Muir recognized that the indigenous people he met during his "First Summer in the Sierra," had been in the Yosemite area for "thousands of years" before soldiers removed them from the land to protect miners and settlers who had a much greater impact on nature. In the late 1880s he appeared to have transcribed his 1869 notes: "How many thousands of years Indians have roamed these woods nobody knows but probably they have lived here a long succession of centuries and it seems strange that no heavier marks have been made on the country... How marvelous they contrast in the case of the white man's mark... every gully and valley and flat and bar shovelled and riddled and made raw and bare as if fairly skinned alive. These are the marks of the white man here made all within a few feverish busy years." (John Muir Papers, Notebooks, Sierra Journal Summer 1869 [circa 1887] )


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