by the club- I enclose a newspaper clipping to you of our last meeting. it is to be regretted that we have not all of Professor Jordan’s remarks. They were very much to the point. – We hope to put renewed life & activity in the club



during this coming year. Mr. Muir presented us with a lot of mountaineering trophies of his, which will form a nucleus. – We shall endeavor to collect his newspaper articles ; as well as the publications of Mr [Whymper?], Mr King – and to form a good library for such a club as ours. From time to time, you will receive the circulars & publications that are sent out to the members.-

Very Truly Yours

Eliott McAllister.


Circular of May 22nd, 1893.

To the Members of the Sierra Club:

With this mail has been forwarded to each member a map of King's River Canon, and one of the Yosemite region. Please acknowledge receipt of the same on the enclosed blank.
The Directors wish to place themselves in touch with the individual members of the Club, and to obtain their co-operation in all that may be done. The members are therefore requested not to hesitate to make such suggestions concerning the Club's work as they may deem proper.
In a few days the Club will open to members its room in the Academy of Sciences Building, in San Francisco. Mr. John Muir has presented the Club with a large number of mementos of his mountaineering, as well as some photographs. To this nucleus each member is now called on to make additions, in order that our walls may be covered and a library formed.
Many are dissatisfied with the appearance of our seal. The intention was to have a representation of a Sequoia Gigantea, the tree being peculiar to the coast. But the designer was in no way successful in his effort. The Directors intend to obtain a more perfect seal, and wish an expression of opinion as to the design. All suggestions must contemplate a design not less than twelve inches in diameter; from the accepted design a seal will be made by reduction and the original framed for the walls.
Amongst the records and in the publications, will be preserved any information concerning the mountains that is of general interest.
Finally an increase of our membership is so much to be desired, that the Directors ask the members to enlist the sympathy of their friends, and to propose for membership as many as possible.
The wants of the Club may be summarized as follows :
(a)Contributions to a library;
(b)Proposals for membership;
(c)Designs for a seal;
(d)Suggestions of work to be done ;
(e)Information for publication;

Respecfully yours,



Room 51A,



San Francisco

Date Original

1893 May 22


Original letter dimensions: 27.5 x 19.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 07, Image 0968

Collection Identifier

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

Copyright Statement

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.


4 pages


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



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