John Muir


[Ralph Waldo] Emerson


image preview


wh flowed at right angles to those later & larger ones of the summits Now there is a very deep canon on the left of Yosemite falls wh has compelled me to think to it every day for more than a year & I could not account for its formation in any other way than by supposing the existence of a glacier in the basin above as one of the conditions Last Sabbath the big truth came to the birth. I ran out of the valley by Indian Canon, & round to the top of the falls - said my prayers in the irised spray & started for the upper end of the basin ten or twelve miles distant hoping somewhere to discover positive evidence of my missing glacier in the higher deeper portions of its channel where it would linger longest, or where it had been compelled to [6]wedge through some narrow place thus hardening & more deeply grooving the granite wh then would not be so susceptible of disintegration Well I had not gone four miles ere I found all I had so long sought & you might have heard a shout in concord This glacier was about 12 ms' in length by about 6 in breath, Of the depth I have as yet no data. Its course was nearly at right angles to the summit glaciers & perhaps it was not born quite so early as they. & I am sure that it died long before they were driven from the canons of the Tenaya & Nevada streams. I have just finished a first reading of your [Society?] & Solitude. The poems I have head several times. I have [7]



Date Original

[1871] Jul 6


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0477

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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 4


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