John Muir


[Annie and John Bidwell and Sallie Kennedy]


image preview


[8] This letter is already far too long, & I will hasten to a close. I will rest here a day or so, to then push off again to the mouth of the river a hundred miles or so farther, chiefly to study the deposition of the sediment at the head of the bay, then push for the mountains. I would row up the San Joaquin, but two weeks or more would be required for the trip, & I fear snow on the mountains I am glad to know that you are really interested in science & I might almost venture another lecture upon you, but in the mean time forbear. Looking backward I see you three in your leafly home, & while I wave my hand, I will only wait to thank you all over & over again for the thousand kind things you have done and said – - drives, & grapes, & rest, “a” that & “a” that”. And now once more Farewell – Ever Cordially your friend John MuirThis letter was addressed to Sen. Bidwell, his wife, & his wife’s sister, (Miss) Sallie Kennedy. This is a [underlined: full copy] of Mr. Muir’s letter A. E. K. B. 00314 5 round number’s 2.000 feet above tide water The whole group is volcanic, taking sharp basattic forms near the summit & with stratified conglomerates of finely polished quartz & metamosphic peebles tilted against their flanks. There is a sparse growth of live oak & laurel on the southern slopes, the latter predominating, & on the North quite a close tangle of dwarf oak forming a chaparral. I noticed the white mountain spiraea also, & Mahonia, with a few willows, & three ferns toward the summit, Pellaea and dromedifolia, gynnogramma triangularis, & cheilanthes gracillinea, & many a fine flower – penstemous, gilias, & our brave Eriogo[illegible]ms of blessed memory. The sum- mit of this highest south most butte is a coast Survey station. The river is very crooked becoming more and more so in its lover course, flowing in grand lingering deliberation now south, now north, east and west. with fine un-American indirectness. The upper portion down as far as Colusa is full of rapids, 4however to get out of even the scrape without disaster to herself or to me. I manually sailed from sunrise to sunset, rowing one third of the time, paddling one third, & drifting the other third in restful comfort - landing now & then to examine a section of the bank or some bush or tree. Under these conditions the voyage to this port was five days in length. On the morning of the third day I hid my craft in the bank vines & set off crosslots for the highest of the Marysville Buttes, reached & got back to the river, & Jumper bytwo oclock, The distance to the nearest foothill of the groups is about three miles but to the base of the southwest & highest Butte is six miles, & its elevation is about 1800 feet above its base or in+ 00314


Sacramento [Calif.]

Date Original

1877 Oct 10


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 03, Image 0585

Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see

Owning Institution

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date


Page Number

Page 5


John Muir, correspondence, letters, author, writing, naturalist, California, correspondent, mail, message, post, exchange of letters, missive, notes, epistle