Mr Manson, Mr Pinch, Bureau Of Corporations discussed on American History Tellers


The door opens and two minute. Mr manson nice to see you again. Glad you could make good to see you again mr pinch. Oh please call me gifts. This other gentleman is james. R garfield director of the bureau of corporations at the department of commerce and labor and the son of our late president. I may add. He shares our interest in the hetch. Hetchy project nice to meet you. Mr garfield garfield greece you and sit on a couch along. The wall control moves back behind his desk. So mr manson. What can you tell me about this. Damn as i said the other night our intention is to build a reservoir in the valley of hetch hetchy you see the water supply. There is incredibly pure. We could build water reserves for our entire city by simply constructing this one reservoir but we can't move forward without approval. Have you reached out to ethan hitchcock. He's the secretary of the interior. Yes the previous mayor. Mr phelan as applied to mr hitchcock several times. But he's denied us denied on what grounds he feels that because yosemite national park. There shouldn't be a damn leans back in his chair and strokes his chin thoughtfully. Well now. that's an interesting argument. There are plenty of people who would agree with him. John muir for one yes john. Muir has made his feelings on the matter known to mayor phelan. He thinks there are other places that could do just as well. Isn't that it have. You looked into some of these other locations we have sir but none are so pure or so practical has hetch hetchy. We could buy land cheaply there since it's by the government so it's mainly financial consideration. Well no not exclusively in fact. I've got a letter from your right here. That says the scheme for securing these water rights is as full of graft as any of the lumber company's plans to obtain big blocks of the best timberland. Is that true. Mr manson your throne. You had hoped this would be a friendlier meeting but you gather your thoughts and respond not to my knowledge sir. I'm an engineer. I leave the politicking to other people and yet here. You are in my office in washington making your appeal. You're starting to feel a bit warm. You stand mr pinto. I'm sorry if i've inconvenienced to you. I think i'd better go. But can show has a twinkle in his eye. Sit down. Mr manson. John muir and i are old friends. I happen to disagree with him on this matter. You feel your blood pressure. Drop abandoning sit back down. But if you're going to pursue this plan you better be prepared for one hell of a fight. Now you say the plan for the dam are solid quite solid sir. Then i suggest you proceed. But we've tried sir secretary. Hitchcock won't give his approval pinto looks meaningfully at garfield. Hunan's you leave that to me. You see james. And i serve as informal advisers to the president. We have zere and he's always happy to hear our input. Isn't that right. James garfield nods again hitchcock has been bucking the president since we first got into office if he keeps at him he won't be in his job long now. I think president roosevelt would be very interested in your plans for hetchy. Show did just what he said he would. He introduce manson to president roosevelt and permitted the engineer to lay out the plans for the reservoir firsthand. Roosevelt was impressed. Manson left e. c. Believing that if the city were to push again to dam hetch hetchy. This time the federal government would approve but city politics were working against him. Manson was no longer part of the administration. A new party was in power. And after james phelan left office his successor mayor. Handsome jeans schmitz. Let the plans for the water. Reservoir fall to the wayside until the great disaster on april eighteen. Nineteen o six. The earthquake changed everything three hundred water. Mains were damaged during the shaking leaving water gushing out of broken cast iron pipes while firehoses went dry. The public blame the spring valley water company for the failure of infrastructure advocates. For the damn saw the perfect moment to pounce only a steady supply of freshwater could avoid another similar disaster argued. San francisco was built on a bay. But saltwater couldn't be used to fight fires and emergency since it corrodes machinery perhaps. If the dan had been built before the disaster it's backers argued the city would have had the water reserves in needed. In truth it was water distribution pipes hydrants and spigots not the water supply that had caused the devastation but the supporters of the damn were persuasive and they use the crisis to galvanize public support. Still the project could not move forward without an official go ahead from the federal government ethan. Hitchcock who previously denied plans for the dam was still secretary of the interior and appeared to have no change of opinion on the matter then. Six weeks after the earthquake engineer martin manson received a letter. It was from pinch. Oh the note read. I hope sincerely that. In the regeneration of san francisco it's people will be able to make provision for water supply from the yosemite national park which will probably be equal to any in the world. I will stand ready to render any assistance which lies in my power. It was an intriguing letter but it still wasn't an official approval. The hetch hetchy leaders were grateful for the show of support but with hitchcock still position. As gatekeeper the appeared there was little chance of getting the project to move forward. What back in washington. The political machine was working against hitchcock within the white house. It was clear that the interior secretary and the president did not see eye to eye. Chief.

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