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John Muir And The United States National Park System

by Lawrence Downing


Lawrence Downing
Sierra Club President (1986-88)
Sierra Club Foundation President (1989-92)

Lectures sponsored by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society
Glasgow, Scotland, October 7, 1992
Edinburgh, Scotland, October 8, 1992


Approximately a decade ago, a statewide survey of the California Historical Society revealed that a Scotsman, who died in 1914, was the thought to be the greatest figure in California history! That man was John Muir.

Who was this Scotsman, John Muir? Why was he in California? And what did he do to earn such depth of admiration, an admiration that continues today -- four generations after his death?

It is with a great deal of pride and pleasure that I have responded to the kind invitation to appear before you this evening -- to share with all of you my knowledge and love for your countryman, John Muir.

I hope before this evening is through to answer for you the questions I have just posed. I hope to describe for you the immense stature of this man in my country. I hope to convey to you the magnitude of the impact that the ideas and the philosophy of this man had, not only upon the American landscape as the father of the United States National Park System, but upon the environmental movement throughout the world.

I have come to Scotland from across the Atlantic, from the small city of Rochester,in the State of Minnesota in the North Central United States, to appear before you this evening. And I come as the 39th direct successor to John Muir as President of the Sierra Club, an environmental organization he founded one hundred years ago this year in San Francisco; an organization today composed of more than 600,000 members located in the United States, Canada, and other countries throughout Europe and the rest of the world; an organization reputed to be perhaps the most influential environmental organization in history; an organization that still shares with John Muir his love for, devotion toward, and desire to preserve the wild and beautiful places that God placed upon our planet.

On Thursday morning, April 21, 1988, I stood on a makeshift platform in front of a small unpretentious 3-story building on the main street of a small fishing village, on the eastern coast of Scotland -- Dunbar. That day in Dunbar was rather raw and threatened rain. Two flags were hanging off the front of that building at 128 High Street -- the blue and white flag of Scotland, of course. The second flag was my country's own stars and stripes.

In spite of the uncertain weather, the streets were filled with excited and curious townspeople, as well as journalists and honored guests from all over the United Kingdom. Kilted pipers were playing spirited aires. Local school children were clearly enjoying this unusual holiday from their classes; the boys and girls were dressed in costumes from early in the prior century.

All had assembled to honor John Muir, a native born son of Dunbar, Scotland, who as a lad of only eleven left that village and journeyed with his family to a new land where they settled on a small Wisconsin farm -- not very far east of where my wife and I currently live.

The occasion for gathering in Dunbar was the 150th anniversary of the birth of John Muir in that little village. The crowd had gathered in front of Muir's birthplace to listen to me, an American, tell them why this boy was someone very special, someone who became world famous.

I had come to Scotland at the invitation of the trustees of a newly formed conservation organization here in the UK, The John Muir Trust. The John Muir Trust comprises almost two thousand men and women from across this kingdom, individuals who seek to rekindle in this country the spirit and memory of John Muir, and, in the spirit and memory of John Muir, to restore and preserve some of the wild places in this land for all future generations to come.

We at the Sierra Club are very gratified by the establishment of the John Muir Trust to help teach John Muir's principles and to preserve wild places in his beloved homeland. The actions of the members of the John Muir Trust honor John Muir and the principles for which the Sierra Club stands. These members have truly, to use Muir's own words, done "something for wildness and made the mountains glad by their efforts."

The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, continues to serve actively and ably as the Royal Patron of the John Muir Trust. And I am honored to have been elected a Trustee of the organization, and always look forward to my meetings here in the United Kingdom with those dedicated and committed individuals.

When I first arrived in Scotland in 1988, I was surprised to learn that John Muir's achievements are virtually unknown here in his own land. And it was my privilege to describe for the people of Dunbar, and the gathered representatives of the UK press, radio and television, the strange path that took your native son across the Atlantic to my country, where he became, perhaps, the most influential environmentalist the world has ever known.

John Muir -- farmer, inventor, industrialist, sheepherder, naturalist, explorer, writer and world-renowned conservationist -- was born on April 21st, in the year 1838, in Dunbar, Scotland. He attended local schools, climbed the crumbling ruins of the Dunbar castle, and roamed across the Lammermoors for the first eleven years of his life. His father, Daniel, a local grain merchant and religious zealot, seemed to have no success in taming the young boy's wild and adventurous spirit, even with the frequent thrashings that he administered, according to John's descriptions -- thrashings that apparently were to try to remove the devil from the boy and instill in him a fear of and a respect for God. By age ten, John had memorized the entire New Testament and much of the Old Testament "by heart and sore flesh" as he described it. He later asserted that at that time "Scotland's whole educational system was founded on leather."

However, at that point in his life, John's continued excitement for the adventures of life was truly heightened. By 1849, word of amazing gold discoveries in the streams of California was filtering back to Dunbar, and other sea ports around the world. His father, dreaming of the not-uncommon dream of some greater opportunity somewhere else, boarded the family onto a schooner bound for the United States. He moved them, primarily by ship through Lakes Erie, Huron, and Michigan, half way across the North American continent to the north shore of a small lake 10 miles north of Portage, a small town in central Wisconsin.

John Muir later acknowledged that it was on that farm site at Fountain Lake that he first conceived of the idea of wild lands set aside by governments for their scenic and educational value alone, not just for their potential commercial resource value. This idea was the foundation of a National Park System -- not only in my country, but for all the world. But this gets us ahead of the story that I wish to share with you tonight.

Muir's father was a harsh disciplinarian and worked his family from dawn to dusk. Whenever they were allowed a short period away from the plow and hoe, Muir and his younger brother, David, would roam the fields and woods of the rich Wisconsin countryside, a countryside not terribly unlike the hills and valleys of the East Lothian region. John became more and more the loving observer of the natural world.

His father's insistence that the family immediately go to bed at the conclusion of the evening prayers held in the little farmhouse at dusk led John to discover that if he arose in the early hours of the morning between 3 and 4:00 a.m., he could have several hours of quiet in the cellar beneath the house where he could read books by candlelight, books lent him by sympathetic neighbors, books read in peace and without fear of angry interruption by his father.

It was at this location that Muir, a boy of perhaps seventeen, almost died under strange circumstances. He succumbed to the effects of carbonic acid gas, called "choke damp" by deep rock miners, while chipping away fine-grained sandstone at the bottom of an 80-foot deep well that his father insisted be dug on the family farm. Dragged out of the well to safety, barely able to breathe, John was allowed only two days to recover, and then his father, true to his nature, directed him once more to the bottom of the well to complete the painstaking digging.

In his early morning freedom, John also became an inventor, a carver of curious, but practical, mechanisms in wood. He made intricate devices, such as a large thermometer which used a three-foot iron rod from a broken wagon as the temperature sensitive element, whose minute expansions and contractions were magnified 3,200 times by a series of hoop steel levers. The instrument was so sensitive its pointer could register the body heat resulting from standing near it, and its three-foot dial was visible to the boys as they worked the fields below their farmhouse. He turned his attention to devising clocks using the principle of the pendulum which he learned from a book. These clocks not only kept accurate time, but were engineered to useful tasks, such as lighting fires or feeding livestock at a preset time. He designed a combined desk and clock nine feet tall that removed the scholar's books from a shelf and opened them for study for a prescribed period.

He created a wondrous contraption which attached to his bed -- a device that could automatically raise the bed upright and tip him out of bed into the predawn darkness, the only time his father permitted him to read undisturbed. Several of Muir's devices, and the intricate plans for several more can still be found at the Wisconsin Historical Museum in Madison, Wisconsin.

In 1860, at age 22, he left home for good. Against his father's wishes, and with the encouragement of his neighbors, he took his inventions to the state agricultural fair at Madison, where he won not only admiration and prizes, but also an invitation to enter the University of Wisconsin. Enrolled there, he followed no particular course of study, taking classes based only upon his interests, achieving, nevertheless, excellent grades. His dormitory room was reputed to be filled with plants, and to have looked more like a laboratory than a dwelling place.

After four years, he left Madison during the midst of the American Civil War to travel north to Canada, odd-jobbing his way through that yet unspoiled land. In truth, John Muir was avoiding being drafted into the War between the States of the early 60s. Muir was a pacifist who could not abide the carnage of that war among the Americans from the north and the south.

For several years, he explored the woods and bogs of southern Ontario, while earning substantial sums of money as an industrial engineer. For example, at one tool factory he contracted with the owner to devise a lathe-type machine which could mass produce handles for brooms and rakes. Muir's new machine was so successful it could produce what was formerly a year's production of handles in only one week.

In 1867, the war over, Muir returned to the United States. While working at a factory in Indianapolis, Indiana, Muir suffered a blinding eye injury that would change the course of his life. While Muir was attempting to loosen a leather belt, being used as a power drive, with a common file, it slipped and the tang pierced his right eye, robbing him of the sight from that eye. As apparently not uncommonly happens, the nerves of the left eye in traumatic sympathy also ceased to function. The lover of the great outdoors lay for weeks in a dark hospital room, blind and helpless. When he had the miraculous good fortune to regain most of the sight in both eyes, he made that decision that so few of us have the courage to make -- a decision to do that which makes us most happy regardless of its potential for financial rewards.

Muir assessed his life. His love for plants and the earth's wild places, outweighed his need for money which he found could easily be derived from machines. At that point then began his years of wanderlust. He set out on the journey of a thousand miles, through the lawless perils to be found during the postwar reconstruction era in the southern United States. Muir found a bit of peace of mind and safety by sleeping primarily in cemeteries, where he was confident bandits would not be willing to frequent at night. He traveled from Indianapolis to Florida and then across swamps of Florida to the Gulf of Mexico, contracting malaria in the process. Once on the Gulf, he sailed to Cuba, and from there to Panama, where he crossed the Isthmus and sailed up the West Coast of the United States, landing in post-gold rush San Francisco in March of 1868. From that moment on, though he would thereafter travel around the world, California would be his home.

It was California's Sierra Nevada and, in particular, the Yosemite Valley that truly claimed him. In 1868, he walked across the San Joaquin Valley of central California through waist-high wildflowers and into the high country for the first time. Later he would write:

"Then it seemed to me the Sierra should be called not the Nevada, or 'Snowy Range,' but the Range of Light . . . the most divinely beautiful of all the mountain chains I have ever seen."

He herded sheep through that first summer and made his home in the Yosemite Valley.

By 1871, he had found living glaciers in the Sierra and had conceived his controversial theory that it was glaciation that had produced Yosemite Valley, not a cataclysmic earthquake, as was commonly thought at that time. He began to be known throughout the country for his scientific writings. Famous men of the time -- Joseph LeConte, Asa Gray, and Ralph Waldo Emerson -- made their way to the door of his pine cabin.

Beginning in 1874, a series of magazine articles by Muir, entitled "Studies in the Sierra," really launched his successful career as a writer known to the national public. He left the mountains and lived for awhile in Oakland, California. From there he took many trips, including his first to Alaska in 1879, where he was the first white man to discover the area now known as "Glacier Bay." Glacier Bay is now one of the units of the United States National Park system, and features John Muir Glacier among its many wonders.

In 1880, Muir married Louie (short for "Louisiana") Wanda Strentzel and moved to Martinez, California, just north and east of San Francisco, where together they raised their two daughters, Wanda and Helen. Settling down to some measure of domestic life, Muir went into partnership with his father-in- law and managed the family fruit ranch with great success. He organized the local growers, and this canny Scotsman became the bane of the San-Francisco Bay area fruit merchants with his insistence on higher prices for him and his neighbors.

However, although ten years of active fruit ranching produced resources that made him financially independent for the rest of his life, those ten years did not quell Muir's wanderlust. His wife, sensing his continued unrest, urged him to once again resume his travels. She wrote to him in a wistful, selfless letter:

"A ranch that needs and takes the sacrifice of a noble life, or work, ought to be flung away beyond all reach and power for harm . . . The Alaska book and the Yosemite books, dear John, must be written, and you must be your own self, well and strong; there is nothing that has a right to be considered beside this except the welfare of our children."

Those travels took him to Alaska many more times, to Australia, South America, Africa, Europe, and, of course, again and again to his beloved Sierra Nevada. "I have not yet in all my wanderings found a single person so free as myself," he confided to a friend.

In July of 1893, he returned to Dunbar, staying at his boyhood home, directly adjacent to his birthplace, which by that time had become the "Lorne Temperance Hotel." He looked up relatives and playmates, including the woman who had been the only child who could outrun him. He went from Dunbar to northern Scotland to wander over the hills and vales of blooming heather. He traveled on to the bogs of Ireland, the glacier carved fjords of Norway, the glaciers of Switzerland, back to London to the country estate of Joseph Hooker, the botanist; and then back once more to Dunbar for a last visit.

In his later years, he turned more seriously to writing, filling 60 volumes of journals, and publishing more than 300 articles and 10 major books, all recounting his travels, expounding his naturalist philosophy, and beckoning everyone to "climb the mountains and get their good tidings."

Muir's passionate love of the high country gave his writings a spiritual quality. His readers, whether presidents, members of Congress, scientists, or the general public, were inspired and often moved to action by the enthusiasm of Muir's own unbounded love of nature. Let me share with you some of Muir's philosophy that makes him such a special and influential figure, even in today's world.

In his book "Yosemite," Muir stated, "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike."

John Muir was a man with a unique vision of Man's place in nature. In an early journal, he gave his address as "Earth, Planet, Universe." While he was writing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, his was an often lonely voice for preservation of our natural environment. He saw nature not just as a storehouse of raw materials for man's economic needs, but as a spiritual resource as well.

Muir urged people to find beauty in the forest and mountains, the wild places of the earth. He said:

"Keep close to nature's heart . . . and break clear away once in a while, climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. . . . Go to the mountains and get their glad tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."

John Muir had what we today recognize as a holistic view of ecology, which saw man as part of the natural world, not the center of it. He noted in one of his best known quotations that "whenever we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe." This was a remarkable insight for a man born more than 150 years ago, a man who lived when industrialism was just getting into full swing.

He recognized that all living things are part of a whole, and if we lose any part of that whole we lose a part of ourselves. Yet, he also could observe, "There is not a fragment in all of nature, for every relative fragment of one thing is a full harmonious unit in itself." For Muir this was not a matter of merely conservation of natural resources, but a matter of human physical and psychic survival. He advocated preservation of wild places for reasons of mental health:

"Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the deep green woods. . . . Sleep in forget- fulness of all ill. Of all the upness accessible to mortals, there is no upness comparable to the mountains." He also wrote, "The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."

These views were landmarks in the history of environmental conservation.

Through a series of articles appearing in Century magazine, Muir drew attention to the devastation of mountain meadows and forests by sheep and cattle. With the help of Century's associate editor, Robert Underwood Johnson, Muir worked to remedy this destruction. In 1890, due in large part to the efforts of Muir and Johnson, an act of Congress created Yosemite National Park, the crown gem of the United States National Park System.

Johnson and others suggested to Muir that an association be formed to protect the newly created Yosemite National Park from the assaults of stockmen and others who would seek to diminish its boundaries. On May 22, 1892, one century ago this year, John Muir helped found the Sierra Club in the State of California at a meeting in San Francisco. He commented in his invitational letter that he hoped that this Club would be able to "do something for wildness and make the mountains glad." Muir served as the Club's first and only president until his death in 1914.

Incidentally, the international headquarters of the Sierra Club remain in San Francisco. We purchased our own building there within the past ten years. The Sierra Club now has 58 Chapters and some 350 Groups in the United States and Canada. We have grown, unfortunately thanks in part to the Reagan and Bush administrations' indifferent, and indeed destructive attitude toward our environment, to more than 600,000 members internationally, with an annual budget of about 40 million dollars. We have more than 300 employees, not only in San Francisco, but around the country in our Washington, D.C. lobbying headquarters and 15 regional offices. We have one of the largest congressional lobbying (what you refer to as "campaigning") operations in our country. We have a tax- exempt foundation (what you refer to as a "Trust"), The Sierra Club Foundation, that funds our many educational efforts. We have a sister organization, the Sierra Club Legal Defense Club with attorneys located in offices in six locations around the country. We have a publishing house, Sierra Club Books that publishes 22-25 adult titles each year and another 5-7 juvenile books. They publish six different Sierra Club calendars each year. The Sierra Club has had at least two of the top 10 best-selling calendars each year for the past decade. We get well more than 60,000 photographs submitted to us each year for our publications. A consulting firm has to be hired to screen these down to 2,500 for our own inspection. The color separations for the calendars are done in Italy and the calendars themselves are published in Japan, in order to attain the highest quality.

You will find on American newsstands "Sierra," the Club's award winning magazine, which is filled with inspirational photographs, drawings, and articles. We run an international outings program, sending thousands of members and nonmembers on hundreds of outings across our nation, throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia, and around the world. One of the popular Sierra Club outings the past two years has been a tour of Scotland from Muir's home in Dunbar to the John Muir Trust properties on the Knoydart peninsula in the West Highlands and on the Isle of Skye.

However, the topic tonight is not the Sierra Club, but its founder, your countryman, John Muir. Muir wrote:

"Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot run away, and if they could, they would still be destroyed -- chased and hunted down as long as fun or a dollar could be got out of their bark hides, branch horns, or magnificent bole backbones. . . . Through all the wonderful eventful centuries since Christ's time -- and long before that -- God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease and a thousand storms . . . but he cannot save them from sawmills and fools -- only a concerned public can do that."

This quotation from "American Forests" led United States President Grover Cleveland to establish 13 forest reserves, totaling more than 21 million acres and the creation of what was to become the United States Forest Service.

Muir was on personal terms with five presidents and many writers and philosophers of the time. He was able to help persuade President Benjamin Harrison to set aside 13 million acres of forest, and President Grover Cleveland to set aside another 21 million acres. But it was with President Theodore Roosevelt that Muir exerted his greatest influence. In 1901, Muir published "Our National Parks," the book that brought him to the attention of Roosevelt. In 1903, Roosevelt toured the American West, and requested the opportunity to camp with Muir in Yosemite Park. There, together, beneath the trees, they laid the foundation of Teddy Roosevelt's innovative and notable conservation programs. After that meeting with Muir, Roosevelt embarked on a course of action that established 148 million acres of National Forest, 5 National Parks and 23 National Monuments during his term of office.

Besides his efforts to establish Yosemite Park, Muir was also personally involved in the preservation of lands that resulted in the creation of Sequoia (1890), Mount Rainier (1897), Petrified Forest (1906), and Grand Canyon National Parks (1919), as well. Muir deservedly is often called the "Father of the National Park System." It is most important to note that this applied not only to our country, but to the rest of the world as well. Prior to his time, no other government had adopted the concept of formally setting aside public lands, preserved in perpetuity in their wild state, for scenic and educational purposes, as opposed to being saved for their commercial resources.

If you define a great man as one who helps change the direction of his country toward more socially desirable goals, then John Muir was a very great man. When Muir began his conservation career in the late 1880's, America seemed committed to a totally devastating attack on the environment. When Muir died in 1914, the country was committed in spirit, if not always in fact, to the wiser use of its natural resources. Put simply that is his greatness. Muir did not invent conservation any more than Henry Ford invented the automobile, but as Ford popularized a radically new concept in transportation, Muir popularized a radically new concept in land use--the concept of wilderness preservation.

The works and deeds of John Muir led not only to the creation of National Parks, National Monuments and great forest reserves in this county in his lifetime, but they have been a continuing inspiration to people who are today striving to protect the natural environment from threats that Muir could not have predicted--toxic wastes, acid rain, ozone depletion, groundwater contamination, mass destruction of tropical rain forests, extinction of whole species, and many more.

Teaching us that nature is not just a commodity, but an integrated whole, Muir showed us that it is the flow of life itself which must be preserved if humanity is to continue to thrive on this planet. This insight was of the Earth as a divinely appointed home of natural beauty, if we could only keep it that way:

"When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty."

The lessons that John Muir taught in his day are just as valuable to us and to the world today.

One of our historians, William Frederic Bade has written the following about John Muir:

"To few men was it given to realize so completely the elements of eternity--of time effacing enjoyment in work--as it was to John Muir. The secret of it all was in his soul, the soul of a child, of a poet, and of a strong man, all blended into one. . . . An innate nobility of character, an unstudied reverence for all that is sublime in nature or in life, unconsciously called forth the best in his friends and acquaintances. In the spiritual as in the physical realm flowers blossomed in his footsteps wherever he went. After all it is to such men as John Muir that we must look for the sustenance of those finer feelings that keep men in touch with the spiritual meaning and beauty of the universe, and make them capable of understanding those rare souls whose insight has invested life with imperishable hope and charm. . . . To all who knew John Muir intimately his gentleness and humaneness toward all creatures that shared the whole world with him, was one of the finest attributes of his character. He was ever looking forward to the time when our wild fellow creatures would be granted their indisputable right to a place in the sun."

Muir and the Sierra Club fought many battles to protect Yosemite Park and the Sierra Nevada, the most dramatic being the campaign to prevent the damming of the Hetch Hetchy Valley with Yosemite National Park. In 1913, after years of effort, the battle was lost and the valley that Muir likened to Yosemite itself was doomed to become a reservoir to supply the water needs of a growing San Francisco. The following year, after a short illness, Muir died at his daughter's house in Los Angeles.

North of San Francisco is a large stand of huge California redwood trees, Muir Woods, preserved for all future generations as a monument and tribute to John Muir. On the occasion of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Muir's birth, my wife and I brought with us to Scotland six small Redwood trees directly from Muir Woods. We had the pleasure of planting those trees near the John Muir Regional Park, which has now been established along the Dunbar coastline.

John Muir was, I believe, the world's most influential naturalist and conservationist. He taught the people of his time and ours the importance of experiencing and protecting our natural heritage. His words have heightened our perception of nature. His personal and determined involvement in the great conservation questions of the day was and remains an inspiration for citizen involvement in the environmental movement everywhere.

The times cry out for solutions to growing international environmental problems. Our Third World neighbors need and are asking for our help.

For example, Haitian forests began to disappear 25 years ago. They were being cut beyond their capacity to regenerate. Now, Haitians have cut more than 80 percent of the timber from the hillsides, exposing fragile topsoil to tropical rains which have washed it into the sea. Haitian poverty has become the worst in the Western Hemisphere. Partially a result, Haitian immigrants are flooding into our country.

Passage through the Panama Canal, important to world and U.S. trade and vital to our national security, is severely limited during their dry season because of the lack of depth capacity in Lake Gatun. This low water level results from excessive logging for firewood by growing numbers of landless farmers on the hillsides surrounding the canal.

This year an area of tropical rain forest the size of the State of Pennsylvania (27 million acres) will be destroyed -- 3,000 acres per hour. This destruction likely will take place next year and the years after that as well. If this pace is not slowed, substantially all that rain forest will be lost early in the next century.

Attendant to that loss, is a tragic loss of species diversity. Tropical rain forests cover six percent of the world's surface, yet provide a home to half of the world's species. Twenty-five percent of those species will be extinct by 2050 -- a species lost each day. One out of four pharmaceuticals comes from tropical plants.

Loss of tropical rain forest, and the effects of burning the residue, increases carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We now are learning that this is an important component of the "greenhouse" effect. Moreover, most of the Third World's population relies on tropical rain forest for the necessities of life.

I could cite similar sobering statistics about Acid Rain, the loss of Ozone protection in the upper atmosphere, the radiation damage that results from nuclear accidents such as the one at Chernobyl in Russia, desertification of vast areas of Africa and resulting hunger for its people. These environmental threats and catastrophes do not respect political boundaries. They are international in scope and threaten the quality of life on this planet for ourselves and for our future generations.

What hope is there that we, as individuals, can have any impact upon such global problems? I submit to all of you that an answer lies in following the path of the wise Scotsman, upon whom we have focused this evening. He taught us much about citizen activism and its power to move governments.

Yes, John Muir offers us a role model that challenges us to respond, to speak out, to live our lives in an environmentally sensitive fashion, and to demand a much heightened level of concern by our government officials toward environmental problems. I am proud to be a part of Mr. Muir's legacy. You, also, should be very proud of your countryman, the boy from Dunbar, and the indelible legacy of green that he has left upon our planet.



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