John Muir



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William and Maymie Kimes Annotation

In the article "Vignettes of Henry Edwards and John Muir," J.S. Wade gives biographical sketches of both men and brings together all the known references to their friendship. Edwards was an actor by profession, an entomologist by avocation. He met Muir through a letter of introduction from Mrs. Jeanne Carr (1871), and for a number of years thereafter Muir collected butterflies and other insects for him. The author examined the correspondence files of Edwards at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and in his discussion includes three Muir letters. In the first, dated August 10, 1871, Muir relates the locations of the various insects he has captured and just sent, and comments: "I captured that large moth here in my hang nest. I don't want to kill any more of that kind because in dying he gasped and throbbed & almost shouted, Murder." In a letter dated June 6, 1872, Muir writes: "Your bundle of butterfly appartus is received. You are now in constant remembrance because every flying flower is branded with your name. I shall be in the high gardens in a month or two & will gather you a good big handful of your favorite painted honeysuckers & honeysuckles. I wish you all the deep far-reaching joy you deserve in your dear sunful pursuits." On December 20, 1880, in a long, chatty letter after returning from his second trip to Alaska, Muir writes: "There is a minister residing in the territory at Fort Wrangel, whom I tried to persuade last summer to begin collecting insects. I think you might find it to your interest to write to him on the subject....Thanks for your good wishes as to my marriage all goes well & so naturally that I seem to have been married always." In 1881 Edwards named the butterfly Thecla Muiri in honor of Muir. At that time Edwards was editor of Papilio, and in it (v. 1, p. 54, 1881) he wrote, "I have named this exquisite little species after my friend John Muir, so well known for his researches into the geology of the Sierra Nevada, who has frequently added rare and interesting species to my collection."


The Scientific Monthly


pp. 247-249

[Letters to Henry Edwards.]



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