John Muir


[Ralph Waldo] Emerson


image preview


brown trunk which makes a magnificent background for their level benches of silvery spray, Among his other friends living far below in his shadow are the [Ceanothus?] & the rose & the lupine & violet & the broad shouldered breckan. And little mosses & lichens also - humblest children of the kingdom, meet King Sequoia & dwell with him & they paint his grand column with their green & gold as big congregations of social flowers color the flutings of a hillside I remember that some of your party remarked the silence of our woods & the absence of birds. Well, ere you were half way down the hill a gush of the richest forest song that ever tingled human soul came [2]in grand confidence from the whole grove choir of trees, birds, & flies. When you went away I walked to the top of the ridge [commanding?] a view of the arterial grooves of the [Fresnoe?], to Ca[illegible], & when I returned to the grove near S[illegible] I was welcomed by five or six birds, The magnificent pileated woodpecker eighteen inches in length came right up to me & turned round & round as if anxious that I should know all his gestures & notes. & observe the color & polish of every feather. A little brown specky titmouse was building a house near the ground beneath a flake of Sequoia bark & she allowed one to remain within five feet of her building without ceasing her work only pausing an instant now & then to look at me. Alas a very shy [slim?] ash colored bird about the size of the robin shewed himself [3]



Date Original

[1871] Jul 6


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0471

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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

The Houghton Library, Harvard University. 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 1


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