Note: Whittlesey has repeatedly made the claim that as an employee of the National Park Service (NPS), what he writes for the geyser mailing list or as part of his duties is for public consumption and in the public domain.

After being given a copy of The Location of Oblique Geyser for review, I learned around 21 February 1996 that he had written a companion article which would be a refutation of my article. Because of some problems with computer formats, we had to exchange a few emails. Reproduced here are his comments accompanying the attempt of 23 February 1996--

You'll be reading it soon enough, but neither Rick nor I believe that the fact the name wasn't "used publicly in a published report or guide..." is relevant. It is, in fact, totally irrelevant under the rules of place names.

But what is truly important is what the USBGN believes, and they don't buy the idea that just because a name doesn't get used for many years that its importance in history disappears. They (and we) have no way to evaluate local usage from the past (here 1878-1884 and beyond). What is most important to them (and to Rick and me) is 1) the fact that Weed applied and used the name to/for the Geyser Springs feature, 2) that no subsequent name displaced it, and 3) that Weed, as "proper authority," had the RIGHT to do that.

I, of course, believe that this issue has been addressed (both adequately and correctly) by geyser historians. And I am one.

To which I responded on 23 February 1996--


"You'll be reading it soon enough, but neither Rick nor I believe that the fact the name wasn't 'used publicly in a published report or guide...' is relevant. "

This is excellent. It means that time I spent in the backcountry with some of Rocco's thermal maps and a dictionary and filled up one of my yellow notebooks wasn't wasted. Of course, you aren't going to find out which area(s) I've named until my estate is disposed. But you'll be forced to use them because I have priority, even though I'll be dead. Hope you like names like Aardvark Spring, Abacus Spring and Abaft Geyser.


1)"They (and we) have no way to evaluate local usage from the past (here 1878-1884 and beyond)" My first response to this is "give me a break!" What you have just said is that because I can't prove a negative (that there was no usage at all) you win by default.

2)"no subsequent name displaced it": Then those six names that Scott lists don't really exist. The geyser gazers I associated with in 1981-3 all called it "Avalanche", and I thought local usage counted for something. (Maybe someday a geyser historian will document geyser gazer name usage in late 20th century). Also, it's hard to displace a name that was never really placed.

3) And Weed, despite being a proper authority (is there an annual fee to be a "proper authority", or just a one time application? are there performance standards? is it by invitation only? can it be revoked?), made mistakes. The Board has made mistakes (witness New Crater). The NPS makes mistake (Dragon, or Chinese). Our duty is to correct them, not blindly follow them. And there's no way I'm going to start calling Penta "Steamboat" (a name that litters the American west), despite it briefly being used in the 1920s, and Marler's deliberately changing the name. Oldest ain't always best.

Was looking through some of the items I received when I contacted the board, and on page 7 of "Principles, policies and Procedures: Domestic Geographic Names" mentions that an historic "name may be either obsolete or in current use." I am arguing that Oblique fell into the first category when it was encountered in Weed's notebooks, and should never have been imposed from above the way it was. Scott's blue cover edition should have simply added "Oblique" as yet another name used at one (brief) time for that particular geyser, not used it as the "official" name.

By emphasizing the rulings of the Board, and their arcane rules, you have missed the whole point of my paper, and your arguments in these messages have degenerated into an appeal to authority. Besides, my arguments are ultimately pointless, because, as a member of that authority, the park board that rules on the names, you can impose any rule or name you feel like. Isn't that a conflict of interest, when in a case like this you are taking one side of a dispute? Appears so from my perspective.

(I though about publishing the Oblique info in The Sput, esp. since the Transactions isn't going to published for awhile, but prefer a more neutral publication. As Sput editor, I always get the last word. (and buy ink by the barrel).)

I finally received the following, which is reproduced unedited as sent (with minor editing to make it proper HTML). No attempt has been made to change capitalization, although words in all caps have been rendered in boldface.

Whittlesey Reponse to Koenig on Location of Oblique Geyser.

Koenig has misread and misinterpreted my entry for Oblique Geyser in Wonderland Nomenclature. my response here should be included alongside his article, whether he rewrites the article or not. His article is written in such a way as to make it appear that I am 1) evil incarnate on a mission to enslave the earth, 2) a dangerous demon attempting to subvert all of humankind, or perhaps 3) Dr. Doom trying to destroy the Fantastic Four. In other words, Koenig's article is badly overstated, to say nothing of being a complete misreading of my intents and purposes.

Koenig states that I implied that the name oblique was used in the Haynes Guides and that I "document[ed]" the use of the name in Phillips, 1927. Both of those things are incorrect, and Koenig has thus misread that part. I never claimed that the name Oblique was used in either of those places, nor does that matter, as my arguments will show. My use of those sources was merely for activity history of the geyser at Geyser Springs, and it had nothing to do with the history of the name Oblique (Wonderland Nomenclature is, after all, a book about not only place names origins but also the history of individual features, and this includes geyser activity history). Koenig drew those conclusions and drew them incorrectly.

From these two "uses," Koenig takes off on his foray into overstatement, misinterpretation, and irrelevancies. He makes it sound as if I concocted some sort of purposeful lie about the history of oblique Geyser in order to further my evil purposes of taking over the earth, or placing an "incorrect" name on a geyser, whichever is worse.

Here is what really happened and my side of the story.

Back in 1973, I found all three of the original mentions by Peale of Oblique Geyser and read all of the materials which Koenig discusses about Peale's route. It was apparent to me then that Peale's "Oblique Geyser" was in Gibbon Canyon somewhere, and so I set out to try to find it. spent months walking both sides of the Gibbon River through the canyon attempting to discover some feature that might be (or might have been) Peale's Oblique. The 1878 map shows much of the road on the east side of the river and so I walked that numerous times. I also searched the area around Beryl Spring, and it did occur to me that perhaps some thermal feature had been destroyed or buried in the many years of roadwork near Beryl Spring (Rocco has since found a reference to a spouting feature near Beryl which could have been Peale's original oblique, but, and I emphasize this, we still don't know what or where the original Oblique was).

With that endeavor failing, I dropped my attempts to find Oblique, I tentatively decided to place it in an "obsolete names" section of the book, and I continued into other areas with my place names research.

In 1978, 1 spent almost a year in Washington, D.C. and found Weed's notebooks in the National Archives. in BOTH an activity notebook AND in a formal notebook, Weed used the name Oblique Geyser for the feature at Geyser Springs, and he drew maps and gave descriptions which made it clear exactly which feature he was discussing.

Weed's use of the name oblique and his massive discussions made it clear to me that he either believed this to be Peale's oblique or else he was electing (as was his right!) to move the name to this feature. of course I considered the possibility (even probability) that this was not Peale's original oblique (regardless of Koenig's incorrect assertion that I "failed to consider that Weed was wrong in his location of Oblique"). I considered it, and concluded: so what!

It was not some sort of conspiracy on my part to mislead anyone or to somehow break rules. No one knows better than I what the rules are for place names in Yellowstone, and I have always tried to be fair and impartial in my attempts to place the correct names on features here.

But what I saw in this case were several things: 1) Weed wanted (for whatever reason, and the reason is irrelevant) the name Oblique placed on the Geyser Springs feature; 2) Weed and his boss Arnold Hague certainly had the right to move names if they wanted to, and they did that on numerous occasions besides this one; 3) Weed used the name in his field activity notebook and had plenty of time to reflect on it, because he went back later to create his formal notebook on the subject (those formal notebooks were a refining and recopying of his earlier activity notebooks); 4) it doesn't matter why Weed did this and it does not matter whether it was a mistake or not; the fact is he did it; 5) under the rules of historical priority in place naming, a name with historical priority keeps that priority where no subsequent name has supplanted or superceded an historic one; 6) at the time I made this decision back in 1978, no other names for the feature had come into usage, or at least I knew of none (see arguments below); 7) Peale's original oblique is unfindable and has probably been destroyed anyway.

Reasons number two and five above are each enough by their individual selves, in my opinion, to give the name Oblique to the Geyser Springs feature, but I believe that the other five reasons really tip the scales.

For subsequent names to displace an historic name, the rule is that the later name must be heavily entrenched in local usage for a reasonable time or else the historic name wins. It is irrelevant how much the historic name has been used "in almost a century," regardless of how much Koenig presses that argument.

Koenig states that "by the mid-1970s, [our geyser] has [sic-- had] acquired at least six names." I challenge Koenig to prove this. (six names? I'm doubly suspicious. Who used these names? When? To what extent? For how long?) In 1978, I had never heard of any of these names, and I had been in Yellowstone for nearly ten years then. None of these names were in any local usage that I had ever heard of, let alone being published or being heavily entrenched in usage for a reasonable time (which is the requirement) . heavily entrenched does not mean in use by T. Scott Bryan alone or in use by two or three geyser gazers (remember: there was no GOSA and no big group of gazers until later) . reasonable time does not mean a few weeks or a few months (it might mean a few years). In my opinion there is no way anyone can claim that any of these names was heavily entrenched in local usage (again, the requirement). The first time I ever heard of "Avalanche Geyser" was in 1979 at the publication of Scott's book.

Thus I made a decision when it came time to finish Wonderland Nomenclature and to publish Yellowstone Place Names. The decision was that the historic name oblique wins over several recent names, primarily because 1) Weed applied the name to this feature in 1884 (again, the fact that it may have been a mistake is irrelevant, because Weed had the right to transfer the name and because the original Oblique is unfindable) , and 2) no name supplanted or superceded Weed's name by being heavily entrenched in local usage by 1978 (arguably even by 1985).

Those two rules are the primary ones for place names, and they are the ones I have followed throughout Wonderland Nomenclature.

Now that I have made the important arguments, I'll respond to the rest of Koenig's piece. The business with the road (which Koenig complaints about) came much later, as I continued to ponder where Peale's original oblique might have been located. The more I thought about it, the more dangerous I thought it was for me to try to second guess Walter Weed about a "mistake." Weed, after all, knew Peale well, and they must have talked about these things. Additionally, I knew that Peale accompanied Weed and Hague on the 1883 trip to YNP, something that not many people know about, which is revealed in the various Weed/Hague notes. If Peale was along on the trip, why didn't he tell Weed the location of his original oblique? Why didn't Weed ask? Maybe Weed did ask (or maybe he didn't). If Peale told Weed something about it, perhaps he gave Weed his blessing in 1883 or 1884 to move the name to the Geyser Springs feature. And so: on and on one can go in a swirl of mental confusion, the point being that we could ponder this stuff forever without knowing the answers for certain.

Therefore, I made the decision not to second guess Weed. The fact of the matter is: Weed placed the name Oblique in TWO of his notebooks and drew maps of it all.

This stuff swirled around in my head so much that I reached the point of creating still another scenario (one which, I admit, is less likely but still possible) : one in which Weed's oblique was actually Peale's original one. How? Because of a bridle path which I found delineated on P.W. Norris's 1881 map. On that map, Norris shows a "road" he created that year which runs from Geyser Springs southeast to Nez Perce Creek (he also mentions this route with mileages in his road log in Calument of the Choteau) . I personally walked this route in 1979, and it remains a wide swath through the forest, from Geyser Springs to Nez Perce Creek, with tree blazes still in evidence. It is Norris's 1881 "road.1' In my ponderings of possible conversations between Weed and Peale, I wondered whether or not the Geyser Springs feature might have spouted at some point "obliquely" over this "road" of Norris (see my arguments below about how some of Peale's writings could have been added to the report after 1878). Again, I admit this is less likely than that Peale's original feature was in Gibbon canyon. But why would Peale not explain that location to weed, or why wouldn't Weed ask? Maybe the whole thing just got overlooked between the two of them; I certainly do not profess to know. But all of this illustrates more of the danger in trying to second guess the situation from our vantage point a hundred years in the future. It is too easy to be wrong for us to risk these types of second guessings about a "mistake."

Koenig's conclusion says Weed "mistakenly labeled" the Geyser Springs feature Oblique, but we cannot now KNOW that it was a mistake (perhaps Weed purposefully moved the name, on his own or after conferring with Peale). If this was a "mistake," it was a very detailed and lengthy one on the part of Weed. And even if it was a mistake, that is irrelevant. I never claimed that Weed didn't move the name (as Koenig says I did) , only that Weed USED it for the present feature: all that is necessary for a name to be retained under the rules of historical priority.

Koenig also mentions that Weed's 1884 use of the name Oblique was the last in a century in an apparent attempt to bolster his case that that should somehow matter. Again, that is irrelevant under the rules for place names. And Koenig mentions that there was no use of the name by Allen and Day (1935) or Bauer (1937) . Those things, too, are irrelevant under the rules for place names.

And Koenig digs at me for the business of the road "three years in the future." Koenig may be right about this one, but we cannot know it for sure. Consider this: the 1878 report was not published until 1883. Having looked at the Hayden materials in Record Group 57, I know (because they say so!) that survey members were working on that report right up to the time it was published in 183. I also know that things were added to it even as late as 1882 (and possibly 183). It is not unreasonable to believe that many conversations were held among survey members which might have resulted in modification of the manuscript during the years 1878- 83, especially when one considers the many letters which Norris and others wrote to the survey from the park during those years. Again, Koenig may be right that the entire manuscript was "frozen in a vacuum" between 1878 and 1883. But I doubt it.

Finally, Koenig assails me for failing to acknowledge (per my footnote of Weed's "probably the oblique Geyser of Norris") that Weed himself "recognized that he wasn't sure where Oblique was." Given that Koenig is correct, again I say: so what? I did not (as Koenig says I did) "choose to ignore this doubt on the part of Weed because it considerably weakens [my] case for the location of Oblique." Instead I included Weed's quote merely to show that Weed thought (at least at that moment) that the name oblique came from Norris. So what if Weed recognized that he wasn't sure where Peale's (or Norris's) Oblique was located? That is irrelevant, because, again, if Peale did not give his blessing to the move, Weed still had the RIGHT to move the name if he wanted to, regardless of where Peale's original feature was. A mistake made by Weed (if it WAS a mistake) is not reason to dump Weed's name for oblique. Have we done that with other features Weed changed?

Note that Weed and Hague changed, moved, or otherwise adjusted a number of Peale's names, often when they could not make sense of what Peale had done (perhaps that happened with Oblique) or where local usage had changed the situation. Again, as USGS geologists who were making the naps, They had the right to do it! But even that early, there were sometimes cases where local usage was so strong that they could not force a name to change (as in the case of Atomizer Geyser --- G.L. Henderson's name was firmly entrenched). In these cases, sometimes Weed/Hague elected to ignore established usage and to try to insert their own name (and sometimes it worked) . in other cases they bowed to established usage. But they always had the RIGHT to do whichever of these things they elected to do.

Needless to say, I was not impressed with paper. I decided that two could play that game. On 28 February 1996, I returned to him my review of his rebuttal--

[Personal comments in brackets] Title: Change to "Response to Koenig's 'The Location of Oblique Geyser'". Unless someone else is writing this for you, as the author, it is assumed that it is your response, not someone else's.

Paragraph 1: This is more appropriate for the cover letter to the editor of the journal to which you are submitting. Cut it. [Personally, this isn't the sort of writing I could proudly point to in the future.]

Paragraph 2: You are correct here. [another reviewer has pointed out to me that the usage of Oblique that I question makes perfect sense if one accepts the premise that the proper name is Oblique. From that point, subsequent referrals are simply using a name that is already been self-evidently established. Since I don't accept the premise, my reading takes on a different interpretation. No offense was intended, just thought that you might have gotten a bit too lawyerly. That whole section is going to be rewritten. In my very first draft, that whole section was written as if Haynes and Phillips HAD used the names, and I guess I let my annoyance with my own error creep into my text when I rewrote it.]

Paragraph 3: Not necessary, cut it. The purpose of the paper is obviously to demonstrate that "Koenig takes off ... into overstatement, misinterpretation, and irrelevancies". Lead the reader to draw these conclusions from your text. In other words, assume your reader is smart enough to figure it out. The rest of the paragraph appears to be a personal attack, and needs to be cut.

Paragraph 4: Redundant, as the purpose of the paper has already been stated in the title.

Paragraph 5: "Rocco": be consistent in the use of names, suggest using surname here. Also, a citation is in order, to the original citation and Paperiello's communication of it to you. You might want also discount the possibility that a catastrophic change occurred, so changing the nature of Peale's Oblique that it still exists, is no longer recognizable or functional. For example, steam explosions at Norris have had such effects on Graceful Geyser and Pork Chop Geyser [or Spring? too lazy to check right now].

Paragraph 8: "massive": this implies volumes of information. Considering that these were private notebooks, and currently extremely difficult for the average reader to obtain access to them, you might want to consider describing why you consider it to be massive, perhaps giving the reader an example of the length to which Weed went to document and describe the feature.

"electing (as was his right!) to move the name" You need to document why a person such has Weed has a "right" to move any name. Describe the accepted circumstances where this is acceptable, why it is done, and provide other examples that both Weed and other contemporary researchers commonly and frequently shifted names without giving any reason. See also comments on Paragraph 10, point 2.

"so what!" This is the flatulent sound made by a politician who isn't about to let mere facts get in the way of achieving his goals, cut it.

Paragraph 9: You might want at this time to provide a summary of "the rules ... for place names in Yellowstone". Provide a citation to their codification if possible. Assume that your reader is unfamiliar with them. By doing so you strengthen your case.

"I have always tried to be fair and impartial in my attempts to place the correct names on features..." You also might want to describe your basis of authority, especially at that time (1972-1982), for making such decisions. Describe why you did this rather than simply documenting discrepancies that you had discovered, and then obtaining a supporting ruling from a duly constituted body whose purpose is to make those decisions.

Paragraph 10: Point 1: given that you have in the original section on Oblique pointed out Weed's doubt, you need to provide a citation to show that he "WANTED" the name here. Otherwise this is speculation. Well founded, perhaps, but still speculation. And speculation is one of your criticisms of Koenig.

Paragraph 10: Point 2: "HAD THE RIGHT" Again, citation of the authority to do this action would strengthen your case. Back up your assertion that they did this on other occasions with specific examples, especially when they changed names that had already appeared in published works. Note that a large part of your argument rests on Weed's "right" to move an already published name. [Actually, I might even concede this point in the case of unpublished names, or if they gave a clear and concise description of their intentions and what they were doing and why. Does this right you assert extend to contradicting existing maps and published records in this way? Because the name Oblique fails, as it had already been published, and no explanation for any change is given.]

Paragraph 10: Point 3: That Weed spent time in reflection on the contents of his field notebooks is speculation. You need to support this assertion with appropriate citation, or qualify is by saying that it is your own speculation. This was an era before typewriters, so professional copyists were still in use. You need to demonstrate that Weed himself did the copying into the formal notebooks. For example, Bonney and Bonney describe in Vol. 2, Chapter 5 how Doane's "Journal" was not in the author's handwriting. Otherwise your argument that he had one last opportunity to catch an error is weakened.

Paragraph 10: Point 5: "Under the rules of historical priority": You use this phrase as a sort of rhetorical sledgehammer, but without an attempt to give it any strength. Again, you need to go into detail as to what these rules are, or where they can be found, otherwise you appear to be making them up as you go along.

Paragraph 10: general: You leave out points that weaken you argument. Instead you should address and dispose of them. You need to discuss why a name that was only used in private notebooks, a name never published or used by any other person, a name lost for almost a century, should be used in this case. You need to strengthen your case that simple discovery of a name, long lost under these circumstances, can be imposed by a researcher. You need to show that you have the official standing to perform an action that would appear to be reserved for the Board of Geographic Names, without first carefully documenting and making public the facts behind both the loss and the rediscovery.

Paragraph 11: You need to demonstrate not what in your opinion constitutes enough reason, but why a neutral body like the Board of Geographic Names would support your opinion.

Paragraph 12: You need to provide a citation for this assertion. Also, a definition of "heavily entrenched", in the context of a name that may only be commonly used by less than one hundred people, is needed. You cannot merely make the assertion that no other name was entrenched without supporting research and documentation. (See comments on paragraph 13).

Paragraph 13: You might want to update the quote to reflect the statement used in the final, published report. The use of "[sic]" in such circumstances (a first draft or private letter, as opposed to a published article that has been edited or reviewed) can be considered petulant in the extreme, especially in a case like this, where the error is simply something that should be reported to the author so that it gets corrected.

"I challenge Koenig to prove this". By providing a citation, he all ready has. If you have a problem with the assertion, then you must demonstrate the source, in this case Bryan, is wrong in this assertion, or that Koenig has misinterpreted Bryan. Bryan is the one to be challenged to prove this. Having reviewed this source, it does show that Bryan lists six names. Since the latest edition (1995) still lists these six names, it can be assumed that possible challengers (including yourself) have had ample opportunity to do so, but haven't. [And considering the review process the last edition went through...]

Note that while you (personally) may not have heard any of the names listed, you need to demonstrate that you have made a serious attempt to document this statement. The geyser was often visited during the 1970s, and must have been referred to by some sort of name or phrase. You strengthen your case by documenting exactly how this was done. Bryan's book was originally written by him in the mid-1970s, based mostly on his personal experiences and on readily available sources like Marler's Inventory. So it could be argued that Bryan is merely reporting the state of geyser information at the time of writing (1978, or even earlier). [I've been doing such research myself, to be included in my revisions: P. Strasser says that he has a slide from 1979 label "Avalanche", and that such Norris naturalists as Balthus, Pittenger and Hirschman used the name. T.Vachuda and family used the name, was told about it by naturalists Pittenger, Manns and Hirschman when he started at Norris in 1976. They visited Geyser Creek a lot, taking many gazers on their first visit there. Also, he and his sister wrote in the logbooks on numerous occasions the name "Avalanche". G.Schrayer reports that gazer employees at Lake at that time commonly used the name "Avalanche", and has personal notebooks with that name. I know that when I first visited the area in 1981, long time gazers H.Warren, J.R.Railey and J.Muller told me that we were going to see "Avalanche". For a use in print of the name "Rock Pile", see Dunn, Dunn and Dunn, 1993, "Geyser Springs...": Transactions, vol. 4, p. 182, which I mentioned in a prior message.]

If the name "Avalanche" was not in use by 1979, then by using that name in his book in 1979, (earlier actually, as stated above) in some sense T.Scott Bryan would then be considered the namer of this feature. Considering how he has named other features, you need to spend some time demonstrating how and why in this particular case his naming attempt [which as my comments in the preceding paragraph,was successful] was illegitimate.

"Two or three gazers" You need to show how many people are necessary, considering the small pool of people who would actually use, or have a need to use, the name. You yourself state that the pool of people was small, so you need to show that you had contact with the entire pool on the subject.

You need to document when you made the discovery of Oblique public, since this particular information was known prior to you publication of the Wonderland Nomenclature. [Vachuda says that he first heard about it in early summer 1982, when he worked for you at Norris]. That is the point at which entrenchment should be assessed.

You might want to bring up counterexamples, and show why those cases are different from the one at hand. For example, the names Sputnik, Graceful Geyser and Fantail Geyser became firmly entrenched in a matter of weeks. A definition of "REASONABLE TIME" is needed.

Again this is perhaps the most important paragraph in your article. You state that you are conceding that all the historical argument is moot if it can be demonstrated that another name was in use at the time the rediscovery of Weed's use of Oblique became public knowledge. You can't merely slough it off with an unsupported assertion like "I had never heard of ANY of these names" [As was commented to me: this just shows the level of knowledge among TW's bus drivers.] It is up to you to prove that the historical evidence that you present is indeed relevant, due to the lack of any name being used. Since you would be attempting to prove a negative, all you can hope to do is present overwhelming evidence that Koenig is mistaken. For example, you might want to survey Norris naturalists reports from the mid-1970s, the Norris logbooks, the handouts used to advertise the hikes, or even interviewing observers active in the mid-1970s. [If you don't want to do this, then I'd like to ask for you for assistance in going through the records sometime this summer.]

Paragraph 14: "I made a decision": you need to go into more detail as to why you felt it necessary to make a decision in this matter, and what authority you had to render such decision in this matter. You need to go into further detail as to why you simply didn't just present the facts, and the problems that might exist, and leave the decision to a duly constituted body (the Board of Geographic Names) or simply to posterity. You need to address all aspects of the arguments against Oblique, not just the supposition that it was a mistake. Note than some would say that proving that a feature is unfindable is akin to proving a negative, something well known as impossible.

Paragraph 15: Redunant, cut it. Assume your reader can recognize the end of an argument when he sees one, and you don't need to tell him. Perhaps replace with a section header.

Paragraph 16: "they MUST have talked": provide citation, otherwise this is second guessing, something you claim in the prior sentence to not want to do. "I knew that Peale ACCOMPANIED Weed" Provide a citation for this, if possible, show when and where they might have conversed, especially if it was in proximity to the time of Weed's field work in the Gibbon Basin. Finally, you might want to subject all this multiple speculation to an application of Occam's Razor.

Paragraph 17: "Therefore I made a decision not to second guess Weed" The problem with this is that Peale's statements were published, and you are second guessing him, something earlier that you stated you didn't want to do in the case of Weed's notes.

Paragraph 18:"bridle path which I found..." Again, citation. As this reference is not readily available, you might want provide more detail. Include a copy of this map, or create your own showing the path. The same goes for Norris' road log (and again, you need to properly cite the book by providing page numbers.)

Paragraph 20: "'frozen in a vacuum'": by being in quotes, you imply that someone other that you have made this statement. Since Koenig never uses this phrase, you should either take it out of quotes, or cite the person or reference being quoted.

General comments:

You should also assume that the reader is not sympathetic to your cause, and not give him any reason to dismiss you out of hand, something that your overall tone provides. Your repeated use of emphasized print implies that your reader is too thick to understand anything subtle. The personal attacks on methods and motives in a paper such as this, even if you feel that you are simply responding in kind, are extremely unprofessional, unbecoming any serious researcher, and should be excised. Make these specific and general changes, and I think that you might possibly have a worthy entry into this debate. This sort of background information on how some more controversial names came to be is important, and needs to be published.

[Actually, your comments (after I hose off the effluvia in which you've embedded it) properly points out that I should put more emphasis on the "entrenched usage" side and less on historic usage. Email's great, 'cause I've already got one old-timer to provide we with some useful leads to follow in this regard (like some of the ideas I presented for paragraph 13).]

This was the last I heard from him on the subject for about 18 months. See Appendix B for what happened then.