[John Muir]


[Louie Strentzel Muir]


image preview


[2] 01014When we were still 50 miles from here a linnet came to meet us & flew about the rigging & then a heavy burly bumblebee as if to tell us about the sunlight & guide us to it in safety. On the day of our arrival from [Plover?] [Bay?] a little steamer came into the harbor from the upper Yukon towing three large boats loaded with traders Indians & furs All the furs they had gathered during the winter. We went across to the store room of the company to see them, a queer lot they were whites & Indians as they unloaded their furs. It was worth while to look at the furs too Big bundles of bear skins brown & black, wolf, fox, beaver, marten, ermine, moose wolverine wild cats many of them with claws spread & hair on end as if still alive & fighting for their lives. Some of the Indian chiefs the wildest animals of all, & the more notable of the traders not at all wild sane in dress but rather gentle & refined in [in margin: 1000 miles on [this?][steamer?] whenever I like, & his wife a nice lady sends you an invitation to come & make your home here while I am away] until far down between the rocking tussocks This covering is composed of a plush of mosses chiefly sphagnum about 8 inches on a foot deep resting on ice that never melts, with about half of the surface of the moss is covered with white & yellow & red & gray lichens & the other half is planted more or less with grasses sedges heathwarts & creeping willows & a flowering plant here & there such as prinula & purple spiked pedicularis. Out in this grand solitude,-solitary as far as man is concerned – we met a great many of the arctic grouse, ptarmigan cackling & screaming at our approach like old laying hens, also plovers snipes curlews sand pipers loons in ponds, & ducks & geese & finches & wrens about the crater & rocks at its base; We leave here for another cruise in the Arctic this evening hoping to return to this point in time to send letters by the Alaska Com Co. steamer “St Paul” which will leave about July 12. But in case we should be delayed by the ice I thought I would write now & leave it here in charge of Mr Laurence the Co’s agent. He has given me an invitation to go up the Yukon[4]


St. Michaels, Alaska

Date Original

1881 Jun 21


Original letter dimensions: 14.5 x 19.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 04, Image 0624

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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 2


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