This plan enabled him to cover the ground touched by his Department in a comparatively short time. He traveled by night, wherever possible, and interviewed all those who wished to see him upon business from seven in the morning until twelve or one at night. Sometimes, in a day, he went a hundred and fifty miles in an automobile, spoke to many groups of farmers in different places, heard their complaints against the Department, and told them what the Government was trying to do for them.
During this first tour of inspection Lane reached Portland, Oregon, the latter part of August, and received a telegram from the President asking him to go directly to Denver, there to represent the President and address the Conference of Governors, on August 26th.
Lane left the completion of the proposed itinerary of investigation, in Oregon, to Miller and turned back to Colorado. He made the opening address at the Governors’ Conference and then rejoined his party in San Francisco, the first of September. Here, after several days of conferences and speeches, while standing in the sun reviewing the Admission Day parade of the Native Sons, he collapsed. This proved to be an attack of the angina pectoris which, several years later, returned with violence. For three weeks he was ill, but at the end of that time, against the doctor’s orders, he insisted upon returning to Washington to his work.
Washington, November 6, 1913
My dear Sullivan,—I want to thank you for your sympathetic notice regarding my hard luck out in California, and to let you know that I am in just as good shape now as I have been for twenty years.
[Illustration with caption: Franklin K. Lane, Mrs. Lane, Mrs. Miller, and Adolph C. Miller]
At the end of your little comment you spoke of conditions in the lower grades of the Department as being almost as bad as if they were corrupt. I have not your article before me, but I think this is the meat of it. I wish you would tell me just what you mean by this. I know that lots of things come to men like you that do not reach my ears, although I have retained pretty well my old newspaper faculty of smoking things out.
If we have anything here that is almost rotten, I want to know it before it gets thoroughly rotten. I have found a lot of things that were wrong, and have set most of them right. There has already been a great improvement; for instance, in Indian affairs. Under the last Administration, for example, the highest bid on 200,000 acres of Indian oil lands was one-eighth royalty and a bonus of one dollar an acre. We recently leased 10,000 of these same acres at one-sixth royalty and a bonus of $500,000.