Saved Our National Parks
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Chapter 6:
The Development of Policy: 1889-1894

THE ADMINISTRATION of Captain Moses Harris proved rather tranquil, in the absence of partisan politics, and was marked by close cooperation between the Acting Superintendent and the Secretary of the Interior. That of the second military superintendent was almost the opposite. Conflict between the Secretary of the Interior and the Acting Superintendent scarred the administration of Harris' successor, politics were introduced into administrative affairs, and unprincipled men, prompted only by motives of monetary profit, attempted ingress into the Park. Despite these disruptive influences, the new Acting Superintendent was able to continue the policies begun by his predecessor and to introduce new programs and policies designed to better protect and preserve the Yellowstone Park.

Captain Gustavus C. Doane, the officer who had provided military escort for the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition of 1870, had tried to be named the first military superintendent of the Park. He was, indeed, the logical man for the job. He was thoroughly acquainted with the Park area and it was due, in part, to his lucid report of the 1870 Expedition that Congress had established the Park in 1872. When Congress provided for military management, Doane was in the Southwest campaigning against Geronimo and was not considered for the Park detail, although he had previously requested the assignment. In 1889 Doane, now a Captain assigned to the Presidio, San Francisco, began his intensive letter-writing campaign. Recommendations from generals and politicians, in addition to numerous petitions from private citizens, poured into the Interior office. [1] These efforts were in vain, however, and Troop "K," 1st Cavalry, Captain F. A. Boutelle commanding, was relieved of duty at Fort Custer, Montana Territory, and ordered to march to Camp Sheridan, Wyoming to relieve Troop "M" and Captain Harris. [2]

Captain Boutelle assumed the duties of Acting Superintendent on June 2, 1889, and almost immediately entered into small disputes with the Secretary of the Interior. He found that lack of proper equipment hindered the extinguishment of the many fires started by careless campers, and he requested, by telegraph, funds for the purchase of "twenty axes and twenty rubber buckets." Three letters followed the telegram, but none were acknowledged by the Secretary's office. [3] Boutelle had earlier requested advice about the proper disposal of property confiscated from trespassers; this request, too, was unanswered. Authorization for the installation of a telephone in the Superintendent's office had been delayed a month, and in the interim Boutelle had been forced to "run a half mile distant" to a telephone in the hotel. Perhaps this unnecessary exercise, or the fact that he had been "personally fighting forest fires for some days and nights," made Boutelle write a hurried note to the Secretary of the Interior:

If you do not think it proper to give me such things as I ask for, I certainly am entitled to recognition. I take the liberty of enclosing this letter under personal cover, in order that I may feel sure that it reaches you in person and wish . . . that in the future I shall not be ignored. In the Department in which I have served for twenty-eight years I have been accustomed to have some respectful actions taken on my papers. [4]

Action was taken on this letter, but it was less than respectful. The Secretary suggested that perhaps the Acting Superintendent was disposed to be "troublesome" and was altogether too "quick to attribute delinquencies to others." Boutelle indignantly retorted that he had "waited for days" for a reply to his telegram and letters informing the Secretary that fires were raging in the Park, and that the requested "rubber buckets were indispensable." This was so apparent that a "Mr. Lesvis of Pennsylvania" had donated, "from his pocket," forty dollars for the purchase of buckets. Boutelle maintained that he was working every hour and that he thought that he was entitled to "fair recognition." [5] With this statement the water bucket episode was dropped, but it reappeared a year later.

The next conflict between Boutelle and the Secretary of the Interior culminated in an apparent victory for Boutelle—a victory that, while establishing a precedent for later Park policy, was partially responsible for his transfer from the position of Acting Superintendent. Sensing the possibilities of profit, D. B. May of Billings, Montana, in March, 1889, applied to the Secretary of the Interior for permission to erect an elevator at the lower falls of the Yellowstone River, "to enable tourists to descend to the bottom of the Canyon, thereby getting a much more favorable view of the Falls." May agreed to construct the proposed elevator under the supervision of the Superintendent, whose selection of the site would be final and conclusive. [6] The Secretary of the Interior requested that Professor Arnold Hague, United States Geologist, then in the Yellowstone Park, join with Captain Boutelle in examining the May application and report upon the feasibility of the project. [7] Boutelle subsequently reported, after a careful examination made by Hague and himself, that the "scheme is believed to be perfectly practicable" and that an elevator so constructed would be entirely out of view and "in no way objectionable." It was his considered opinion that the construction of an elevator would "add materially to the pleasure of a visit to the canyon." [8] This favorable report was forwarded to the Secretary in October, 1889; a contract to construct the proposed elevator was granted to D. B. May by the Secretary on May 17, 1890. [9]

When the contents of the elevator contract were made known to Boutelle, he regretted that approval had been given before he had had the opportunity to examine it, for it provided for the construction of the elevator in a place different from the one suggested by Hague and himself. Reversing his earlier position, he was now convinced that the "whole matter has been a mistake" and was "mortified that at any time, in any way, I approved of it." It was now his opinion that no matter how carefully the elevator was constructed, it would "destroy the wild view from the head of the great falls, one of the grandest in the Park," and advised the Secretary that, "if not too late . . . the lease should be cancelled." [10] Secretary Noble reminded the Captain that he had originally approved the scheme, that the elevator could be constructed so as to not be in general view, and that the construction of a shelter at the elevator's base "could scarcely appear as a blot on the scene" because of the great distance from which it would be viewed from the top of the canyon. Boutelle was directed to inform May that the elevator track should be constructed so as to not mar the view or "deface the canyon to any appreciable extent." [11]

In his annual report to the Secretary of the Interior Boutelle again protested the elevator lease, maintaining that if it were allowed, a policy of "commercialization" would result, and the original purpose of the Park would be prostituted. The fire bucket episode was recalled in an attempt to display the handicaps under which any Acting Superintendent was forced to operate. His sharply critical report was immediately returned "for reconsideration" by the Secretary, who thought that Boutelle had done the Department and himself a "great injustice" by including in the report statements concerning the purchase of buckets and his revised opinion on the elevator. Boutelle agreed to revise the report and admitted his error in relation to the elevator lease, an error which he considered the "greatest mistake in the past two years of my life except perhaps my entering upon this duty without an effort to avoid it."

I was selected for it without being consulted and came here against my wish. My selection may have been unfortunate but being here I take great interest in my work, and, as has been the rule of my life, do as well as I can. It is not the first time I have paid the penalty of efficiency . . . While my interest in the Park is great and I have here an importance which I should not enjoy at an ordinary frontier post . . . I shall for many reasons be glad when my relief comes. I should be glad to remain and see some of the work I have inaugurated carried to a successful termination, but at a military post I am able to please my Commanding Officer while here I have the world to consider and appear to be about as successful as the old man with the ass in the fable. [12]

Captain Boutelle's stubborn objection to the "commercialization" of any element in the Park had a lasting effect. On October 15, 1890, the permission granted to May to erect an elevator was revoked, and another element of national park policy was established. [13]

While Boutelle's administration was short and stormy, other innovations were introduced under it that ultimately became recognized as national park policy. When the Acting Superintendent discovered that the fish of the Yellowstone Lake were infected with parasitic worms, he notified the United States Fish Commissioner and requested information concerning a remedy. The remedy came eventually from Boutelle himself, who suggested that the barren streams of the Park be stocked with healthy trout as a replacement for the infected fish; on September 25, 1889, he reported young trout all planted in perfect order." [14] Subsequent stocking of the Park's waters was carried on by the United Stares Fish Commission under the direction of Boutelle's successors and the Yellowstone National Park ultimately became known as a Mecca for trout fishermen.

During the summers of 1889 and 1890 Boutelle's troops were mainly engaged in fighting and extinguishing fires started by careless campers. In an attempt to prevent this, he established regular campgrounds and limited campers to those places designated. The system of specifically designated campgrounds, subsequently established in all national parks, was thus inaugurated. [15]

Yellowstone NP
Soldiers and others at post Exchange, Mammoth (Fort Yellowstone). National Park Service.

The policy of patrolling the isolated areas of the Park during the winter months by small detachments of soldiers mounted on "Norwegian skiis," in an attempt to prevent the poaching of game, had been initiated by Acting Superintendent Harris. These detachments were forced to live as did their quarry, carrying provisions on their backs and constructing temporary shelters when they stopped for the night. In order to alleviate its worst hardships and systematize this winter scouting, Boutelle requested authority and funds to construct "five or six log cabins" spaced throughout the Park "for shelter of snow shoe parties scouting the Park in winter. Authorization for the construction of six cabins "not to exceed $100 each," complete with tin boxes for the preservation of provision, was eventually received from the Secretary of the Interior. [16] This system of utilizing patrol cabins, termed, then and now, "showshoe cabins," was adopted by the rangers of the National Park Service and continues to the present day.

The farsighted Boutelle also opposed both the granting of a railroad right-of-way into the Park and the alternate proposal of eliminating the northern portion of the Park to allow a rail access to Cooke City. When a proposal was made in Congress to extend the southern boundary of the Park, Boutelle informed the Secretary of the Interior that he thought "it would be well to go a little further south" than had been suggested, so as to include within the Park "Jackson's lake country and the Teton peaks." Had this suggestion been followed, the government would have avoided much of the later litigation and expense concurrent with the formation of Grand Teton National Park. Realizing that the few remaining bison were rapidly nearing extinction, Boutelle implored the Governor of Wyoming and the Secretary of the Territory of Idaho to work for the passage of laws that would protect the animal from continued slaughter. He continued to request from Congress legislation that would provide punishment for persons who wilfully violated the regulations of the Park. [17]

Boutelle also demonstrated his awareness of his duties as Acting Superintendent by the character of expulsions from the Park during his term of office. A Mr. Imes of Bozeman was expelled for his "unsufferable insolence to a Non Commissioned Officer"; a butcher in the employ of the Yellowstone Park Association was expelled for "wantonly killing a bear." A similar fate befell a woman from Utah who "persisted in throwing stones into a Geyser after repeated remonstrances," and "every tramp who found his way inside Park limits" was also ejected. [18] E. E. VanDyke, a notorious poacher, had been expelled for killing game within the boundaries of the Park, and when he requested readmittance to accept a job in the Park, Boutelle informed him that he was "an infernal rascal" or a "damned fool," and in either case, "not a proper person to be employed in the Park." Readmittance was refused. [19]

Military guardianship of the Park was not, however, above reproach. On two occasions Boutelle recommended that "the carnivorous animals of the Park be destroyed" in order to protect the game animals but this unfortunate policy was not inaugurated until Theodore Roosevelt's day. [20] In addition to charges of "harsh and arbitrary rule" voiced by miscreants who had been expelled for violation of the rules, the Omaha World stated that the soldiers guarding the Park had established a system of "espionage" and were "levying blackmail" upon visiting tourists. The anonymous correspondent maintained that the tourists were "annoyed by the boys in blue" until they were given money, and that if no money was handed over the tourist was arrested on a "trumped up charge." Boutelle maintained that he cared "nothing for . . . untruthful vaporings . . . and would not take the trouble to reply" to some charges made in the Omaha paper, but he did take steps to disprove the accusation of extortion. He was sure that the charges were false, and solicited statements from various visitors to the Park to support his belief. One Judge S. T. Corns stated that "we received from them [soldiers] only courtesy and kindness throughout our journey"; E. Hofer wrote that he had never "heard one disparaging word against the soldiers," and maintained that they "had always been polite and gentlemanly in the discharge of their duties"; F. B. Riley found that he could "honestly state . . . that the soldiers conduct themselves well and are deserving of commendation"; W. W. Wylie, a man who conducted camping parties through the Park, had "yet to learn of a single instance whereby the boys in any manner insisted on being recompensed," and he had never "seen any ill treatment or want of courtesy by any of the troops." [21] Nevertheless it is probable that some of the soldiers were not always "polite and gentlemanly" to tourists. Many disliked the duty thrust upon them, and failed to recognize the sublimity of the mighty wonders of nature. It is only natural that some would vent their dislike of army life upon the sometimes exasperating tourist with his endless questions and propensity to destroy what the soldier was charged with protecting.

The activities of a group of unhappy and self-deluded Indians finally extricated both the Secretary of the Interior and the Acting Superintendent from their increasingly difficult relationship. The Teton Sioux of South Dakota, displeased with their life on the reservation, forsook all labor and began practicing a religion preached by "Wovoka," a Paiute messiah who promised the disconsolate Indians that the white man could be made to disappear and their ancestral lands returned to them, if they would but perform certain rites, dances, and ceremonies. Eager to achieve what they had been unable to win by fighting, a large number of the suffering Sioux began dancing; the whites became apprehensive, and a call for military troops went out. Troop "K," 1st Cavalry, Captain F. A. Boutelle commanding, was ordered to the field to take part in the "Sioux Campaign of 1890-1891. A detachment of nine men was left at Camp Sheridan to protect the Park and its government property. The Secretary of the Interior immediately requested that the Secretary of War detail "another officer with a company of the same number as Captain Boutelle had, for duty in the Park." [22]

Captain Gustavus C. Doane, now stationed at Fort Bowie, Arizona Territory, again began a campaign to be appointed Superintendent of the Yellowstone Park. He devised a plan of overland marches that would obviate transportation expense and called upon his friends to intercede on his behalf. Identical letters were written to the Secretary of War by Senator W. F. Sanders of Montana and General William E. Strong recommending the appointment of Doane, and both received identical replies: "The Department does not deem it advisable to order him [Doane] on this duty." The Secretary of War then informed the two men that the Sixth Regiment of Cavalry was then serving in a section of the country nearer to the Park than Fort Bowie, and that Captain George S. Anderson of that regiment, then on duty at Fort Meyer, Virginia, had been selected as Acting Superintendent. In explanation, the Secretary added, "the selection of this officer [Anderson] involves no expense other than his transportation from this city to Pine Ridge Agency where the troop to which he has been assigned is now stationed." [23]

Obviously the decision not to appoint Doane to the position was based upon more than the somewhat specious explanation given by the Secretary. Doane had planned his march from Arizona to the Park so that no expense would be entailed, and the weakness of the Secretary's explanation was illustrated by Major General Nelson A. Miles, Commanding General, Division of the Missouri, who objected to the transfer of Anderson and Troop "I" to duty in the Park. The troop chosen had been in the field nearly two months, and the distance from Pine Ridge to Camp Sheridan was 630 miles, "which to march in midwinter would cause great suffering," while the distance by rail was 1,662 miles. Furthermore, according to Miles, there were "other good reasons why Troop "I" should not be detailed for the Park duty. [24] Notwithstanding these protestations, Captain George S. Anderson, Sixth Cavalry, was appointed Acting Superintendent of the Yellowstone Park and assumed his duties on February 15, 1891.[25]

The new Acting Superintendent was ideally suited for his position. He had many friends in Washington, was extremely interested in the preservation and protection of the Park, and was responsible for the formulation of many new policies and programs that were later adopted by the National Park Service. During his six-and-a-half-year administration, the present road system was completed, the Park was saved from the threat of commercialization and dismemberment, the last serious threat of railway ingress was thwarted, and legislation providing for legal machinery within the Park was passed by Congress.

When Captain Anderson and his troop of cavalry arrived in the Park, the troops were still being quartered in the "temporary" shelters constructed some five years before and designated as Camp Sheridan. Captain Boutelle had recommended that a permanent military post be constructed in the Park, and this recommendation was accepted. Land necessary for the establishment of a permanent post was granted by the Department of the Interior to the United States Army. On February 27, 1891, the Fort Yellowstone military reservation was established. The first buildings, constructed of quarried stone and designed to accommodate one company of cavalry, were completed and occupied in the autumn of 1891. These, and buildings later constructed for military purposes, form the nucleus of the present Yellowstone National Park headquarters. [26]

The problems of protection and police were becoming more complicated and difficult as towns grew up around the borders of the Park, vandals and poachers increased in number, and the construction of hotels and roads enabled the increasing number of visitors to spread over a greater area. In 1890 Company hotel visitors numbered 3,800; in 1895, the first year records were kept, 5,348 persons visited the Park. Congress still refused to pass legislation necessary to enforce the rules. Confiscation of trespassers' property was ruled illegal by the Attorney General, [27] and the military authorities were forced to fall back upon their own ingenuity. Not surprisingly, sometimes illegal procedures were invoked. Captain Anderson found the main problems were the "propensities of women to gather 'specimens,' and of men to advertise their folly by writing their names on everything beautiful within their reach." He placed small squads of soldiers on guard at every main geyser basin and instructed them to arrest and threaten with expulsion anyone found breaking off material, gathering specimens, or writing names. Any arrested person was escorted to the Acting Superintendent, who administered a tongue lashing as only a seasoned cavalry officer could, and then released with the warning that a second arrest would be followed by expulsion from the Park.

This method proved to be unsuccessful, for Anderson still found that the "names of the vain glared at one from every bit of formation, and from every place where the ingenuity of vanity could place them." He then instituted a process whereby every person found guilty of carving his or her name in one of the geyser formations was ordered back to the scene of his crime, where, amid the taunts and gibes of his fellow tourists, and under the watchful eyes of an armed escort, he was forced to "obliterate the supposed imperishable monument to his folly" with the aid of soap and brush. [28] This method had some effect according to one observer from Missoula, Montana, who wrote Anderson that he had seen a bride and groom busily writing their names wherever they could find a smooth place on one particular formation. The observer informed the youthful couple that "as their names were on the hotel register they would be known and the soldiers would take them in charge and march them out of the Park." Upon hearing this, the "bride nearly fainted" and begged the groom to wipe their names off, which he did, but the Montanan thought "it was as good as a circus to see him on his knees rubbing away at the writing for dear life."[29]

Yet the military commander found that despite the sharpest watch, new names were constantly being added and it became increasingly difficult to distinguish these new signatures from the old ones. Finally, in the early part of the 1892 season, all of the inscriptions were removed from the various formations with the aid of hammer and chisel and the Park and its protectors "started even with the world." Writing in 1894, Anderson could claim that his remedy was "heroic and successful," for the geyser basins were then "practically free from this disfigurement."[30]

As the popularity of the Park increased, the problem of fire prevention grew in proportion to the increased number of Park visitors, and Anderson found that ever-increasing vigilance on the part of fire patrols was necessary to protect the forests from destruction. He insisted upon rigorous enforcement of the regulation requiring expulsion from the Park of any campers who left their fires unextinguished. Anderson found that "one or two expulsions each year served as healthy warnings," and that these, reinforced by a system of numerous patrols by the soldiers, had "brought about the particularly good results of which we can boast." [31]

An even more serious problem was the protection of wildlife. When Captain Anderson assumed control of the Park there was still no law under which poachers could be punished, and consequently they plied their trade with increasing intensity. The last remnants of the great wild bison herds that had previously wandered the plains now found refuge in the Park; beaver, relatively scarce in other portions of the West, were fairly common in the Park, and great numbers of deer and elk were still to be found there. An enterprising poacher could make a good living preying upon these animals, and if he were apprehended, expulsion usually meant little more than a slight inconvenience. With the virtual disappearance of the great bison herds, the meat and hide hunting of the previous decade was no longer possible, but the head of the shaggy animal was still valuable. Mounted bison heads, Anderson was told by one taxidermist, were "worth $1500.00 in the market," but if one could find a "rich and anxious customer, they might bring a good deal more." Taxidermists from Livingston, Billings, or Helena would pay $500 and up for an unmounted average head. [32]

For these and other reasons Anderson recommended that Fort Yellowstone be enlarged to accommodate two troops of cavalry on a year-round basis, and that the troop customarily detailed for service in the Park during the summer months be assigned there permanently. Military orders were issued making the requested change. [33] Aided by a civilian scout who knew both the topography of the Park and the most notorious poachers living in the surrounding communities, Anderson was now ready to wage war upon the transgressors.

During the winter months the majority of the two troops of cavalry were necessarily billeted at Fort Yellowstone, but at least five outposts were garrisoned during the entire year. In addition, scouting parties were sent our patrolling the entire Park and, traveling on skis, were instructed "not to follow the regular trails, but to go to the most unfrequented places," so that they "might happen on a malicious person. The "snowshoe cabins" constructed during Boutelle's administration were utilized for shelter, and "dressed in fur caps, California blanket coats, leggings, and moccasins," [34] these strangely uniformed cavalrymen soon became a nemesis to the poacher slipping into the Park in search of beaver or bison.

During the summer months these back-country patrols were increased in both number and scope, and four additional outposts were garrisoned. One observer, who accompanied a cavalry patrol over fallen timber and through "frightening morasses," found this "typical manner" of policing the Park, "monotonous, toilsome, and uneventful work"; but it was useful because it left the track of the cavalry horseshoe in the most remote parts of the preserve, where the poacher or interloper could see it and become apprehensive. It was this person's opinion that "two regiments could not entirely prevent poaching in the mountain wastes of the great reservation," but he thought that the two troops were "successful enough at the task." [35]

In his attempt to end poaching, Anderson was hindered by the resentment of the American pioneer toward game laws and game preservation. The settlers surrounding the Park refused to recognize the fact that the protection of game within the Park would profit them as the surplus of animals thus protected spilled over into the surrounding areas. A greater hindrance, however, was the continued failure of Congress to provide legal machinery. Anderson was advised by the Secretary of the Interior that trespassers could be punished only by expulsion, there being "no legal jurisdiction . . . by which their property can be confiscated." The Secretary also informed him that if an offender returned to the Park after expulsion, he could then "take possession of all means of transportation and equipment reporting the same for disposition," but admitted that such a process may be a fine point to decide" and one that would necessarily be left to the military commander's "sound discretion." [36] Faced with the choice of adhering closely to the law and simply expelling offenders, or of going beyond the law and devising extralegal punishment, the Acting Superintendent chose the latter course.

One especially pernicious poacher was apprehended while illegally trapping, his property was confiscated, and, contrary to all rules of law, he was confined in the guard house at Fort Yellowstone pending advice from the Secretary of the Interior, advice which for some reason was very slow in arriving. Ultimately his release was ordered, but in Anderson's opinion "this imprisonment for a month" had done more to break up trapping and poaching "than all the other arrests made since the park was established." He realized that he had no authority to imprison the poacher but he thought that his actions were justified since "simple removal had absolutely no effect on such characters." The property confiscated from this poacher was not returned to him in spite of his repeated requests. Two years after his arrest and release from confinement the man wrote, "Now don't you think I hay bin a very good boy ever saince you gave me your lesson at the Springs—now as I have quit hunting and gon to ranching—I will ask you to please send my field glass up to me—as it comes very handy to hunt horses and cattle with [sic]." A year later the man wrote again, explaining that he was no longer in the vicinity of the Park and asked that Anderson "give my field glass and six shooter up to me." [37] Another hunter was found "with two buffalo calves" which he claimed had been captured outside of the Park, an explanation that Anderson refused to believe. His equipment, too, was confiscated and he was imprisoned in the guard house. The Secretary of the Interior was not informed of the situation until a month had passed and he then immediately telegraphed orders for the prisoner's release. [38]

Individuals with a known propensity to enter the Park to pursue game animals were closely watched, cooperation was obtained from law enforcement officers of the neighboring states, private detectives were hired to gather information about planned poaching expeditions, and letters of private individuals were intercepted. One piece of correspondence opened by the military authorities contained the instruction: "You had better get a bottle of strychnine and poison some of those cross and silver grey fox at the Canyon this winter their hides can be sent by mail." [39] All of this served to reduce poaching, but did not prevent it. Congressional legislation was still needed.

In an attempt to bring law and order to this area neglected by the lawmakers, Anderson determined to make expulsion as unpleasant as possible. When a transgressor was apprehended in the southern part of the Park, he was marched on foot, accompanied by a mounted escort, to the extreme northern entrance to the Park and there "expelled." The process was reversed if apprehension occurred in the northern portion of the Park. Usually the culprit's belongings, if not confiscated, were deposited at the opposite boundary. The process was admittedly extralegal, but it was effective. In one case, when notified that one Max Caufman, staying at the Lake Hotel, had attempted assault upon a chambermaid, Anderson sent an order to the officer in charge there to have the alleged offender "marched our of the Park." In reporting the incident to the Secretary of the Interior, Anderson stated, "He was brought as far as Norris yesterday, arriving near midnight, nearly exhausted. He was allowed to ride a saddle horse to this point [Headquarters, Mammoth Hot Springs] today, and was marched on to Gardiner, where he was set at liberty." [40]

Revision of the rules was often found necessary. Suggestions for revision originated with either the Acting Superintendent or the Secretary of the Interior. All suggested changes from the Secretary were passed down to the Acting Superintendent for approval before being promulgated, and it was only through the efforts of Captain Anderson that Rule Number 9 ("No drinking saloon or bar room will be permitted within the limits of the Park") was not revised to completely prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages within the Park proper. His continual insistence that such beverages were necessary, from the medicinal standpoint, finally overcame the complaints of temperance advocates and the predilection of the Secretary of the Interior. Anderson emphasized the injurious effect of the altitude upon travelers and related the story of "a distinguished surgeon" who was traveling with him. The surgeon "came into my room at 2 a.m. saying, 'I'm dying, for God's sake get me some whiskey,' and quite probably the immediate production of it saved his life." Continuing his medical defense of alcoholic stimulants, the Captain stated that "most of the waters of the Park affect the bowels of many tourists and the most temperate need brandy medicinally. I think they should be able to get it." On another occasion he maintained that "stimulants are held by high medical authority to be often necessary and the bar rooms . . . are intended to supply this want." [41] Whatever the validity of his arguments, the Captain won the battle, and "spiritous liquors" were dispensed to hotel guests until national prohibition terminated the practice.

Anderson's motives were probably not altogether unselfish. John W. Meldrum, the first United States Commissioner appointed with jurisdiction over the Park, remarked that when he was introduced to Anderson the Acting Superintendent replied, "right off the bat: 'Good to see you, let's have a drink.'" When describing his first residence in Yellowstone, Meldrum stated that "on the other side of the hall was the bar room. There was music every night until midnight . . . the chief trumpeter in there would always be Captain Anderson." [42] A strong defender of the imbiber, Anderson was an enemy of the gambler, and it was he who established the rule that "under no circumstances will a gambling establishment of any kind be permitted within the park." [43]

Anderson also stipulated an element of later National Park policy when he determined that it was not "necessary or advisable, to limit the season of fishing." He continued the process of fish planting begun by his predecessor and obtained permission to "prohibit fishing for two years in any waters newly stocked." [44] During his administration, also, live trapping of animals in the Park for shipment first to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and later to zoos throughout the United States was begun. [45]


How the U.S. Cavalry Saved Our National Parks
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