“My seasons work is done. I have had one general view of the Merced basin above Yo Semite [sic] and am astonished at the magnitude of the ancient glaciers with which it was universally flooded, and of the work which they accomplished.”

Joseph Le Conte

Joseph Le Conte was a professor of Geology who worked closely with Muir on his glacial wanderings in the early 1870s. Le Conte grew up in the pre-Civil War south and his family had slaves and by 1890 he wrote of racial inferiority of Blacks. There is no evidence in the collections that Muir ever discussed these ideas with Le Conte. (Letter from Joseph Le Conte Sr. to John Muir December 17, 1872)