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TELEGRAM FROM PRESIDENT GILMAN.
the evening, saying that he should like to be LAND. A previous engagement will absoable to ask for three cheers for Irving M. lutely forbid my being present. The magaScott, but would confine himself to moving zine has my most hearty wishes for its success. a vote of thanks, which was immediately There is ample field for a publication of given with great enthusiasm.
this sort, which shall express the best thought of this coast, and there is every reason why it ought to succeed. It will bring out the
best literary talent of this community; its BALTIMORE, MD., Dec. 21st, 1882.
columns will be a medium for the discussion IRVING M. Scott, San Francisco. May the OVERLAND live a thousand
of the great interests, social and national, of
years and prosper.
our people. It should rank with the Acad. D. C. GILMAN. emy of Sciences and public libraries, our
Mechanics’ Institute and our School of ·Art,
as among the elevating, humanizing influLETTER FROM GOVERNOR PERKINS.
ences of a new community; and as such, it SACRAMENTO, CAL., Dec. 22nd, 1882.
deserves a hearty support. Regretting that IRVING M. Scott, Esq., San Francisco.
I cannot be with
a renewal Dear Sir: Your kind invitation to attend a
best wishes for the OVERLAND, dinner on the 21st inst., for the purpose of
Yours very truly, celebrating the revival of The OVERLAND
HORACE DAVIS. MONTHLY, reached me this morning. It certainly must have been sent overland; and as
DR. STILLMAN'S LETTER. our to-morrows never come, so our yesterdays
LUGONIA, SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, never return; therefore, to-day leaves me with
Dec. 22nd, 1882. regrets. I have not only lost a feast that ele- Mr. Irving M. Scott AND WIFE. vates the mind, but that higher, nobler flow
Dear Friends: Your kind invitation to of soul which springs therefrom.
me to join you in celebrating the revival of What compensation is left me? The
THE OVERLAND Monthly reached me last knowledge that our OVERLAND MONTHLY still evening, too late to enable me to meet you exists. It has witnessed the departure to "a this afternoon, or even to reach you with my land beyond the skies” of many a loved con- regrets; but it is not too late to serve as a tributor; its pages have told in words of sor- harbinger of spring to our old favorite, THE row the pain and grief their absence has pro- OVERLAND Monthly. May its luck in the duced: but we would continue its existence future be better than that of “Roaring as an old, tried, and true friend, always wel
Camp." come, and ever certain of a Californian greet
Yours, ing, and you know what that is—it is the
J. D. B. STILLMAN. strong clasp of an earnest man, tempered with the constancy and devotion which are
PROF. HILGARD'S LETTER. the attributes of a true woman. Success to
BERKELEY, Dec. 21st, 1882. THE OVERLAND MONTHLY.
HON. IRVING M. SCOTT.
Dear Sir: I sincerely regret that the
state of my health will not permit me to be
present at the dinner in honor of the reLETTER FROM HON. HORACE DAVIS.
vival of the OVERLAND. I cannot, however, SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 21st, 1882. allow the opportunity to pass without exIRVING M. Scott, Esq.
pressing the pleasure it gives me to see that My Dear Sir: I am sorry I must decline honored name about to take its place once your kind invitation to dinner, on Friday more in the galaxy of American magazines. evening, to celebrate the revival of the OVER- Having been one of a group of mourners,
who, in 1875, met at the old editorial rooms writes it, our literature-if we may so call it in the hope of devising means to prevent -grew from gulch to gulch, from cabin to the then impending suspension of the Over- cabin, from camp to camp, and has made its LAND, I would have been particularly pleased impression upon our minds and manners to join its friends on the present occasion, forever. We need not deny that it is a wild when the rising tide wave of general pros- youth, deserving, in some measure, the digperity promises a brighter future. I have nified big-dog scorn of the “trooly eddicahigh hopes that under its new management ted”; but such as it is, it is our own. Its the magazine will again take its accustomed wild-oats-and what land has wild-oats tall honorable place, not only as the exponent of as grow in California?—its wild-oats may yet the best literary culture of the Pacific coast, be sow'n, grown, and plowed under as a but as filling a place not now occupied by fertilizer to a better crop; but in doing away any other periodical on the great highway with the wild-oats, we should have a care to between the West and Orient.
avoid planting, or trying to plant, seed not Very truly yours,
suited to our environment. We never can E. W. HILGARD. make the art in our pictures, either of pen,
pencii, or paint, seem like the art of other DR. GALLY'S LETTER.
cities or countries outside of our environ
ment. Our earth, air, sky, fog, water, and The following is part of a letter of regret received from Dr. J. W. Gally, of Watson woodland have little resemblance in any received from Dr. J. W. Gally, of Watson- other country; while our climate, as a whole, ville, author of "Big Jack Small," etc.:
does not even resemble itself. We have THURSDAY, Dec. 21st, 1882. more snow, more rain, more drouth, more TO THE EDITOR OVERLAND.
dust, more mud, all at once and separately, . . . I am on a lead that brings me par- than any other country in all civilization. ticularly to regret that I shall not see and We have deeper, darker forests, side by side meet what I never have seen or met, viz., a with plains more hopelessly bleak and barren, company of literary people assembled to than are yet found in any healthy habitable enjoy the fruits of the mind with the food part of the globe; and valleys of fat fertility of the body. As an author-if, indeed, I as lasting in productive soils as the tombmay so call myself-I have been always a haunted borders of the Nile.
It is our solitary "prospector," climbing among the straight duty to paint our own scenery and ragged foothills in search of the “float” say our own say. “It's no use putting on,” that endless years have shifted, inch at a is a wise maxim. Let us try not to "put on.” move, from the far-off summits of purely Let us not seek to hide our origin-I mean original thought. I have been endowed or our literary origin. Let us acknowledge the damned (as the estimate may be) with bowlders, also the slickens. In fact, let us some part of the unflagging faith of the as writers, particularly as Overlanders, if we prospector, which, while it looks at the sur- ever write again, try to say in word and spirit face soil, believes in the depths of great what our peculiar environment would if it riches; and climbs, hopefully if often slowly had possession of words and voices. Inside and wearily, toward the height which no of any life lease of environment, each honmortal among the dead majority or living est original person-and as no two people constituencies has yet reached. ... are alike, all persons truly honest should be
Speaking of marbles reminds me of rocks, original—has a way of his own. It is the and that brings me somehow to remark that way of it, more than the quotable parts of it, the distinctive tone, or flavor, of what may that shows the art in literature. As with be called Californian literature was born persons, so it is with critics or countries. among the rocks; in other words, evolved Each has a way of its own. among the bowlders. No matter who truly The genesis of this way, in Anglo-American and New World localities, is a curious of a very rare and excellent fancy; and whatcombination of arrival, survival, and environ- ever else he is not, that is what he is. ment. The initial people of Boston, Mass., None of this is to detract from the merits of Charleston, S. C., and Richmond, Va., were Mr. Harte's romantic sketches. But those of the same era, and all from England; but sketches are imitable—he himself could imihow widely different is the way of each tate them; but neither he nor any one else. of the cities from the other ! Cleveland is can imitate some parts of his “Truthful not like Chicago, though both were set- James.” In his poems, Mr. Harte is the tled originally by what we call “northern mouthpiece of his environment, and unless people.” St. Louis is not like New Orleans, other OVERLAND authors will aim to be the though both were at first French. None of voice of their surroundings, then there is no these cities now have or ever will have the need for an OVERLAND magazine, and, consesame ways. The earliest permanent set- quently, no need of any OVERLAND dinner, tler of an American center of population has nor of this laborious (to the reader) letter of much to answer for. His power is pre-potent. regrets. From him is the hereditary element in the
Yours truly, environment. His mark is indelible. There
J. W. GALLY. is no way of wiping it out. San Francisco, California, and the whole Pacific slope south
MR. WILLIAM H. RIDEING'S LETTER. of Oregon, has the air of the Argonaut, the
BOSTON, Dec. 26th, 1882. manner of the miner, and no power on earth My dear Sir: Many thanks for your kind will ever educate us out of it. In this matter invitation to the dinner celebrating the “rethe church is hopeless, the University help- vival.” It would have been a pleasure to have less, and "eastern" advice unheeded. We attended, but in modern phrase, it is "quite are to fight it out on our own line.
a little journey" from this pivotal city When an ancient and honorable Over- to the jumping-off place; and I like not the lander, earlier in our little literary career, be- country between Ogden and Reno, though fore he became famous, built us a poetic, one may have supper at Humboldt. Howpathetic story upon a soiled foundation, we
ever, I hope the OVERLAND will be all over were slow to applaud, because we somehow the land, and that its circulation will be limfelt, as one of our mining ancestors said of ited neither by numbers nor by geographia pathetic sermon, that “our parson was cal boundaries. pumping for salt”; but our author says
Yours sincerely, he found the same story promptly applauded
WILLIAM H. RIDEING. by our eastern brothers, and hence our author set us down as “lacking.” Yet when he No one was more missed than Mr. Rochanged his tune, and sang to us about the man, the founder of the OVERLAND, whose painful disagreement in the scientific society own regrets for his unavoidable absence on the Stanislaus, we not only showed an in- were most earnest. Mr. John Muir also stant interest in scientific matters, but we was one whose absence was felt as a serious opened our hearts to the suffering official, deprivation---the more, as the guests had exwho, under a sickly smile, ceased to be in- pected to meet him until a telegram at the terested in the subsequent proceedings; and last moment reversed his previous letter of when, at last, he exhorted to us about our acceptance and congratulation. friend Mr. William Nye and the Heathen Chi- Regrets were also received from Dr. Horanee, we shouted like the gods in the gallery. tio Stebbins, Frances Fuller Victor, C. T. All of which goes to show that we know an Hopkins, R. E. C. Stearns, Sam Davis, T. original work when we see it. Time will in- H. Rearden, Y. H. Addis, Josephine Clifdorse our estimate of Mr. Bret Harte. We ford, W. C. Morrow, Seddie E. Anderson, put him up for a serio-comico-satirical poet, Henry Liddell, Evelyn Ludlum, and others.
Our country has but one true West, and travelers set out for a good round American it is with us. Other Wests there have been, trip, they must see the sage plains and the notably the great valley of the Mississippi; silver ledges of Nevada; in California, the but the color has faded out of them, and gold mines and the orange groves, the Yonow the sunset glory rests only on the Pa- semite Fall and the Golden Gate; in Orecific side of the continent; the evening gon, the broad Columbia; and farther north, clouds also, for the Golden Gate is not al- the sky-piercing peaks of Washington, not to ways golden. What was the West is now speak of the mighty icebergs of Alaska. the great Interior, as its own inhabitants Colorado, nearer at hand, has awakened a already call it. Journals published at Chi- special interest; but it was that of a State of cago are named "Interior,” “Inter-Ocean,” belated birth, whose mines and mountains and the like. An Ohio poet a few years ago were but copies of those on the Pacific entitled his book “Western Windows." It coast. Utah is a region by itself, of alien was the last remnant of an expiring termi- religion and un-American characteristics. nology, allowable only by poetic license. With this largest curiosity concerning us Chicago and St. Louis, Omaha and even comes also the freest criticism, a sharpness Denver, are as much east as west: west to of judgment as of a foreign land. Nay, more: men on the Atlantic coast, east to those on some Atlantic Americans, who affect English the Pacific. Beyond us the name cannot manners and feelings, seem to regard San go; we are the permanent West.
Francisco as much more distant than LonThe antithesis from position and distance don, and Californians as fairer critical game is greatest here. The East is more curious than even the Highlanders or the Corkoniabout this farthest region than about any in- ans. To them, the three thousand miles tervening one. Illinois with its broad prai- across their own country are much longer ries, Louisiana with its sugar plantations, and more dissevering than the same distance Lake Superior with its copper mines, have measured over the oceanus dissociabilis. It become an old story. Even the cattle is interesting to note some points of this eastranges of Texas and the buffalo plains of ern criticism. Wyoming are growing stale. If eastern 1. Our scenery is criticised. Our moun
tains are grand, but not so delicate in out- nor in Astoria and Portland. Throughout line as the Aiguilles of Mont Blanc, and our State we can grow the Australian eucasadly deficient in glaciers. Our lakes are lyptus, in many places even the Norfolk Isless beautiful than Leman and Como. The land pine. Roses bloom here in the winter, Columbia River is impressive, but not so and cattle are not prisoners in the barn. In • large as the Mississippi and the Missouri. our south, tropical fruits flourish as in the San Francisco Bay is not so perfect a gem eastern Florida. Many men with impaired as the Bay of Naples. Our Californian hill- health found this a sanitarium, even when sides grow painfully brown in the long, dry they slept under the open sky. Such things summer, and the dust is deep on our high- were written by residents of more or less ways.
permanence, sent to eastern friends, printed To which California, like her sister Pa- in eastern journals. They were true recific States, modestly answers: “I did not cords of actual facts. That top much was make myself, and do not feel to blame for made of these reports was not the fault of any little or great defects in my appearance. the writers nor of the Californian climate. In the short time that has elapsed since I Especially should California not be blamed was made known to your world, painters and for the exaggerations of eastern tourists. poets have found something in me to admire Men who were bound to make a good story and commemorate; but I do not set myself put an extra touch on ascertained facts. up for the greatest beauty or the most ma- All the grapes were very delicious, all the jestic figure in all the continents. If you pears of monstrous size, all the beets and like my mountain cañons, stay in them the squashes phenomenal. Every month a while, long enough to appreciate them; do was balmy, every town salubrious. San not, like most of the Yosemite visitors, run Francisco had only wholesome sea breezes; in one day and out the next. Camp in my the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys redwood forests long enough to test the only an invigorating dry heat. Toward the wholesome breezes from the sea. Go to south lay an immense paradise; from Santa the sea itself, and drink in the salty air that Cruz to San Diego the sea-coast and coast comes purified by ten thousand miles of hills were all one sanitarium. The foot-hills ocean alchemy. Think, as you look on the of the Sierras, and much of the year the ever-breaking waves, of the empires and con- summits themselves, were fragrant, exhilarattinents that lie across the expanse. If these ing bowers of bliss. things have no interest or charm, if they stir Now, if harm was done by such overdrawn your pulses to no quicker or healthier representations, whose fault was it? Cerrhythm, do not, O good critic, heap blame tainly, not that of the climate, not that of on me for furnishing no more to your jaded the people who lived here and went on mindcuriosity; depart in peace, and sate your ing their own business. More than one holongings with the grandeur and beauty you tel register has the names of those who wrote may find elsewhere. Some friendly steps themselves "Nordhoff's fools.” Mr. Nordwill still turn hither. I have no fear of be- hoff may or may not have deserved their ing left again unknown; through the cen- anathemas. Certainly, he was not the only turies to come I shall have enough and to or the chief offender in intemperate coloring. spare of true and ardent lovers.” And the The more fools they who could not read sister States quietly respond, "So say we all between the lines of the tourists' eulogies; of us.”
who supposed that a veritable Elysium was 2. Our climate is criticised. Various re- to be found on this withered old planet. ports long ago went abroad that here on the California has done her best in climatic hoswestern side of the continent eastern cold pitality. She has braced up many a waverwas mitigated; that the snow did not lie, on ing constitution, and wrought some changes the level, two feet deep in San Francisco, that resembled miracles. But her appliances