John Muir


[Clinton L.] Merriam


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Camp-fire 8 miles north ofYosemite Palls, September 1871.Dear Merriam,This has been a most glorious day, as full of beauty and joy as sun ever measured, one of God's own mountain units of time, nameless and dateless, big enough, and rich enough for a whole life.Last evening I camped in a glacier meadow at the head of the Cascades’ Eastmost tributary. The meadow was velvet with grass and compassed with a wall of Wiliamson spruce. I made a great fire and the daisies of the green sod rayed as if conscious of a sun. As I lay on my back in the silence, feeling the presence of the trees gleam-ing bright against the outer dark, all gushing with life and circling closer and closer about me, and saw the small round sky coming down with its stars and doming the Tumined trees,I said, Never was mountain mansion more beautiful, more spiritual. Never was mortal wanderer more blessedly homed.The sun rose and my forest walls were removed -- the charmed trees returned to the common fund of the woods, and my sky flake fused back into the fathomless blue, and I was left upon common ground to pursue my daily glacier labor.I followed the main Yosemite rim northward, passing round the head of the second Yosemite tributary which flowed about northeast until bent southward by the main current.About noon I came to the basin of the third ice tributary of the west rim, a place of domes which had long engaged my attention, and as I was anxious to study their


…8 miles north of Yosemite Falls

Date Original

1871 Sep 19


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0527

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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

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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 1


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