A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf


A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf


John Muir


Link to Full Text

Download Full Text

Kimes Entry Number


Original Date


William and Maymie Kimes Annotation

This book is autobiographical and takes Muir from his departure from the University of Wisconsin to this first summer in the Sierra. It is composed of: I. Muir's journal that he kept on his walk to the Gulf through his arrival in San Francisco, where the journal ends; 2. an excerpt from a letter written by Muir to Mrs. Jeanne Carr that relates his first excursion in California to Yosemite; 3. ""Twenty Hill Hollow,"" which chronicles Muir's enthusiastic appreciation for the low hills that border the plains of the great Central Valley. Dr. Bade's introduction fills in Muir's wanderings during the interim between the University and the beginning of his thousand-mile walk, indicating that Muir was already an experienced wanderer in the forests and prairies of the midwest and also eastern Canada. Muir's early writing included in this volume is important in disclosing his nature-oriented philosophy of life and the direction in which it was taking him. Dr. Bade edited the journal very slightly; therefore, it retains the freshness of events as they occurred, as well as Muir's innermost thoughts as he pondered the problem of man's place in the universe. Muir reveals his well-established belief in the unity of oneness of all Nature, with man being only a small, integral part of it. Muir writes: ""The world, we are told, was made especially for man-a presumption not supported by all the facts. A numerous class of men are painfully astonished whenever they find anything, living or dead, in all God's universe, which they cannot eat or render in some way what they call useful to themselves .... Now, it never seems to occur to these far-seeing teachers that Nature's object in making animals and plants might possibly be first of all the happiness of each one of them, not the creation of all for the happiness of one .... The universe would be incomplete without man; but it would also be incomplete without the smallest transmicroscopic creature that dwells beyond our conceitful eyes and knowledge."" In opposition to the traditional beliefs of a man-centered civilization, Muir aligns himself with wild nature. The book is replete with examples to substantiate his convictions.


Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company


[xxviii], [220] pp.


Illus., 23.75 cm. Large Paper Edition, limited to 550 numbered copies: green laid paper board covers, dark green buckram shelfback, green leather label with gilt-stamped lettering on spine; untrimmed edges. Illus.: colored photogravure front. with printed tissue, and 17 plates, incl. map, tipped in. Price: $5.00

Excerpt/Portion of

Contents (chapters I-VII and VIII top. 188 are composed of the journal): I. Kentucky Forests and Caves; II. Crossing the Cumberland Mountains; III. Through the River Country of Georgia; IV. Camping Among the Tombs; V. Through Florida Swamps and Forests; VI. Cedar Keys; VII. A Sojourn in Cuba; VIII. By a Crooked Route to California; for the letter excerpt pp. 188-[191], see no. 331, pp. 38- 41; IX. Twenty Hill Hollow, no. 13, revised; Index.


For other editions, see: no. 340; no. 341, v. I, pp. [229]-[ 418]; no. 382; no. 383; no. 420; no. 444.

A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf