John Muir



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Kimes Entry Number


Original Date


William and Maymie Kimes Annotation

In response to an article in the Wisconsin Free Press (Mar. 26, 1881) entitled "Two Queer Stories" Dr. James D. Butler submitted a story relating his own experiences with mental telepathy, published April9, 1881, entitled "Presentments. Do Coming Events Cast Their Shadows before? The article details an incident in August, 1869, when he climbed Liberty Cap in Yosemite with a companion. On their return while disputing about the trail, a young man suddenly emerged from the bushes to say, "You are right, Professor! The right way is to the right." The young man was John Muir who had to ask his astonished former teacher, "Don't you know me?" When recognition finally came to him, Dr. Butler exclaimed, "How in the world came you here? As the three made their way to the Valley, Muir told his strange story of being with the sheep near the North Dome of the Valley, of thinking of his former teacher, and suddenly having a premonition that he was in Yosemite. The next day Muir did indeed find Dr. Butler registered at Hutching's Hotel and shortly, learning of his destination, decided to intercept him at Nevada Falls. (Reprinted in Mind in Matter, v. 1, Mar., 1885. Whi). Later when someone asked Dr. Butler if his Yosemite experience "could be corroborated by testimony of others" he submitted the article again to the newspaper with the addition of two letters, one Muir had written to Mrs. Butler to report the incident, August, 1869, and the other requested by Dr. Butler, dated February 18, 1888. In the latter Muir wrote: "My Dear old Friend, steadfast and true: I am delighted to see that with steady heart and hand, you can still seek and find the friends who love you .... Happy man, ever deep in the blessedness of action, and so ever young! The light of youth, and the light of age, and the light of all the years between blending together into one serene glow; and like the sunshine of a summer day, becoming more beautiful, more divine, as the evening draws near." Muir again related his strange experience, beginning, "My feeling your presence, as you entered Yosemite Valley, while I was sketching on the summit of the North Dome, is the one marvel of my life." For Muir's detailed report of this incident see no. 299, pp. 238-250.


Wisconsin Free Press [Oconomowoc], [1888?]. Scrapbook I


pp. 62-63

[Letter to Mrs. Butler, 1869; letter to Professor Butler, I888.]



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