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Two Military Salutes to Stephen Tyng Mather Correspondence from Generals Hugh Scott and John Pershing

The archived letters at the Bancroft Library reveal not only the depth of respect and admiration felt for Stephen Mather, but its breadth as well.  From conserva-tionists to clergy, from writers to railroaders, and to the military as well.


In January 1929 Major-General Hugh Lenox Scott wrote to Stephen Mather.  A brief excerpt…

“My dear Mather…It was with real sorrow that I saw in the press of your resignation from the Park Service which you have built up so splendidly by your long, unselfish, and successful endeavors—you have taken it in its formative period and have established it forever and have done thereby a noble work for our people…”


Hugh Lenox Scott  (1853-1934)  West Point graduate of 1876, he served as superintendent of West Point from 1906 to 1910 and as chief of staff of the United States Army from 1914 to 1917  He saw action in campa-igns against the SiouxNez PerceCheyenne and other tribes of the Great Plains and became an expert in their languages and ways of life.


In September 1929 General John Pershing wrote to John Hammond regarding

an invitation to serve on the Stephen T. Mather Appreciation committee…


“With reference to your letter of September 1st…it will give me great pleasure to serve on the committee as you suggest.  While generally averse to appearing on committees, I am prompted to accept in this case because of the tremendous appeal this slight recognition of Mr. Mather’s work should make to anyone familiar with it.  Men with such public-spirited generosity are all too few.  Recognition of this sort is small recompense for a life devoted to public service…”


John Joseph Pershing (1860-1948)  Nicknamed "Black Jack", Pershing was a senior United States Army officer. He served most famously as the commander of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) during World War I from 1917 to 1920. In addition to leading the AEF to victory in World War I, Pershing notably served as a mentor to many in the generation of generals who led the United States Army during World War II, including George C. MarshallDwight D. EisenhowerOmar Bradley, George S. Patton and Douglas MacArthur.

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