“Congress was not enthusiastic. . . .”

John Fletcher Lacey

John Fletcher Lacey

“Congress was not enthusiastic. . . .”

Antiquities Act Bills and Discussion, circa 1900-1906, from Raymond Harris Thompson

“Hewett tried to avoid language anywhere in the bill that might trigger debate over details, such as how much land would be withdrawn, by limiting the amount of land to ‘the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management’ of the monument.”

“Lacey had already warned Interior Secretary Hitchcock when he submitted Hermann’s draft that the Congress was not enthusiastic about the thought of massive land withdrawals. . . . Subsequent debate, comment, and action (or lack thereof) seemed to indicate that the Congress had not moved away from that position.” (p. 300)

“There was also the problem that the Congress had displayed little enthusiasm for establishing national parks. . . .” (p. 303)

Mentioned in quotes:

Edgar Lee Hewett (Professor, Archaeologist, Administrator, Westerner)

John Fletcher Lacey (Congressman, Republican, Major (Union Army), Attorney; See also the “Lacey Act of 1900”)

Ethan Allen Hitchcock (Secretary of the Interior from 1898 to 1907)

Binger Hermann (Commissioner of the General Land Office from 1897 to 1903)

All quoted material above is from the Journal of the Southwest (Volume 42, Number 2, Summer 2000) “A Special Issue: The Antiquities Act of 1906” “An Old and Reliable Authority: An Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities” by Raymond Harris Thompson and edited by Joseph Carleton Wilder. Full text and more can be found here at An Old and Reliable Authority.

Thanks to the Department of Commerce / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center for hosting this publication.

Image credit: “John F. Lacey” Copyright 2014 Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation



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