Travels in Alaska


Travels in Alaska


John Muir


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William and Maymie Kimes Annotation

A few months after Muir's return from his travels in South America and Africa, in the fall of 1912, he began to work earnestly on his Alaska book, securing the assistance of a stenographer to transcribe his journals. It was not long, however, until the threat to Hetch Hetchy loomed again so ominously that Muir was compelled to put aside this book, and in the months that followed he devoted almost all his time to the struggle. After the fatal defeat on the final loss of his much-loved "Tuolumne Yosemite," Muir once more took up his writing. In spite of a serious illness, with the kind and able help of Mrs. Marion Parsons, he made good progress. Mrs. Parsons comments: "The work on this book was the chief pleasure and recreation of Mr. Muir's last days, for through it he lived again many of the most glorious experiences of his life." In December, 1914, on a visit to his daughter Helen, who lived in Daggett, he was stricken with pneumonia and rushed to the California Hospital in Los Angeles. The morning of the 24th, however, revived and apparently recovered, he had his manuscript spread out on the bed before him. Thus, Muir was working to the very last to finish his Travels, even as he was summoned to the "higher Sierra." At the request of the two daughters, Wanda Muir Hanna and Helen Muir Funk, Dr. William Frederic Bade became literary executor and agreed to prepare the manuscript for publication; however, he wrote only the preface. It was Mrs. Parsons who finished the manuscript. Travels in Alaska contains much edited material from articles Muir had written for the San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin on his Alaska trips in 1879 and 1880, and from the article "Alaska" in Picturesque California, no. 167-5, all of which is skillfully woven into much new material edited from his journals. Part III, "The Trip of 1890," is all new but incomplete. At Muir's death, the complete narrative could not be located; no doubt Muir would have related the full story of that important trip had he lived.


Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company


[xii], [330] pp.


Illus., 23.75 cm. Large Paper Edition, limited to 450 copies: green laid paper board covers, dark green buckram shelfback, brown leather label with gilt-stamped lettering on spine; untrimmed edges. Illus.: colored photogravure front. with printed tissue, and 16 plates tipped in. Price: $5.00

Excerpt/Portion of

Contents (see numbers that follow chapter headings for sources and prior publication): Part I. The Trip of 1879: I. Puget Sound and British Columbia, nos. 89 and 90; II. Alexander Archipelago and the Home I found in Alaska, no. 94; III. Wrangell Island and Alaska Summers, nos. 91 and 97; IV. The Stickeen River, no. 99; V. A Cruise in the Cassiar, nos. 92, 93, and 96; VI. The Cassiar Trail; VII. Glenora Peak; VIII. Exploration of the Stickeen Glaciers; IX. A Canoe Voyage to Northward, no. 200; X. The Discovery of Glacier Bay, no. 200; XI. The Country of the Chilcats; XII. The Return to Fort Wrangell; XIII, Alaska Indians. Part II. The Trip of 1880: XIV. Sum Dum Bay, nos. 103 and 105-107; XV. From Taku River to Taylor Bay, no. 108; XVI. Glacier Bay, no. 200. Part Ill. The Trip of 1890: XVII. In Camp at Glacier Bay; XVIII. My Sled-Trip on the Muir Glacier; XIX. Auroras; Glossary of Words in the Chinook Jargon; Index.


For other editions, see: no. 341, v. 3; no. 348A; no. 351A; no. 427; no. 474; for translation into Japanese, see no. 391. For Muir's travels with the Harriman expedition, see no. 379, pp. [378]-426; for miscellaneous notes on his Alaskan travels in the same volume, see pp. 246-280, 299-322.

Travels in Alaska