tv 20th Century West and Federal Government CSPAN August 31, 2017 3:12pm-4:45pm EDT
longer set our national agenda. instead many of us find information niches that reinforce our opinions. growing polarization has seemed to split news two nations. >> watch this labor day on c-span and c-span.org and listen on the freespan radio app. up next we'll look at the federal government and the american west in the 20th century. the university of colorado boulder's patricia limerick discusses the government's plan from doelg out land, to preserving it. >> okay. so here's our exploration of progressive era responses to the -- what it was understood to be the end of the frontier and if we have time we'll get to a massive adventure in applied history where i got to go to
harney county where the national wildlife refuge was taken over by the bundy brothers so i get -- i'll have a presentation on that if time permits because that was probably really the most intense experience on the ground of being in the place. community still very divided by that takeover. i hope i can get to that, as well. so, first a guessing game. this is somebody who said a lot of things that i think people have forgotten. including me. including me. i've forgotten some of the things. so here's the question i guess for the sake of wider audience. i'll read it. the public domain has been a force of profound importance in the nationalization and development of the government. and the person who said that is probably not someone you would have expected to have said that because, in fact, it is somebody who said a lot of things and then he didn't -- he or she
didn't end up getting credit for that. so who said that? isn't it fun to be told that you're going to be tricked? come on, suckers. come on. >> -- essentially. >> it is in your reading. >> you did. >> i said that? no. no. but in fact, it is so much something i could have said because the public lands are -- they're the core of the way the federal government grows. that's one of those bed rom reasons for saying the west and the westward expansion is key to the growth of the power of the federal government so i felt that. [ inaudible ] no. though he would -- >> turner?
>> yes, yes, yes. i was going to say i've sat at his desk. matt got it. frederick jackson turner said that. i am -- he is totally benefited from you folks being here because i re-read the significance of the frontier of american history and i don't know what was going on. there's like, what? seven of the quoted passages of the frontier strips the pioneer of his formal dress and puts him in a canoe. there's few things like that everybody reads and all remember and this time i thought, i might as well read every word. there's a lot of stuff about indians in there. who knew? apparently anyone who reads it would know that. but frequent references to the -- not necessarily to the significance of indians but to their presence and to the importance of settlers responses to them and to the national government. responding to the presence of indians. the trails, the importance of indian trails. i actually thought, oops. what i think might have triggered my -- the 1986
patricia limerick's response is that it is so much that essay is so much about the eastern and mid western united states. it is really focused on the not far west. and i think that might have been what set me off. in olden days. and interesting fact about fed rick jackson turner was that he taught at utah state a couple summer schools. he taught utah state in -- where is it? yes, indeed. it is in logan, yes. and it is -- that is a beautiful drive. i must say. that's a lovely drive that is not here or there but it is because turner loved beautiful, open spaces. in his papers at the time of his death was an early draft of an essay called the significance of mountains and deserts in american history. so, something had come there making him think i need to pay more attention to the place where i have taught summer school.
well -- so this is all to say that i hope i'm giving some kind of demonstration of how peculiar it is to think you really know something and then when you actually read the whole thing with care you think, oops. 30 years or more -- how many years? 35 years of misrepresenting frederick jackson turner. i owed the family an apology i think. oops. but it's good. it was actually a very reviving and wondrous thing. that brings us to the world's columbian exposition 1893. there it is. the great white city. very, very famous episode in political history, i suppose. frederick jackson turner was there and he gave his frontier speech there that has more in it until i realized recently. when a cliff hanger that thing is to just -- the frontier is over. era of really world history has closed. the frontier took strangers and
transformed them into americans. it is over. don't stop there, mr. turner. don't stop there, please. please keep going. he didn't. over his lifetime he would make various efforts to make equivalence. he thought education might be the form of continuing opportunity and continuing recruitment of people from outside into the american world so he did try to find -- but they were nowhere near as compelling a set of statements, nowhere near that as he was with this. and also, at the columbian exposition was buffalo bill cody. they were not on a panel discussion. which is a shame. it is really a shame because that would have been great but they didn't need a panel discussion because richard white
wrote this great essay in the frontier in american culture where he compares turner and cody and really brings them into a conversation. and n lots of ways so in essence he sees both of them as -- well, this is my phrase, not his, but workers, co-workers in the overproduction of frontier nostalgia, that turner and cody heaven knows had their differences, and they were both major practitioners in nostalgia for a west that had gone away. so cody shows were pretty much in the same spirit as the frontiers clothes, what will we do next? we'll see the wild west. we'll go see -- remember, never supposed to say show. that shows -- that's how you tell the world you're sophisticated and western culture studies. because if you say cody's wild
west show -- that makes it clear you're an outsider. because cody never said the word show and he didn't want people to call it a show. it was the wild west. it was the wild west. so, did you know that you could betray your outsider status so easily? would you all like to say it together? wild west. that was really very effective. you will find that gets you some place in very limited circles. don't expect out in the world and everybody will be, oh man, how sophisticated this person is. that's great. and richard does point out that the west that cody was seeing as lost and departed was a much wilder and unsettled kind of west and turner was feeling sad about the word tame seems to keep coming up here but the tamer, the taming of the west, that it started as wilderness. it turned into the side of log
cabins. the log cabins turned into big, comfortable farmhouses. that's the western process that is turner. and richard white makes a very fine point about how turner didn't need to have visual illustrations in his text because his -- if he said log cabin, everybody had it in their minds. at that time. he had some of his key terms, stagecoach, wagon train or log cabin. those -- the log cabin just showed up in people's mind and it would be silly to say and here's a log cabin. so as to why that text can be so evocative is because the reader's own mind in the 1890s and for many years after would supply that. so here are two nostalgics. and they are representing -- they're both successful in their own way and if richard's essay is really good about saying let's not have one be the sophisticated, serious expresser of the meaning of the west. they're both equally effective and they're both equally
creative and thoughtful in how they do that. has anybody read this essay of -- yeah? >> i read it a while ago. >> it's -- i did -- i read it really a while ago. more of a while ago than given difference in our ages. i read it many whiles ago. and i re-read it. and it's really good. it really gives you something to do if the poor students are, oh, turner, who is that old guy? there's a woman sitting at his desk. oh. so, if you want to pep that up, pairing him with cody really does give you that angle. so, he does draw some very
interesting comparisons between them and sees them as again kind of co-workers in this really broad cultural movement of what -- oh, this is important. i mean -- it's what eliot would say several times. deal with it. i don't know why someone couldn't research this. i'm looking at you, britain. that something could look into that. >> i'm on it. >> i mean, it's pretty interesting that they were at -- in chicago at the columbian exchange in a proximity and that's interesting but this is really interesting. and really important for our understanding of regional conversations and so on. so, okay. good. so, anyway, so back. well, now back to the point. this is a really important
point. so this is the term that david rebel uses and it is a helpful term and a helpful book of frontier anxiety. frontier anxiety not anxiety felt by frontiers people but people not frontiers people who were around in the late 19th century and early 20th century, americans who were anxious about that hanging question. what will happen to the united states without a frontier? the anxiety of this is explained who we are. that's going to be a rough transition and may not be anything on the other end of the transition but the unity and trouble and puzzlement and confounded people. so, this is a really good book. david wrobel. the end of american xengsal, frontier anxiety from the old west to the new deal and among aspects of it is it's clear of that sense and cody and turner and many of their contemporaries
that something really important had shifted in american history and something really important had better respond to that, that many of the franklin roosevelt new deal sorts in the federal leadership had that same sense. and sometimes very explicitly. henry wallace apparently with the end of the frontier government had better get bigger because government has to step in and supply the services that the frontier once provided. if you don't have free land, you better have some other source of widely available understanding and opportunities. so, so the upsurge of this -- it seems to have been hard on people to deal with so i think it's okay to call it an aapplication of frontier anxiety and produced mixed results and some of those rumts were very troubling. i don't know how extremely troubling and really undesirable. so to use one of many examples,
i've put the phrase of the time that will influence many of the thing that is come up the next few minutes for us, timber famine. i mean, really, that's a hard -- if you're not a beaver, it's hard to be hungry for timber so it's a weird word of associating timber with famine but the notion that the united states was the wonderfully forested part of a continent, the astounding forest resources, in some parts of north america had been ripped through, wisconsin, michigan, especially the upper midwest, just chopped. cut over. stumps.
so that anxiety is to -- i mean, fear, terror, whatever, that that might continue. that with the far west with the pacific northwest, with the rockies, that the same calamity might happen there and the extraordinary riches of the continent would be a bunch of stumps. that timber famine, the notion that the united states that had been astoundingly timber rich might end up timber impoverished, that scared people. that scared not just people interested in the profession of foresty, but people who -- anybody who saw a picture of the cut over lands in upper michigan and upper wisconsin had a tremor to see that. so, those kinds of concerns, what are we going to do with this affliction of frontier anxiety? just feel miserable? something we can do? is there something like an action to take?
so, one weirdness of reading turning so closely is i realized that the fellow and i share quite an enthusiasm for phases and eras. and i had not realized until i was reading again about what kin folk, birds of a feather, we like doing that. turner and i both like saying here's the cumberland gap thing. here's the indian, the rancher, the grazer, lining things up in phases and sequence, and so, we have that in common. i like this quite a bit. i like it because it is a -- well, an experience that we have all had of having to do other drafts. is there anyone in the room who writes so wonderfulfully the first draft is beyond excellent and you would stop there and everyone says don't touch a thing? would you care to identify yourself or reach such ruse of hostility it is good not to raise it. even with limericks. excellent limericks. the lincoln limericks were three
or four drafts. i'll say what you already know. it's a great habit to have in classes. i have told my students that. before i met jeff limerick and got that surname, i sat in classes when i was bored writing limericks and it is brilliant as a technique because, well, we'll just cast you, bill. pretend you're writing a limerick. you are thinking really hard. but you're sort of going, hmm, turner, burner. so you're thinking very hard and you might adds well look at me not and then think i have it now and then write it down. you look the most thoughtful note taker in the room. it worked really well for me as a strategy of a student. i have told classes of students that and they have adopted the technique which is fine which is better than drowsiness and i will say one of the great things, sorry, i know this is
not quite on the main track here but i did write very beautiful limericks of warn harding when there was a lecture on the administration and one has the most beautiful internal rhyme this appears in any limerick. so you know that he was -- his slogan is a return to normalcy? and that he was retreating from all the international engagements of the first world war. so, wait. okay. there was an old man named warren who hated all things foreign. he liked to normally, drunken informal and spent his time gambling and whoring. >> good one. >> thank you. thank you. and it is -- i mean, i think everyone was skeptical when i
said it had the most beautiful internal rhyme. you were probably skeptical. was it the most beautiful internal rhyming? the english teacher among us. so there's a strategy i've given you for the rest of your lives to use there. you can certainly use it today if it helps you get ready for the party tonight. so, i like this notion of the three drafts of the american west, of the americanized west. so, the first draft of the americanized west, we don't know when it starts and when it ends but that's what we've been talking about. westward expansion. that's the first draft. we haven't talked about the timber logging business but it's in there with farming and mining and grazing and so on. so the second draft is what we are seeing with this session coming into being. the progressive era. the sort of, hmm, that first draft didn't really come out right. cut over lands. hmm. mines that were once full of activity, abandoned. hmm.
maybe there's something that we should be thinking about. bison. almost extinct. hmm. so, various forms of looking at the outcomes of the first draft. floods. in utah. salt lake city, with deforested hillsides and mountainsides and floods. it is hard to think where you would look if you don't want the moment of thinking of this didn't seem to come out exactly as i would have liked so the progressive era is the second draft. and the third draft is still in progress. whatever its features of the third draft, it certainly has to take into account the rise of environmentalism, continued population growth to the point where we have to say if it's hard to say where western expansion started, it might be harder to say where it ended because word war 2 and military
expansion and continuing into the cold war. that i don't know where you would say, well, period. westward expansion. completed, done. still very significant issues of some of the fastest growing regions of the country in the west and the last 30 years. this is i guess tied to an environmentalism and a more conscious and inescapable reckoning. there was some of that in the second draft and it goes much deeper and much wider and this continued puzzle over legitimacy and authority to define progress. who's really a deserving westerner who qualifies as a person who should be making decisions? as people in new jersey. what are the public lands to them? do they have any legitimacy? who gets to say what progress means? in these transformed times. so, that is one way of saying how crucial the progressive era was for the west because it's the second draft. it's a big deal. and i believe this is true. if we had more time, maybe we could do it as a party game tonight. i believe this is true. wherever you look in the american west today, wherever you direct your gaze you'll see something that is a legacy of the progressive era.
and i thought we might do it as a kind of party game and you have to suggest something i have to go, hmm. ski slopes. hmm. well, and i can certainly do that one. so, this is the remarkable outcome and with this in the picture, the progressive era just gets astounding in the scale of its importance. much of the west is the home of millions of people and it is now much of that is now owned as private property. and, even more of the west is still in public ownership. which is a pretty amazing thing that quotation from turner. turner didn't see it coming and didn't know that's what he was
saying when he said the public domain is the key to nationalization and the growth of government. but i want do go back to this thing i was saying early on that what is happening here is that progress from first draft to second draft, from westward expansion to era is progress is changing the course and the adjustment, the earthquake of that, the rattling of assumptions and expectations, that rattling continues. so that that shift from the western expansion definition of progress transferring the public domain into private ownership going from that definition of progress to the progressive era one, maintaining that land in permanent ownership, that is a giant disoriented change. it is i think -- unmistakably almost a full reversal in the meaning of progress. it is not a full reversal because it has enthusiasm for finding resources in the west.
i don't know how far i would go with how much short of 180 reversal it is but it's big. we kabt be surprised that the shift even though it was under way 130 years ago, 140 years ago, we cannot be surprised that this shift still leaves some people and communities in the west unsettled and rattled. here's a technique that has actually been incredibly helpful to me. i just learned about it in february of -- i guess it was a year ago february. this is a person named randy olson, one gifted commentator. he is a biologist. he was a tenured professor of biology at university of new hampshire. he became more and more concerned about the troubles that scientists have in communicating to wider
audiences. he left, a tenured job at the university of new hampshire and he went to film school at the university of southern california which scares me. oh, scary. so, are we all breathing normally again? it is scary to think of that. he wrote, this is his second book and he knows my husband houston and likes my husband houston but it's just too funny because houston the person likes this book and to houston the husband sitting reading houston the book is funny. houston, we have a narrative. what he offers in it and i really have found this to be almost too useful, the abt method of communication. and but therefore. randy is a scientist and he's looked at different public figures and how they use or do not use the abt method and he's
really seen a very -- it's i guess you could say a correlation and may be more than that. i think it's probably causation. of the effectiveness of presenters, writers as well as speaker who is use the abt method. here's mine. my adoption of this. and it does lead me to uncharacteristic brevity. sometimes if you use the abt method, i think this is a fairly effective one, then the audience is sort of, well okay, stop now. we got your point. you can't do that because we're here for a while longer so anyways here we have the abt of this session. the progressive era was a time of change and so then you use your and, reformers responded with vi gar and grit to social, political, and economic conditions that troubled them. but some features of our heritage from the progressives have proven to be trouble in their own right. therefore, we are invited to reckon with the complex heritage of the progressives and productive ways. we can map the escape route of a
sense of inevitability because we are quick with the necessary skills to accept that invitation of working with progressives. so -- i will say this. a person representing one of the major political parties in 2016 is a person who says, and, and, and, and, and. and i won't use any gendered pronouns or anything like that but it's quite striking when you start to think about what happens in political conversation. it doesn't have anything to do with the quality of thought but the effectiveness of how it gets through. academics have the and, and, and. or just leaping to the therefore. very handy thing. this is the core of the inheritance of the progressives that we may fight over the public lands but at least we have public lands to fight over
and it's a wonderful gift to have such an occasion for dispute. here's -- two or three big frame works to install in our conversational frame work. these are two historically derived romances and i think it's right to use the word romance because they're appealing. they're seductive. they pull people in this a process that has as much sentiment and emotion as it has reason and evidence. and they have to learn to live together. they're not doing great. at that. the romance of centralized authority and expertise is a legacy of the progressive era. that we'll do better, we'll avoid less of these unhappy outcomes we saw in the first draft of western history, avoid much less of those if we hand
decisions and authority over to a centralized federal government place. it will be an agency, that's a good chance part of the department of the interior. and there will be experts and they will think and they will then offer solutions and resolutions that will guide better behavior. that is a powerful romance and it is so intense when it comes into play i think gifford pinch 10 the best example of somebody who really seems to offer that dream. the first chief forester, theodore roosevelt's great friend, the really ways first founding leader of the forest service, charismatic, really smart, really thoughtful. so, gifford pincho. represents that. but many, many, many acts of
legislation, many executive branch decisions all rest on that notion that someone in the department of the interior or forest service and agriculture, someone in those two agencies will have a very smart thought and that will make things work better. so the romance of centralized authority is very strong and the romance of local control is just about as strong and that is the legacy of westward expansion, they know the place, they develop the place, they know it intimately. they're the legitimate ones. they got there first. they really know what should happen there. so those romances are both very powerful and neither's going to go away and they need to be friends. not going so good right now but that will happen with friendships, right? i mean, just ask. how many people in the room have had a good friendship that turned into a bad situation but
then came back as a good friendship? how many have had that? yeah. yes. that's right. you have green and red and yellow cards and one among us remembered that. i'm sure if i asked this other question, how many had a good friendship that went poorly and remained poorly, we'd probably have plenty of that. i'm not asking that. i could take it on blind faith. you were pretty quick on the draw. but you also were there with the friendships that -- okay. yeah. so i'm not going to say, well, this can't ever happen. i think it has happened. i think that in ways that few people would ever know about. it's happening on the ground level all around the west. in the -- i'll just go with harny county. nationally famous for armed people taking over public lands. right? for ten, maybe 20 years before that, a group called the high desert partnership met. there were federal officials
from the wildlife refuge, bur of land management, ranchers, townspeople, environmentalists of portland, oregon, and they met and fought and then reached a consensus plan for the management of the wildlife refuge. did anybody see that in the newspapers or press coverage or blogs? so i think there's the problem of here's a positive story. well, no one's going to be interested in that. let's get some more armed men. so, so there's a lot of -- that would be a place, high desert partnership is where that cohabiting came back together. i have no idea of why wouldn't figure anybody's national reporting or maybe it did and i just missed it. but okay. so, these are several people who have interesting view of both westward expansion. i don't know if they'd use the phrase progressive era. what that might mean to them. but they certainly have a colorful and interesting and imaginative view of western history that there was a time,
for instance, harney county where ranchers were very prosperous and collaborative and good natured and they had complete control of the land and they used the land wisely. in harney county there's astounding tension and anguish in the early period in the 19th century and early 20th century. there's a guy pete french, a cattleman out of my way kind of guy and to have a notion that you will go there and you will speak for the importance of returning -- returning the land to the ranchers -- hmm. well, i'm not making them come and go. i'm not doing that. that's not what i'm doing. it's imaginative form of history
and makes buffalo bill cody look like a fact and accuracy kind of guy in many ways. here's the progressive legacy. i don't know that they ever got it particularly about -- i think ranchers in the area tried to say, we have a complicated history. when i got to speak in harney county, that was the first question to them. i asked the audience there, does it give you an advantage in dealing with contention to have had such a contentious history 100 years ago. they said they thought it did. the bundys were from elsewhere and they didn't know that. here's the progressive legacy in really quite great map that shows you the percentage of the map in individual states that's still under -- in federal ownership, public ownership. little bit like the water precipitation maps we saw before. is there anybody to like me to help you interpret this map as to which region -- pretty striking and if you wonder,
doesn't it seem like nevada is often really, really crabby? well, okay. that could be part of it. it does not include indian reservations. but it does include -- because i mean reservations are sovereign lands. but that's not -- not of course what happened there? as we certainly describe the historical process that led to that, that much of the lands were high elevation, they had limited precipitation. they were rugged. and uneven terrain. they were remote. it was difficult to get to them. they were sometimes the phrase is leftover lands. a good share of the land is land that didn't go into private ownership because homesteaders weren't that goofy. they were full of hope but they wouldn't have said, i've got an
idea. how about the middle of the nevada desert? here's my hope. there are ranchers there. there are people that take that up and plenty of other areas and homesteading might have occurred and then people gave up. too hard. so there's reasons for that. and it's -- there's, of course, the progressive era reckoning with the first draft of western expansion. and then saying, maybe there's a different way of possessing and directing and owning those lands. here's the different agencies that create that pattern that you just saw, the percentages. so this smallest one is probably orange. fish and wildlife service. the national wildlife services. i guess the national park service is second smallest, the olive green ones and then the yoel low is the vast one, the bureau of land management. sometimes called the nation's largest landlord. the largest unit of land management. forest service behind and quite
sizable. the lime green, light green which i have come -- the forest service people are very charming. many of them. they refer to the forest service uniforms as the pickle suits. it's very funny. it's a darker green. it is the green for park service here but they're very -- they're -- they're pretty interesting. they have a phrase not all of them use but some of them used it. i heard them use it. when they want to know when did you feel like a forest service person and think i that's who i am, they phrase that as when did you get your green underwear? so, pretty funny. so i used to say, oh, federal agencies and cultures, i don't think so. i think cultures are something you have to be -- people who live in a community for ages but now i think, okay, cultures. okay. so and then we also have in here the gray, the department of defense. because military lands are very important. military lands are sometimes very interesting environmental preserves because if you bomb them, and then stop bombing
them, for a phase, that is a wonderful opportunity for wild fowl, birds, animals to take hold so there's actually been quite a pattern of orion thol gists wants to study at the nevada test site which is where nevada test site, which is not where everyone wants to go, but the bird -- that would be one stupid bird that would say i don't think i'd care to be here because there's been bad history in this area. there are sometimes, not always, but sometimes wildlife refuges. so, okay, we're going from this as an outcome of the progressive era, just the creation -- all of these agencies are not necessarily precisely. the forest service certainly is and the park service land directly in the progressive era. bureau of land management, we'll get to that in a second. little bit more complicated chronology. i will have several heritages we will go through here of the
complicated second draft progressive era heritage for the 20th century and the 21st century. so the first of the heritages is the most unmistakable. yeah. >> when we studied history, the way things are now are not the way they always were or will be. the federal government is claiming the land, has there been a time in the 100 years since the progressive era where the federal government claimed land and maybe we should sell that to private? >> that's a good question. first of all i would rewrite that second draft a little bit that the federal government and the progressive era was not claiming land. it was taking land in the public domain because what happens just a little bit tedious but the formation of the united states is a nation requires that the first states to cede their lands to the west and that becomes public domain and then louisiana purchase, that becomes public domain so it is not the federal government taking land.
it's the federal government reclassifying land already in their possession. but in terms of your question over the last 100 years, yes, there have been lots of land swaps. i'm not sure if you would take that exactly in that category but if you're trying to consolidate a national park and there's private land holdings that got caught up in the designation of public land as national park land, there will be swaps sometimes where you swap some federal land for that. one of the most interesting stories of wonderful -- i heard a wonderful, wonderful talk a couple months ago about it. jared farmer has an article which i hope comes out soon on how for defense work, military research and testing and personnel locations how in the new deal land got redesignated
as military land and that -- we talked about national monuments and the antiquities act, this is a very casual thing where president roosevelt wants to do that shgs franklin roosevelt wants to designate land. for military lands. the secretary general says you can't do that. you don't have executive authority. then people talk to the attorney general and the attorney general says, you can do that. so it's an amazing story. it's interesting all the no, national monument things we're getting right now, in fact the designation of military lands is interesting. there's changing status as to whether there's really much of an occasion of saying here's a big block of land, we'll acquire that. the federal government certainly acquires land to round out borders and so on, but it's never anywhere near the scale of this situation. but great question. so bureaucrats. here are two very famous bureaucrats. lewis and clark. and they were on a federally funded and mandated expedition.
they were bureaucrats. i have a campaign going that's going quite poorly to take the word bureaucrat and just make it a word of neutrality that says someone who works for a state or federal or county government. or, any number of other kinds of agencies and organizations. i'm trying to do that because -- i can imagine that the states people are going, really, why would you take up such a cause? i'm doing it because what we do as a society and i've done it myself, is when you find a person who works for an agency or bureau, and you admire them, you go to the department of motor vehicles and are treated well, and you move quickly and the forms are simple and they're -- you think, and the person who's helping you with that, you think, well probably you just think that's a great person but if you were going to have to classify them professionally you would say that's a great public servant.
as soon as you find a bureaucrat that you like you take them out of the category of bureaucrat and reclassify them as a public servant which leaves only drudges and petty tyrants over in bureaucrat. yes, lauren? >> i think the word rat in the word -- >> i never thought of that. >> if you said bureau worker, isn't that the same -- >> the word "rat" i haven't thought about that word for years, and i never noticed the "rat" in there. okay. get your cards here. is that -- well, i have my own answer. you can answer however you want. if you agree with me i should make use of lauren's idea there that i could do something with that in applied history and public communication you would put up a green. if you think i will take a tough conversation and make it worse if i start talking about rats, that's a possibility, or yellow, i don't
know, it's possible it might work. if you think i should go to town with the insight that has never come to of before the word "rat" is rather conspicuous there, i'd like to see the green for that. if you are of the, oh, please don't take a complicated world and make it more complicated bringing rats who are not popular. red for that. and then -- the reds are not holding back. the reds are -- i am sorry, lauren, i'm sorry. but the greens might -- i think the narrow edge on it. secretary of the interior james watt has a habit when people are getting sentimental about prairie dogs. they're not dogs. and they are rodents and secretary watt and others who share this point of view always call them prairie rats, which is sort of -- -- ew, i don't think i care about a prairie rat. it's a powerful term. prairie dogs? no. that won't work either. how interesting. i'm trying to do something like
this going there's two bureaucrats. just to see if i can repopulate that category. last year we had a woman who worked for the park service and -- she was never anything but enraged by my effort to use the word bureaucrat. she felt she wasn't a bureaucrat. worked for the park service. so i must acknowledge that not everybody is coming on board with this, and though i would say this represents an important and under recognized aspect of westward expansions legacy, my wonderful comrade at the university of washington, he went through the census for the western states and territories 1870, 1880, 1890 and looked at people's professional and occupational categorization and he defined categories proceed broadly. so he had clerks, somebody working for a governmental agency, somebody working in a mercantile
operation, so clerks, not just in government or in business but the -- package together, cowboys, he also made very broad in ways that would be disturbing to some, anybody who worked with livestock, so sheep raisers are in here, too. that did not go over well with the cowboys to have that in there. so he did that year after year after year for those ten-year periods, and look at that, there's only one census, just before the -- just a few years before the cattle boom collapsed, so just when the cattle boom was at its peak, 1880, when there are slightly more cowboys than clerks. and in 1870, there are more clerks than cowboys and in 1890, look who is coming out ahead here, that's really a striking thing there. so clerks are important in western history and i'm not sure i would want to give a prize for
this but would someone name a great western film where the main character is the clerk? >> what's the man who shot liberty bell? >> there's a thought. there's a thought. right, yeah. usually what they're doing is cowering. this is usually the stance of the clerk. you have seen them. they're not -- [ inaudible ]. >> this is -- i could have played the clerk, here i am. so, this is what -- with all of these agencies, and i did leave out one of them, in some way or another it's fine to tie them all to the progressive era, the timing is a little bit of complicated for a few of them, but bureau of reclamation in 1902, and then the dam building federal agency which we'll speak of a little bit more later. the forest service, the gifford pincho -- well, terrain. we'll just call it that.
that the forests had been -- the forest reserves were created as of 1891. the president gets the power to create forest reserves. again, that's interesting. that's a sort of national monument power originally to do it as the president. congress didn't like that and fights back on it. but the forest service came in to being because there were all these designated areas that were forest reserves. they fell under the management of the general land office, the land dispersing, land distributing agency. that didn't really make sense. gifford pincho yearned to be in a position to get that out of the general land office. i will say he had some very strong feelings. as he might. they were evidence based that interior had problems of corruption. i think we have already spoken of that. that with indian offices, indian agents with the land office, that was like, a great river of money going by.
appointed officials and dipping into that was very tempting. so, gifford pincho had reasons to think it would be better to get the forest reserves out of the general land office and out of the department of interior and over to the department of agriculture with the forest service. that's usually offered. i think a little bit of substance to it, that was because gifford pincho thought of trees as a crop so they should be in agriculture. i think that's small compared to the get it out of interior and another agency where it's not pulled into the history of that kind of troubled department. national park service, 1916, is the original enabling act but there are parks that precede that. congress has created certain areas, yellowstone being the most conspicuous that are national parks before there is a national park service but 1916 is the official creation. fish and wildlife is a little
bit too complicated. i won't take us there because there are different agencies that exist and operate merge and the power to designate refuges comes into play very big and obvious ways with theodore roosevelt. roosevelt, in fact, designated the mallhorn national wildlife refuge. that's complicated timing and comes into a more forceful era with the progressive era and then the bureau of land management. good luck getting the start date for that thing. because it goes back to the general land office from the early 1800s, which passes that land, distributes that land, and then becomes kind of an ineffective steward of the forest reserves and people have often noticed that frederick jackson turner tells us homesteading has ended and continued and the general land office continued in some ways more claims not necessarily successful ones were made after the end of the frontier than before it.
in the 1930s, kind of late arriving progressive era action the taylor grazing act creates the grazing service which regulates and allocates access to the grazing lands. the dust bowl is one good explanation for the lobbying force that led to that. when dust comes from the west and is in the skies over washington, d.c., people vote for a grazing act at that stage to regulate land use. the grazing service, general land office, merge in 1946. so it doesn't look like a progressive era timing and goes back to that. students love this. when you start giving them the history of federal agencies, the students are just, oh, my lord, they're just -- well, there's a video game waiting to happen that would make that so fun. children would go this is fun, i get to be a bureaucrat today. this is so fun. or a bureau rat. so they do have lives of adventure.
the talk i give on the department of interior. i do call it hair-raising tales from the department of the interior. because they are hair-raising tales, especially people who were involved in, well, this is not just interior, it's also agriculture and forest service. but you walk into an area where the locals have used the forest as they wanted to and you are the federal agent who's going to say, actually, hm-mm, there isn't that many grazing here. that is hair-raising. that is not -- that is not for the people who wanted an easy life. and sometimes they work in bureaucracies. that look much more like bureaucracies. the happened office places and those kind of places, they are work away at your desk. but that's a bureaucrat. so they come in all forms. and some of them are out in the field. now for after local control and the competing romances of local control and centralized authority and expertise, this is the second big idea of thinking about this big picture that i would like to put forward.
this is the notion of thinking of the public lands as a grand experiment in testing the compatibility of conservation and democracy. what i mean by that is that every day in the west is generating new findings in a planetary experiment of great consequence. my starting premise here is that much of what we consider the practices of conservation among europeans and euro americans started with very concentrated authority, started with colonial governors, going to far-off outposts. taking a few naturalists and scientists with them. the naturalists get to know a few of the species. they say the local people are endangering the well-being of these creatures. could we keep the local people from cutting wood in this area?
so that these creatures will not be reduced? and so there's that. there's colonial governors. quite early on limiting the activities of the local indigenous people on behalf of conservation goals, and of course in europe, there's kings and aristocracy with their game preserves with their hunting areas. with their parks. and that is a very centralized authority of limitations on what the peasants and locals can do on that land. so conservation comes with some pretty bad political baggage. colonial governors? they're very popular. children want to grow up, i'd like to be, my adviser, has a wonderful story about that. he went to a party when he was in graduate school. and his date, it was a costume party. you had to come as what you really wanted to be in life.
so his date wanted to live in france and be french and she came as the eiffel tower. she was unhappy, coming as the eiffel tower she had to lie down in the back seat to get to the party. she was not enjoying herself. then they had a terrible time. they got there and there were quite a few international students and my adviser grew up in alabama and he loves hot weather. howard lamar just loves hot weather. he goes to this party and is dressed in a pith helmet. he wants to look like somebody who lives from the tropics because he loves hot weather. he comes to this party and he looks like a white imperialist. like he wants to be a white imperialist. so they'd rather talk to the eiffel tower. than to the white imperialist. he had quite a funny story about that. he didn't want to be a white imperialist. he was not a white imperialist. but some people have gone to costume parties as them, i guess. top-down authority and the origins of the practices of european and euro american conservation.
who did gifford pinchot learn his techniques from? his management, his key, key teacher? i thought our technician was going to want to answer that. he didn't want to answer that, but i thought oh, there's a hand, somebody knows who gifford pinchot's teacher was, somebody with earphones. that's pretty fun. maybe he's getting it fed to him in the earphones. maybe somebody -- sorry. i should not call attention to the meta structure that we have here. sorry. i think we're going to wait a little bit before we tell you who gifford pinchot's mentor is. i think we'll keep that hanging for a little bit. so -- okay. so that is the experiment when the progressive era hits. it takes that experiment and gives those public lands the incredibly important role of the laboratory where this experiment proceeds where you get to see if you can get democracy in to compatibility with conservation practices. what happens in a representative democracy, republican and
democratic government, when you also sometimes need centralized authority as you had it with the colonial governors and with the aristocrats and kings. so the important thing to say before we leave the aristocrats -- i will never be able to say either word with clarity from now on -- one of the important things of the aspects i have brought to your attention of the control exercised by people in power in europe over their estates, and it draws attention to the importance of game keepers who regulate the poachers and so on and that you'll notice everyone is getting it right now, that encourages you to read "lady chatterly's lover." because the main character there is a game keeper. so you may read quite a stimulating book, but you're reading it because it gives you such insights into the history of conservation. and its practices.
so i'll work on that for some of those other books that we passed around as children to enjoy. here's a cartoon, of which there were many that make this point. this is -- gifford pinchot made a lot of people mad and resentful. this happened to him. zara pinchot. he would be portrayed in a way that echos what i'm saying, that he has that cultural baggage to carry, and you don't even know yet who his mentor was, but you'll hear about that soon. there's this guy who really tries to make the bureaucrat an interesting feature. this is mel brooks, the territorial governor, not so easy to make interesting, but i guess he tried. but i don't know if popular culture helped or hurt us with that. so okay. the first complicated heritage is all these bureaucrats of consequence hitting the west. the second one, the complicated heritage number two, steering by science.
so progressives are all about science. they really feel strong, warm emotion for science. if we could have that paradox of the strong feeling for that. and i will use the word faith. that science has the bedrock of a positive belief that is hard to call just a thought or an understanding, but something that really does come into faith, that we'll send scientists out on field explorations and they will graph and chart and note. we're back to, really, thomas jefferson's instructions to merrywetter lewis, there's a hope, a belief that they'll be very smart and they'll be the ones who provide centralized authority with guidance. and then nature in a way that is maddening, turns out to be extremely complicated. so all of the faith.
gifford pinchot thought that fire could simply be eliminated from the forests. study the forest, learn their ways, never have to have fire again. i use this image because it was for me the moment of thinking, this is out of my conceptual range. i've always given it a good shot to understand forestry. i have lots of friends, i'm a member of the society of american forests -- society of american foresters, that's what i'm a member of, and i hang out with these people and try to follow that and when i read nancy's wonderful book "forest dreams forest nightmares" about the management of the forests in eastern oregon, the blue mountains there, that's where i read like three paragraphs about how significant soil organisms are for the health of a forest. if you clear-cut a forest and then replant the forest it might not work. a good chance it won't work. the sun light will have scorched and defeated the soil organisms
and those little tiny things just are working away. and when the forest service cut in the area nancy langston was writing about they left the soil exposed. and when they replanted, it didn't work. they put the same kind of trees in, and they're, what happened here? and it was these itty-bitty rather unattractive creatures. they're not mosquitos, but they're not anything that were on my mind before. they just were not there. then when i read that paragraph in nancy's book, i thought, this is setting out of my cognitive zone here. everything is so complicated and expect scientists who are specialists in many cases, naturalists in the 19th century, broader, more and more specialists. entomologists may not be speaking to the hydrologists. they may not have ever met each other. so the dilemmas of taking on complicated outdoor situations with conventional scientific method is really hard. and this is our saving the
american west publication where we tried to help with the dueling experts problem. that wasn't supposed to happen. if you were a progressive deferring to the science and authority of science, the experts weren't supposed to fight each other. they were supposed to think, confer, give you very solid, trustworthy findings. in our world today, it's pretty different from that. because, in fact, scientists can determine quite a few things, but what to do with those findings, that's where citizens and public officials have to choose and decide. as our friend who sometimes joins us in the rocky mountain national park thing but has gone on vacation instead, can't come tomorrow. our pal jeff mitten always says we can say, scientists can find out how many elk there are, in rocky mountain national park, what they're eating, do a lot to learn about the elk, but they cannot say how many elk should there be. that is a values choice and that's where the scientists have to hand off the baton.
it's important to say, because people do begin to panic at these moments, there are five heritages. we're halfway. we're not halfway through the lecture. we're halfway through the last part of the lecture. okay. good. so this is a tough one, because i don't really know how we could -- this has vast ramifications, and they're hard to trace, hard to track, because the progressive era coincides with the nadir of american race relations. jim crow, segregation, installed after reconstruction ended. mexican-americans, many no-mexican signs around the southwest. the lowest population of indian people. the supreme court decisions that have exerted plenary power,
complete federal authority over indian tribes. it's -- chinese exclusion. alien land laws that keep japanese-american, japanese people, japanese immigrants -- not japanese americans born in the united states, but japanese immigrant citizens not of the u.s. from owning land. anyway, you can go through quite a list of things that are not progressive. as we would use the word, but would be hard to count as progress. so that's the era of theodore roosevelt is not on impressive person, really he did have booker t. washington come to the white house. he did make some efforts, but he clearly was a person who thought white women should be having more babies, because they would otherwise be out-reproduced by the darker people. so it's a tough aspect of this era. and there's some border crossing in these issues of public lands.
i don't know if it's heartening or striking, but there are places to put our attention that the african-american soldiers in the army were sometimes sent, yellowstone was managed and operated by the army before the national park service was created. black soldiers were there. nearly everyone who goes to yellowstone in its early years, privileged white visitors, hunters and tourists, they often have black servants there. you think, now, that's interesting. they often referred to the cook. that's an interesting place to be. so there is diversity in the story, but it's certainly not in the decision-making, direct-setting way. the park service of progressive era classic organization has tried, i think i may have mentioned this already, this is their project to make sure that the history of slavery gets properly attended to, not just in civil war focus parks but much more broadly.
we imagine doing the same kind of project with tribes. we hope we can get that going. but that legacy is there. and the society of american foresters has the tiniest percentage of ethnic minorities. i don't know, as of a few years ago, it was somewhere in the 4% or 5%. it might be a little better now. they have a very effective program of going -- when they have a convention, the foresters work with the public schools. teachers to make sure there are kids of diverse backgrounds. the legacy of the progressive era's race relations in all of these matters it's serious and difficult to pin down. but it's there. complicated heritage number four. the susceptibility to nostalgia. the progressive era was -- we've so covered this. this will take two seconds really.
such an era awash in nostalgia for the vanished frontier. theodore roosevelt and frederick jackson turner and all of these folks, the russells and remingtons and so on, very visible public culture manifestations of it, but it's there as david tells us, with the story of frontier anxiety, a lot of policymakers and legislators and decision-makers. so we look for that. because it is, it is a judgment distorter. there's nothing -- i don't want to say we really have the slash across it. but it does confuse judgment. it does set goals of a lost past that you dream of recreating, which well, good luck with that, but it may not have been that great a past anyway. so if you recreated it you might be very sad. be careful what you wish for. as elliott west sometimes says about those things. and these guys are sufferers
from a really severe form of nostalgia and are probably beyond treatment. this is the final point. it's actually not called a heritage. but it is sort of heritage number five. it's the last one. a point of reckoning with the word paradox coming into its own and this is a salute to michael kammen who was a wonderful historian at columbia -- i'm sorry. he would not like that, cornell university, and just a spectacular person and wonderful thinker about popular memory and also a person who served for years on the national park service board and very creative and influential ways. michael kammen who died a few years ago, he wrote a book called "people of paradox." i miss him. he was a really wonderful person. so i sometimes would find myself picking up his book. just to be in the company of his book. and it finally came in to me. i was reading the preface again,
and i thought what a spectacular quotation michael kammen has given us here. i mean, really. i think they were referring to a quotation you that wish to -- from elliott that -- what i wouldn't give. oh, my lord, and i put the definitions there in case anybody needs to be reminded, in case anybody didn't know what scum was. it's important to get precision there. it's not something you want on your mind. the scum is not -- let's try to have more of that. so the paradox. two things that seem impossible, actually true and possible. that, for the paradox of progressivism. we'll go through some last items here on these paradoxical progressives who certainly had an unusual level of confidence in themselves. but confidence, i think i got this in my years in the ivy league in harvard.
confidence can be the thinnest veneer over something that really looks more like doubt, puzzlement, so not that theodore roosevelt was a guy who did doubt or puzzlement. so i will back off from that. but what were they? gifford pinchot and theodore roosevelt. were they utilitarians? were they nature lovers? were they hybrids beyond characterization? and miller's book you got a few chapters from that, you can see how complicated pinchot was. he was not just a how many board feet do we have here. he was really a person who loved being in natural environments, whose children grew up with -- grew up with that. his grandchildren have that quality. had the great privilege of speaking at the pinchot institute in washington. it was a little bit scary. it was a big, solemn group. i come in, there are two people in the front row wearing nametags, nothing scary about
that but it said gifford iran pinchot 3r and peter pinchot. they're wonderful people. no reason to be scared of them. i was scared of them. so anyway, but they are mixed. and to cast, there was some value, i guess in the clarity you thought you would get if you put john muir over here and gifford pinchot over there and you had mr. utilitarian and mr. preservationist and you had them separate. i guess people dream of that kind of clarity. but you have to work really hard to maintain it. because they'll fight you on it. those two guys will fight you about what are they doing? loving nature, as they do. if they're supposed to be purely utilitarians. on the other side, john muir's occupational paradox. this is a little -- the tiny writing says i'm not totally certain that muir thought he was a progressive or anybody else did, but he has to be in this lecture making my point about paradox, two key words, progressive and paradox.
and he's so doing his part for me with the paradox part. so he's in there. anyway, what a great thing to contemplate. john muir's occupational paradox. and what a way to escape from the preoccupation with purity that can often immobilize us. what did john muir do for a living? he did eventually end up writing and getting some income from that. but before that and during that, what did he do for a living? [ inaudible ] he did do some manual labor kinds of things when he first got to california. we've had a theme where we talk about how smart military officers are to marry wives who write well? well, marrying spouses can be a very interesting and valuable thing to do if you're going to make your living in ways that may or may not be steady and productive. so he's a stay-at-home dad? no. what an interesting experience
for the children that would have been. if he had been their dad in that sense. he married into a family in california that had orchards. so he was, in fact, quite an admired horticulturalist. so that is a paradox, because these are the trees, if you say john muir tree, that's the trees you think of. and these are the kinds of trees he spent his work life with. which is great. that's not -- i mean, that's not, ooh that's kind of disillusioning. he was remarkable. he'd climb onto these trees and hang on in windstorms. he wouldn't climb onto these trees in windstorms. that's no particular accomplishment. but those, that's a different things. so those are the most tamed, bullied, domesticated of trees, and he worked well with them. so that seems to me a very helpful thing that john muir did for us to remind ourselves of that.
and then maybe scale down the fixation on purity, of untouched pristine nature, that reading some of his works will get us all stirred up in that direction. but that should be in our picture as well. and then the founder of the national park service, steven mather, who was the first director of the national park service, a well-connected person, a very effective advocate for the parks. somebody to really conjure with, well, i guess to say to yourself, what would have happened with the national park service if steven mather weren't in the picture. he was really effective. it's hard, i'm not going to say oh, it would never have happened, but he certainly was a very forceful presence in the creation of the park service. how did he get to be such a well-connected, well-set-up person? borax miner. he was a miner of the material
called borax, used in cleaning. that is not him, you understand. that's a -- so, he made his fortune in borax mining, and that positioned him to go into a very effective form of advocacy for the park. this is not a very consequential paradox, but i love it, because it does irritate foresters very much that pinchot was an opponent of alcohol. foresters. people who work for the forest service, and people who work in private lands forestry, they are not opponents of alcohol. so to remind them that their admired founder, and many think about pinchot. admire him. you go to a forest service big leadership thing, you'll often find a pinchot impersonator. they're very common. you're laughing now. okay.
actually one time i was at one of those things -- there's gifford pinchot a retired forest service guy sitting on a stump, brought a stump, ironic, but he's sitting on a stump and i'm sitting next to the table of the current chief forester, dale bosworth, and i'm thinking this is -- psychodelic is the only word you can think of. five feet away gifford pinchot and 11 feet away is the current chief forester. if you tell an audience of forest service people that gifford pinchot was an advocate of abstinence in alcohol, it's hard on them. heritages. and also, the forest service is understandably often characterized as an extremely masculine-shaped institution. he, he had well-connected parents. they played a big part in founding the yale forestry school.
he recruited the young men from the yale forestry school and other sources. but it's quite a male scene. and then he left the forest service in 1910, and he got married. after that he, cornelia, his wife, his first marriage, was a very active force for women's rights. so chief forester pinchot is -- a totally interesting character. chief forester pinchot no longer chief forester, who becomes the governor of pennsylvania in two different terms who is under the influence of cornelia pinchot, he is a very forceful -- he frightens conventional holders of male power, because he is so, so he is just, he won't stay in a stereotype either. he keeps moving through life, which is a great blessing to us. so that is the great part of the
paradox here is that, pay attention to the progressives, and you are invited to surrender simple oppositions and give up imagined forms of purity. the last case study i quickly wanted to bring in there because i've been talking so much about land and the progressives. the riddle of reclamation. the bureau of reclamation, a very significant power in reshaping the west. probably a good percentage of you have read mark risner's "cadillac desert." and seen that power of reclamation there. it was originally created in 1902, but it's part of the u.s. geological survey, called the reclamation service which is not anything worth taking up time, probably, to get the names straight. anyway, reclamation is the building of dams and diversion of streams to reclaim land that would not be useful, to reclaim it for agriculture with that. it's perfectly legitimate to be
scratching one's head, thinking why is dam building considered to be in the package with conservation? why would you -- isn't conservation about not disrupting rivers with big pieces of concrete? why is, what's reclamation doing there? does anyone -- the gentleman in the back, would you care? no. oh, yeah. >> i'm thinking about the general sustainability in general. if they're thinking we need to provide for the people who are here, and we don't want them wreaking havoc and doing whatever they want, similar to maybe well, we're not going to clear cut a forest. we want to still use some of that. >> right. it certainly has that component of utility that progressive era conservation has and it has a very literal meaning that you're conserving the water. if you don't build the dam, the water goes down the river and into the sea. that's waste. that is waste.
conservation is the opposite of waste. so build that dam. obstruct the river. hold the water. don't let the water just waste itself. water is very irresponsible, if you don't keep control of it. it will just go wasting its resource there. >> at that point did the science exist where they understand the disruptions to fish and -- >> there's very little evidence that was on anybody's mind. and it wasn't on john wesley powell's mind either. the environmentalist. it's not far away. as a recognition, if you, if you know what's coming. you think, oh, wait just a few years. but no, they didn't get that. in your, yeah. >> going after what patty said, how could they not have that recognition when the person downstream, suddenly, i don't have any water. >> oh, that's -- this is unfortunate, given our timing here, because there are forms of
claiming water in the west that if you are downstream you might well have a junior right or you might really have no right at all. an upstream dam would be based on claims to water that may overrule your claim, so you could be quite de-watered and the existing legal structure would make that seem right, whether you would figure it was right or not. that's a really, but whether you would care about the, the aquatic life. you might be prepared. there's a very stupid quotation that mark twain never said but he's always quoted, so when you hear it you must say he never said it. people at the twain papers say they can't find it. whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over. so you might be in a very tense relationship with your downstream neighbor. in most of the areas where reclamation dams were going in
were not in areas where settlement was very significant. because it was hard to do that. so i think that was probably one of the blessings for getting that going. in your reading packet is an amazing document from frederick newell. who is the -- well the first head of the -- of reclamation. frederick -- that's not him. i'm thinking, what are you doing there? there's an interesting person who was a crusader for irrigation and federal sponsorship of that and he is very explicitly a guy saying the frontier is closed and we have to do something, give a new sense of opportunity. he's in here because his book is a really good -- if you want to see what that anxiety about the end of the frontier means to a person who is recommending a federal program, he's your guy. and there's some of the early dams in the reclamation service. rio grande river dam, elephant butte, and the theodore roosevelt dam, the salt river in arizona, one of the major ones. i think this is one that sam was
saying he can't help but find that beautiful. which means he will have to not live in boulder. because that's not -- even though we benefit from dams in boulder we're not to consider them beautiful. we'll speak sternly to you about that for a later time. here's frederick newell. and this is where we will be actually coming to a conclusion here. in your packet is a very cool thing. from the 11th annual report of the office of -- the reclamation service, and it is frederick newell doing something that i never knew that a federal bureaucrat had done in this era or really many others. it's called "fallacies entertained." and it's a list of things that they believed when they started the reclamation service, which turned out to be oops moments, and to see a federal bureaucrat just say, here is what we did not expect, we did not expect
the problems of water quality that would erode concrete, just various things, sediments and evaporation, just not all those things are in his mind but they really forecast -- well, they're very explicit. so that to me is one of the most amazing bureaucratic documents ever of a person in office saying -- it's not what he said was -- what he said in many different places the human element. the engineers did not perceive the problems of the human element, which is to say, they thought they would be benefiting settlers, giving them a new opportunity, the settlers were supposed to pay for the water and also pay an added sum to pay for the structure that brought them the water. the repayment plan never really came together, settlers were crabby. they had difficult land. on top of that, if they were ever to make a profit they had to give a share of that. frederick newell saying, oh, the human beings. they didn't train us for that.
that's a great document. and then the -- little -- it's not a sermon, really, but my own personal, this is just me as maybe not even a fully responsible applied historian here, but with all of the complexity, with the dilemmas of race relations and so on, this is still where i land that progressive leaders and citizens responded to their troubled times with innovation and spirit. many of our leaders and citizens today are responding to our troubled times with agitation, shouting, reciprocal delivery systems for blame and accusation. there is a lot we could learn from the progressives by simultaneously celebrating their legacy to us and reckoning thoughtfully with their human complexity. so that is my last thing. in your packet is this great guy. tacoma man. if you have read that, this is where horace albright who worked in the founding of the national
parks service. many people were enthusiastic about mt. rainier park being created. there is a little thing in your packet that's wonderful. it's a brief passage. a man says to them -- okay. do you want to -- the fellow says to them, don't you think you might want to pay attention. this is a little bit like the ecosystem thing. tacoma man, 1915, speaks to stephen mather and horace albright, and he says, why -- why these borders. why would you put these borders on the park? they're straight lines. the borders do not reflect what's on the land. could you think about making the borders in some relationship to the land forms? horace albright and stephen mather say to this man, that's an interesting idea. apparently they asked him to write it up and send it to them so they could think more about it, but they didn't get his name
and they never heard from him. so always, in our company, is tacoma man. and we may or may not know enough to think don't let him get out of here before we get that idea and we really think about it. when we're doing the men of their times thing, tacoma man was around in 1915. it took a while. now everyone struggles with that issue. where are the borders of the the national parks and the national forest. all the issues of lines and border lands, there was tacoma man, whoever he was, turning the lights on. which i can sort of celebrate and sort of not. i'll be okay without looking at these lights for a moment. but there is tacoma man turning the lights on on the issue of is there something we're not thinking about that we should think about. i salute him. we can't name him but know he is
part of our legacy from the progressive era. thank you. [ applause ] all this week while congress continues to be out for their august recess, american history tv is in prime time with our original series "lectures in history." tonight we take you into classrooms across the country for a look at the 1950s. join us at 8:00 a.m. eastern. congress returns next week to work on federal spending which will include hurricane harvey response, raising the debt ceiling and tax reform. here is a little of what you can expect this fall. i would like to know which of these principles the majority leader does not agree with. i would like to know. is he closing the door on bipartisanship because he so dearly wants to cut taxes on the top 1%? the wealthy are doing great right now, god bless them.
but they don't need another tax break while middle class families and working americans are struggling just to make ends meet. and many of us on this side of the aisle suspect that, to some, that's the number one motivation, not tax reform, not close loopholes, not clean up the system, but give that top 1% a huge tax break. >> today we commit to a new tax code, written for a new era of american excellence and prosperity. with the american people, we can cut all of these loopholes out. we can lower the tax rates for every family, for every business, for every neighborhood in america, and we can vault america from nearly dead last in the world back into that lead pack as the best place on the planet for the next new job, the next new plant, that next new
technology. and together, working with president trump, congress and the american people, you know, i am confident we can meet this challenge. we can rise to this challenge, just as our nation has risen to and prevailed over so many challenges before in our history. we'll have a complete rundown of the issues congress looks to address this fall tonight. that's at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. c-span cities tour is in spokane, washington, with our comcast cable partners as we explore the city's rich history and literary scene saturday at 7:30 p.m. eastern. book tv features the historic and economic development of spokane with the author of "spokane, our early history. under all is the land." >> spokane was built basically from the money from the mining
district. they had the gold strike, gold rush in 1883, and that led to a silver strike. and it was one of the largest producing silver areas in the state of -- or in the united states. and a lot of the mansions and big buildings are all built from the mining wave. >> the life of one of the nation's most significant environmental leaders and father of the national parks system. local author james hunt talks about his book "restless fires." john muir's walk to the gulf. >> he was probably one of the most significant environmental thinkers, leaders. he is basically the protagonist for the national parks system. >> sunday at 2:00 p.m. eastern, american history tv features the story of expo 7 ha4, one of the first environmentally themed world fairs. >> spokane at the time was the smallest city in the world ever to host a world's fair.
it was the first fair to use the environment as a theme, and it followed close on, i believe it's 1972 was earth day, the very first earth day. and there was a great consciousness around the world about environmentalism. and it became the theme and arguably the obsession of expo 74. >> we'll visit the childhood home of spokane native bing crosby. that's saturday at 7:30 p.m. eastern on c-span2's book tour. working with cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. up next on lectures in history, we take you to emory university where patrick allitt teaches a class