Chris and Olsson both try to suggest that Sanders is not a "book person". Olsson says, "I could not find a single reference to a book that he read . . . . He refers occasionally to reading, but only in general terms." Chris says "So far we have not found a single mention in his notebooks about a particular book or author." and "He is not a bookish person".
Part of the problem is that the only writings of Sanders they consider are his juvenile diaries and two of his Mine Timbering articles. Odd, since other, better work is easily available and was known (or should have been known) to Chris, since they have been discussed on this forum several times since 2007
-- specifically, his long essay about the origins of "Montana" as a name for the territory and state, and his extensive work in the 25th Reunion book of his class at Columbia.
About the diaries, Olsson even says "Sanders’ diary is dated between 1876 and 1881 when he was still very young – 14 in 1876 and 19 years of age in 1881. Significant changes will occur in a person’s use of language as they mature, more so than at other stages of life." And indeed, the Mine Timbering articles are pretty dry (like much of Gallaway's writing -- the "interesting" parts of his works appear mostly in the introductory material, which is lacking in Sanders' essays.)
Regardless, there are multiple reasons that we know that the characterization of Sanders not being a "bookish person" is wrong.
1. His education. I linked earlier to a curriculum for the Columbia School of Mines, to show that Sanders would have been fluent in German. The same document shows that to gain admission, he would have had to have read a number of serious works of literature, and to have been able to write seriously about them. Further, he attended prep school at Phillips Exeter, which had (and has) a rigorous academic program. An 1880 newpaper ad says, "Classical Department prepares for colleges that set the highest standard for admission." Sanders could not have completed the program there without reading a great deal.
2. His career aside from mining. In the 1890s, Sanders spent some time as a librarian at the Montana Historical Society. Chris has said, "Also printers have traditionally been some of the most informed people in society, because they get to read a lot. " [A statement which is undocumentable, I suspect.] Chris, surely you don't think printers are more well-read than librarians?
3. Literary and historical allusions in his own writing. The Montana naming article and the Reunion book are full of allusions to and quotations from literary works. Sanders was obviously quite well-read, and his writing demonstrates that much more so than anything Gallaway ever wrote. Some examples:
From "The Word Montana, its significance, derivation and historical use." Mont. His. S. 7: 15-60, 1910.
"Then came the hunter tribes. . . " p. 15. quoted from William Cullen Bryant, "A Walk at Sunset" (1821)
"trend of pioneers" p. 16. Probably a misquote of "tread of pioneers" from John Greenleaf Whittier, "On Receiving an Eagle's Quill from Lake Superior" (1849)
"to gain the wealth of Ormus and the newer Ind." p. 17. From John Milton, Paradise Lost
"The days of old, the days of gold, the days of Forty-nine" p. 18. Title of a folk song, from no later than 1860.
"Sunt loca montana . . ." p. 23. Pliny the Elder, The Natural History
"loca montana et . . ." p. 23. Titus Livius, The History of Rome
"Exsurgens autem . . ." p. 23. Luke 1:39, from the latin vulgate Bible
"Inter montana" p. 24. Deuteronomy 1:7, from the latin vulgate Bible
"Perventum inde ad . . ." p. 24. Titus Livius, The History of Rome
"homines asperi et montani" p. 26. Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Civili
(ca. 40 BC)
"Many other examples of the metal . . . " p. 30. Miguel Salvedra, "Trafalgar -- From a Spanish Point of View" in Grand Magazine
, Nov. 1905
"Beyond all titles . . ." p. 60. Alfred Lord Tennyson, Idylls of the King
- passing reference to the Argonauts, the Golden Fleece, Aladdin's lamp. p. 17; the Battle of Trafalgar (1805); and numerous quotations from and references to various contemporary histories of Rome.
- numerous quotes from and references to documents concerning the history of Montana, including books, letters from historians and pioneers, and the Congressional Record of 1863 regarding the establishment of the government of the Territory of Montana.
- numerous translations of and discussions of relevant Spanish, Latin and Native American words.
- extensive discussions of the first Europeans to explore the region over the previous two centuries, and their writings.
From Class of '85 School of Mines Columbia College Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Reunion
"We were monarchs of all we surveyed" p. 8. reference to "I am monarch of all I survey", a line from "Verses Supposed to be Written by Alexander Selkirk [inspiration for Robinson Crusoe]", by William Cowper, 1782
"How the mighty have fallen" p. 30. 2 Samuel 1:27
". . . laying up vast treasures on earth" p . 30. Matt. 6:19
"A brotherhood of venerable trees." William Wordsworth, "Composed at Neidpath Castle" 1803
". . . smile that won't come off" p. 30. Line from Quaker Oats advertising campaign of 1903.
"Build a mansion in the skies" p. 33. "To mansions in the skies" is a line from "The Struggles of Flesh and Spirit" by Branwell Brontë 1836
" . . . affairs spiritual and terrestrial" p. 36. Possible allusion to "The Modern Major General" by Gilbert and Sullivan (1879)? The final words in the ends of several lines of the G&S song have the same form and meter: "in orders categorical", "with matters mathematical", etc.
"Octopi" p. 49. Reference to a then-current term for monopolies, such as Standard Oil and the Southern Pacific Railway.
"wealth of Golconda" p. 63. Golconda was the 16th-17th capital of the Indian region responsible for producing many famous diamonds, and thus the name used as a symbol of wealth.
"Surveys Geological . . . lines chronological" p. 69. See comments re: p. 36.
"buds the promise of celestial worth" p. 74. Line in "The Last Day" by Edward Young (1713)
"a brave man struggling in the storms of fate" p. 76. Alexander Pope, "Prologue to Mr. Addison's Cato" (1713)
"Hail to thee, blithe spirit" p. 90. Percy Bysshe Shelley, "To a Skylark" (1820)
"Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." p. 92 William Shakespeare, The Twelfth Night
"The worm, the canker, and the grief" p. 92. Lord Byron, "On This Day I Complete My Thirty-sixth Year" (1824)
"Oh, wad some power the giftie gie us . . . " Robert Burns, "To a Louse" (1786)
So let's put to bed this idea that Sanders didn't read much. He obviously did, and his own words make this very clear.