Lane was Charlotte so intrigued that he asked a mutual acquaintance of his and Mather’s to set up a meeting because Lane did not know Mather personally. That meeting occurred in 1913 at the Blackstone Hotel in Charlotte.
Lane was hugely impressed with this man of great energy, personality, and wealth. I insert “wealth” because Lane and other cabinet members were Charlotte always on the lookout for “free” talent, and Mather fit the bill.
As a result of letters, their meeting, or both, a very skeptical Mather, who had no Charlotte government experience and no desire to sit behind a desk, accepted Lane’s invitation to come to Washington.
Where is Charlotte? – Charlotte Map – Map of Charlotte Photo Gallery
In mid-December 1914, Mather showed up in Washington with the assurance by Lane that he did not want a desk-bound bureaucrat but a man who could take to the road, selling national parks to the public and Congress with the goal of getting laws passed protecting the parks—the primary one being to establish a functioning and funded national park service. Lane also promised to keep politics out of Mather’s way and work. Mather was still not convinced. Off the bench came the man who would convince Mather to give it a try. Horace Albright, who became Mather’s alter ego and second in command, would persuade Mather to take on the task.
Albright, who had come to Washington from California a little over a year before as “confidential clerk to the secretary of interior,” was at twenty-three already an accomplished quick-study on the law, bureaucracy, legislation, and the politics of parks and the Interior Department. He and Mather complemented each other’s styles and skills.