ABSTRACT

EARLY HISTORY Among the first white men to see "the Mountain" was Captain George Vancouver, a British officer, who saw it in 1792 and named it in honor of his friend Admiral Peter Rainier. vVhile he was at it, Vancouver proceeded to name Puget Sound after a lieutenant, and Mount Hood and Mount Baker after British Lords of the Admiralty, although there had been Spanish settlements in the region before he came.l During the next century the mountain was of interest mainly to mountain climbers, two of whom finally reached its summit in 1870.2

In 1893 President Cleveland set aside the Pacific Forest Reserve covering the mountain and surrounding region, and in the same year a movement was inaugurated by the National Geographic Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Geographic Society of America, the Sierra Club, and the Appalachian Mountain Club, to get national park status for Mount Rainier; and Senator Squire and Representative Doolittle of Washington were asked to introduce park bills. These bills provided for setting aside lands of the Pacific Forest Reserve as "Washington National Park."3 In February 1895 the faculty of the University of Washington adopted a memorial to Congress calling for the establishment of Mount Rainier National Park, "in the interests of science and the public welfare."4 The following year Squire and Doolittle tried again for a Washington National Park. The Doolittle bill passed both houses, but in the House Committee on Public Lands, the stronghold of the railroad interests, an amendment was tacked on giving a right of way and other extravagant privileges to the Northern Pacific, and these brought strong objection from Senator Vest of Missouri and from President Cleveland, who pocketvetoed the bilLS It is significant of the attitude of Congress that Doolittle was obliged to promise not to ask for any appropriation for the park. About this time John Muir urged the establishment of Mount Rainier National Park.