John Muir



Download Full Text (6.0 MB)

Kimes Entry Number


Original Date


William and Maymie Kimes Annotation

In this last portion of The Story of My Boyhood and Youth, Muir relates his eagerness for the knowledge, and how he borrowed books from the neighbors and even persuaded his father to purchase a few. Muir was not allowed to read at night. In an unguarded moment, his father gave him permission to rise as early as he liked to read. When Muir awoke the following morning and found it to be only one o' clock, he was jubilant. He writes: "I can hardly think of any other event in my life, any discovery I ever made that gave birth to joy so transportingly glorious as the posession of these five frosty hours." Muir used to take his inventions to the State Fair, an event which opened many doors for hijm, in particular the door to the State University. Here he studied while making a living at various jobs. He left at the end of two and a half years, saying, "I wandered away on a glorious botanical and geological excursion, which has lasted nearly fifty years and is not yet completed, always happy and fee, poor and rich, without though of diploma or of making a name, urged on and on through endless inspiring Goldful beauty...But I was only leaving one university for another, the Wisconsin University for the University of the Wilderness."


The Atlantic Monthly, v. 111, no.2


pp. 266-277


no. 396

Out of the Wilderness.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.