Sunday, September 2, 2007

As a designer of the Polish-American Champions’ Project, the Modjeskis’

Fri Aug 12, 2005 13:06

P.O.Box 193, San Diego, CA 92038

July 4, 1994

President of the U.S.
and the U.S. Congress via a courtesy
of Mr. President B. Clinton:

As a designer of the Polish-American Champions’ Project, the Modjeskis’ Society /1/ believes that the short comparative story of three historical sites on the U.S., Canada and Poland soils, will be helpful in rendering a judgement and a decision, particularly regarding the one, on the U.S.’ soil.

The Project of Champions was presented to Mr. President on Jan. 21,’93 and the presentation published by WHITE EAGLE of Massachusetts on Apr. 18, ‘93, and it is herewith enclosed. In that presentation has been put on display the U.S. National Park Service for with the Orange County Government it prevented establishment of the Project on the “Modjeska Estate” - Modjeska Canyon.

The presentation of Jan. 21,’93, in this letter marked “A”, may be called the MOST RELEVANT CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE (1986-1993). It is now supplemented with the MOST RELEVANT COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE U.S. FOREST SERVICES (1986-1994), marked “B”, and with the MOST RELEVANT PROPOSITIONS TO THE ORANGE COUNTY GOVERNMENT (1985-1994), marked “C”. The “B” and the “C” also are enclosed.

For the sake of clarity, not enclosed are MOST RELEVANT correspondences, communications, propositions, argumentations etc. with institutions “D”, “E”, “F”, “G” etc. with exception of letters to the U.S. House of Representatives and to an U.S. Senator, have been mentioned in the NOTE 2(a) and 2(b), infra.

In the second letter to Mr. President of Oct. 16, ‘93, requesting an investigation WHY THE PROJECT OF CHAMPIONS MET SO UNPRECEDENTED OPPOSITION, bordering with falsification of history of the U.S. and Poland (see the “A”) Mr. President was also requested for appointment of a Commission to administer the “Modjeska Estate/Project”. The October’s letter is enclosed, too.

By this, third letter to Mr. President of instant, and to the U.S. Congress via Mr. President’s courtesy, the Society does express a belief, that the investigative process will be finished and a decision made soon. /2/

For the sake of simplicity, in the first comparative story, names of one person, and that person’s some relatives, are introduced by feminine singular “Modjeska”, and by its derivatives “Modjeski” masculine singular, and “Modjeskis”, both masculine and feminine plural, /3/ which as a pseudonym of that person in English means a NULL - although it was attached to that one person to a satisfaction of a man, who might not hire and not to introduce that one person to the U.S.’ theatrical circles. /4/

Prior to that act of pseudonym change from “Modrzejewska” to “Modjeska”, that one person, Madame Helena was an ardent enthusiast of Shakespeare’s dramas, transcribed into Polish, of course. Fed up with discriminatory policies towards her by Russian government, in early 1876 she sent a scout to California in search of a proper site for a Polish colony/camp. This scout was a distinguished journalist Henryk Sienkiewicz, who in 1906 became Nobel Prize Winner in Literature. /5/ Among may of his works, for this short comparative story is of special interest the book entitled “LISTY Z AMERYKI” (“Letters from America”, in 1995 translated into English “PORTRAIT OF AMERICA”), wherein he reports about the search./6/ And indeed, he succeeded by finding an excellent site for the camp, the Santiago Canyon in the middle of Southern California desert, later renamed by Madame Helena into the “Forest of Arden”, or shortly “Arden” after Shakespeare’s play “As You Like It”. In that Shakespeare’s most delightful drama, a retinue of banished Duke enjoyed life, about which a critic wrote in this way: “A day spent in all the careless freedom of unsophisticated nature seems worth an eternity of common place existence!”/7/

The H. Sienkiewicz’s/Helen Modjeska’s Arden was an oasis to the Polish patriots resembling TATRA MOUNTAINS in their native country. In order to possess that oasis the Modjeskis filed a pre-emptive rights application and after one year of occupying it they went on an artistic spree to the other parts of America./8/

In 1882 the Modjeskis came back, and one year later as U.S. citizens settled on 160 acres of land in compliance with the Homestead Law /9/ buying another 120 from their friend who decided to leave the oasis. So, their dream of setting a Polish camp on the American soil did materialize.

Through the next 22 years the Modjeskis enlarged the Arden up to 2,000 acres of land, /10/ brimming with agricultural activities,/11/ and when Madame Helena was present there during her three months vacation annually, it was filled with joy and entertainment.

One year later the Modjeskis set sail to occupied Poland and installed in the suburb of the City of Kings - Cracow, an American camp called “Modrzejowka”, which in Polish means “a site belonging to somebody”, i.e. to Madame Modjeska, with patriotic overtones respective to the pseudonym “Modrzejewska”./12/ Her stylish house at the camp was equipped with a stage for various performances, municipal, for example./13/

Two years later the Modjeskis commenced a conversion of their friend’s small cottage in Arden, accomplishing that task in 1888, but did not equip it with a stage for the summer house surrounded by wilderness was twenty miles away from the nearest village.

In 1906, when retiring from theatrical profession, the Modjeskis sold 640 acres of the Arden (June 4, 1906) which pretty soon (1909) was embraced by the Cleveland National Forest, where settlements not related to agriculture were not permitted./14/ Out of those 640 acres, between 1909 and 1926 hundred twenty acres of former friend’s land were subdivided and sold to over 200 of no-agricultural settlers, although an Act of Congress of June 1, 1906 prohibited this. The President’s Proclamation of December 15, 1910 also restricted settlements there subject to general provision of the homestead laws.

On March 3, 1911 an Act of Congress provided validation of homesteaded entries in the Cleveland National Forest, which, of course, included the Arden relinquished solely because of erroneous allowance of such entries after the withdrawal of lands for national forest purposes./15/ Thus such lands could be reinstated and allowed to remain intact if an applicant filed a motion for reinstatement before July 1, 1912./16/

After the sale of 640 acres of the Arden’s land, the rest 1360 acres were taken by the Cleveland National Forest Services. But unfortunately, Citizen Madame Helena in July 1909 was interred in Cracow’s cemetery, nearby her “Modrzejowka”, and her husband Karol decided to work on the edition of his wife’s “Memoirs and Impressions”,/17/ and then to spend the rest of his life under Prussian occupation in the District of Posen, where he died in 1914. Being overseas he overlooked the opportunity to become a homesteader on his abandoned “Forest of Arden” once again. (see NOTE 16)

Probably the same happened to Karol’s adopted son, Ralph Modjeski, who thru the past 22 years contributed enormously to the Arden, but on July 9, 1906 by President’s Executive Order 476 was appointed to the post of consulting engineer during Rock Island bridge construction, having already built three bridges - two in Illinois (Thebes and Peoria Bridges), and one in N. Dakota (Bismarck Bridge). For his outstanding achievements since 1940 the Ralph’s ashes have been lying quietly in the Inglewood Park Cemetery, not far away from his Arden, and on occasions of bridges’ opening celebrations his name is never called upon (Oakland, 1987 - with over 50,000 spectators, for instance).

And such could be the end of the Sienkiewicz’s/Modjeskis’ Arden if not in the meantime another story has had been unfolded. It was of the Architect of the NEW DEAL (1931) and the “Chief Inspector” of Ralph’s bridges, until 1937 numbering 39 - one in Canada./18/ That “Chief Inspector” was Franklin D. Roosevelt, since 1932 President of the U.S.

Born in 1882 on his parents summer house and 4 acres large garden on Canada’s Campobello Island, he never attend any public school (if not taking into account 6 weeks in Germany), but in 1903 finished Harvard University, majoring in history. In 1904 he entered the Law School at Columbia University and married his classmate from Harvard, a distant cousin Eleonore Roosevelt. Then received his parent’s retreat as a wedding gift. In 1907 he left the Law School before getting a degree. Next 3 years he worked as a clerk for a law firm in New York City. In 1913 was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and in 1920 unsuccessfully run for Presidency. One year later, on the Campobello’s retreat he was stricken by polio and never recovered. In 1928 was elected Governor of New York. During Presidency he visited the Campobello Island three times: 1933, 1935 and 1939. Died in Georgia, 1945.

By an Act of Congress,/19/ in 1964 was created the “Roosevelt Campobello International Park and Natural Area”, 2,000 acres large with known expenditures to the public of $15,000 for parking lots, and $217,500 for rehabilitation of the summer house./20/

Although the Campobello Island does not look like the Santa Ana Mountains, nor the Roosevelt’s retreat as the Modjeskis’ retreat, what distinguished one from the other was the TURMOIL accompanying the latter, then and now, ever since the Modjeskis’ Society commenced an action of regaining and of converting it into a profitable enterprise combining the historical past with the modern world. And this most recent TURMOIL has it, that unlike the costs of regaining the Campobello’s camp were minuscule, costs of regaining only a remnant of the Arden, 14 acres large, will reach tremendous dimensions. For that remnant have been already spent 7 million dollars, 4.5 million over than planned. For purchase of it 1.0 million, and for rehabilitation 1.5 million of tax scarce money. If not the enigma of 4.5 million, one acre of the remnant would cost $70,000 or $180,000, although 300 acres of a part of the Arden now on sale were appraised $7,000 per acre. And there are lot of acres for sale thanks to California laws, which after 1962 prohibit subdivision of homesteads having more than 160 acres of land./21/

Because the Act of Congress of June 11,1906 in 1962 was repealed,/22/ on that ground the Orange County Government in 1977 issued a RESOLUTION accepting subdivision of the Arden into parcels one acre large./23/ And that trend continues although a Court order of 1993, and general vote this year in San Diego County prohibits subdivision of private lands within boundary of the Cleveland National Forest smaller than 40 acres, forcing the Forest Services to exchange lands with larger acreage for money. At the same time the Services in Orange County are doing what they can to prohibit subdivision of said 300 acres of the former “Forest of Arden” by using a trick of blocking a right of way to them. To have more fun with the games, the same Services one year before expiration of a contract with a private Trailer Park withing boundary of the Forest in San Diego County, are evicting that Park for Services’ own failures./24/

Considering falsification of history of the U.S. and Poland, (see the “A”) aimed at HIDING the very existence of the “Forest of Arden”, which was explicitly expressed in 1990 by dedication of the Modjeskis’ summer house with its 14 acre large “gardens” as a NATIONAL HISTORICAL LANDMARK, which should read as suggested in 1989: “MODRZEJEWSKA’S/MODJESKA’S HOME, FOREST OF ARDEN, FAMOUS AS THE NATIVE HOMELAND OF MADAME MODJESKA, SOLD SOON AFTER HER RETIREMENT, IT REMAINS A MONUMENT TO THE WOMAN WHO CONTRIBUTED IMMEASURABLY TO THE CULTURAL LIFE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”, and which should be located at the entrance to the Modjeska Canyon - “Forest of Arden”, the INTERNATIONAL LANDMARK, instead of the wording: “ARDEN - HELENA MODJESKA HISTORIC HOUSE AND GARDENS’.

It took four years for previous dedication (California’s of 1935, and National of 1974) to be changed,/25/ and since 1990 another four years have elapsed without any compromise to the historical Arden,/26/ and none to the people who occupy it,/26/ and none to the Orange County Government which should be EVICTED from the Cleveland National Forest domain with compensation to the people for all the harm done to them, to the family of Modjeskis, to the Arden, and to the Modjeskis at large. (see NOTES 3 and 16)


The Institutions have been mentioned in the “B” and “C” are not willing to solve the problem of the “Forest of Arden” as an International Historical District vel Polish-American Champions Project VOLUNTARILY, and as it has been proven by doing so they pay disrespect to the laws of this land, the requests of the Modjeskis’ Society to President of the U.S. and to the U.S. Congress of Jan.21,’93, of Oct.6,’93 and of instant, should be considered and the treatment of the Arden EQUALIZED with the “Roosevelt Campobello International Park” for betterment of relations between the U.S., Poland and their very people.
- . -
To the same end, as above, would serve promised to Helena Modjeska a “MODJESKA CITY”, which could be erected on the Tustin - Marine Corps Air Station, 10 miles away from the “Forest of Arden”, and 20 miles from the DISNEYLAND in Anaheim where H. Sienkiewicz first set his foot, leaving behind the California Historical Landmark 201. This issue is herewith presented by some NEWS ARTICLES /27/ together with others related to the three shortly presented historical sites in the U.S., Canada and Poland, and to the bridges builder R. Modjeski, which since 1986 have been published over 150 times by the Modjeskis’ Society and other authors supporting the Project of Champions (for the U.S.’ site are enclosed between 1986 and 1987, plus the “OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT W. JARUZELSKI” of 1989, and two of THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER of 1992 and 1994 with a response to the latter).

Respectfully submitted,
W. Czajkowski
1. U.S. Senator D. Feinstein;
2. Other Interested Entities
in the U.S. and Poland.

/1/ See enc. PROPOSAL of June 14,’86 with supplement of Oct.14,'86 and of Mar.30,’87 + a map of Modjeskis performances + California Historical Landmarks 201 and 205 + Nov.3,’86 to the Chief Historian of the National Park Services + “MODJESKA HISTORICAL PARK STATUS REPORT” of Apr.9,’87;
/2/ The Modjeskis’ Society did take a liberty to produce a COMPLAINT to:
(a) Honorable U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, and proof of this consists of enclosed communications of May 18 and 26, 1994, and June 13, 1994;
(b) Committee On Standards Of Official Conduct, dated February 13, 1994 in response to Committee’s letter of February 2, 1994 (one communication with the Committee of February 19, 1994 also is enclosed);

/3/ This masculine and feminine plural does not apply to the “Modjeskis’ Society”, for it bears a possessive noun of plural “Modrzejewskich”, i.e. “Patriots Gazing at Dawn for the Day of Liberation”. The hero of this first comparative story is Helena Opid born 1840 in Krakow (Cracow). She lost her maiden name to an artist teacher Gustaw Adolf Sinnmajer vel Zimajer. In 1860 Helena Opid became Helena Modrzejewska. In 1868 Helena Modrzejewska married a freedom fighter persecuted by Russians, a nobleman Karol Bozenta Chlapowski with nobility Coat-of-Arms “Bozenta”, and became Helena Chlapowska vel Modrzejewska. In accordance with Title XXX, Sec. 2165 of the NATURALIZATION ACT of December 12, 1873, Karol “Bozenta” did renounce his nob