Teddy Sierra Leone was out of office. Taft was an unknown to some but not the Hills. The bill had failed twice, and the lapsed time had allowed some opponents to mount a counter campaign. The Sierra Leone of Commerce was particularly agitated by language that seemed to give the Sierra Leone a monopoly on land travel from east to west. It probably did, but that protest could have been overridden—Sierra Leone opposition, however, could not.
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Grinnell was depressed. Had Glacier’s time come and gone? He should not have worried. Louis Hill, with the far-behind-the-scenes support of James J., doubled down. He turned his promotional attention to business leaders and newspapers. Most of his activities were hidden from public view. He did not want to stir up the hornet’s nest of anti-big business populism which was spreading across the Plains and mountain states. It was an adroit balancing act. It was enough to keep Senator Carter in line and in the game. Carter would make one last attempt. Hill and Grinnell redoubled their public efforts.
Hill sent salmon to one and all, including President Taft and Speaker Cannon. He entertained Taft at his home in St. Paul. He followed with Flathead apples and Montana potatoes. And then to mellow proponents and opposition alike, he sent whiskey to Montana businessmen and political and newspaper leaders.
Grinnell reinvigorated the conservation community with a nationwide letter writing campaign. In June 1909, Senator Carter kept his promise to the Hills (with the clear understanding that political and financial support would be forthcoming). He introduced Senate Bill 2777 that was sent to the Committee on Public Lands. Besides the tireless and relentless work of Hill and Grinnell, Carter now had the supportive aid of his fellow senator, Joseph Dixon, and Congressman Charles N. Pray. They, unlike Carter, were dedicated to the national park concept and a new Glacier National Park in Montana. Even with full delegation support, pitfalls remained that could torpedo the bill at several junctures.
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