John Muir


Mrs. [Jeanne C.] Carr


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[Original letter in mounted set of letters to Mrs. Carr, #50]Two miles below La Grange,Oct. 3rd, 1869.Dear friend Mrs. Carr:My summer in the third heaven of the Sierra is past. I am again in the smooth open world of plains. I rec'd three of your eight notes, which for mountain correspondence is about as might be expected. I learned by a San Francisco newspaper that Dr. Carr had accepted a professorship in the University, and Prof. Butler told me about a month ago that he had gone to Madison to fetch his cabinet, etc. Therefore I know that you are making a fixed home and that you will yet see the mountains and the Joaquin plains.We were camped within a mile or two of the Yosemite north wall for three weeks. I used to go to the North dome or YoSem[ite]falls most every day to sketch and to listen to the waters. One day I went down into the Valley by that canon opposite Hutchings', and found Prof. Butler near the bridge between the Vernal and Nevada falls. He was in company with (Gen.) Alvord. He was in the Valley only a few hours, his time being controlled by the General's military clock, and I am pretty sure that he saw just about nothing. I am glad that the world does not miss me, and that all of my days with the Lord and his works are uncounted and unmeasured. I found the guide who was with you. He said that you wished me to gather some cones for you. I hope to see you soon in San Francisco and will fetch you specimens of those which grow higher than you have been.I was sorry that you were so short a time in the Valley, but you will go again and remain a month or two. I would like to spend a winter there to see the storms. We spent most of the summer on the south fork of the Tuolumne near Castle and Cathedral peaks. And oh, how unspeakable the glories of these higher mountains! You have not yet caught a glimpse of the Sierra Nevadas. You must go to Mono by the Bloody Cannon pass. I will not try to write the grandeur I have seen all summer, but I will copy you the notes of one day from my journal."Sept. 2d, amount of cloudiness.08.Sky red evening and morning. Not usual crimson glow, but separate clouds colored and anchored in dense massive mountain forms. One red bluffy cap is placed upon Castle peak and its companion to the south, but the smooth cone tower of the Castle is seen peering out over the top. Tiger peak has a cloud cap also of the grandest proportions and colors, and the extensive field of clustered towers and peaks and domes where is stored the treasures of snow belonging to the Merced and Tuolumne and Joaquin are embosomed in bossy clouds of white and the grand Sierra cathedral is overshadowed like Sinai. Never before beheld such divine mingling of cloud and mountain. Had delightful walk upon the north wall. Ascended by a deep narrow passage cut in the granite. Its borders are splendidly decorated with ferns and blooming shrubs. The most delicate of plantlets in the gush and ardor of full bloom in places called desolate and gloomy. Wintry snows where the dwarfed and crumpled pines are pelted with hail and rocks, hut as frail flowers of human kind are protected by the hand of God, blooming joyously through a long beautiful life in places and times that are strewn with the wrecks of the powerful and the great, so in these far mountains, where are the treasuries of snow and storms, live in safety and innocence these sweet tender children of the plants. Had looked long and well for Cassiope, but in all my long excursions failed to find its dwelling places, and began to fear that we would never meet, but had a presentiment of finding it to-day, and as I passed a rock-shelf after reaching the great gathered heaps of everlasting snow, something seemed to whisper "Cassiope, Cassiope." That name was "driven in upon me," as Calvinists say, and looking around beheld the long-looked for mountain child."Farewell. I do not care to write much because you seem so near. I hope that you will all be very happy in your new home, and not feel too sorely the separation from the loved places and people of Wis. Remember me to the Doctor and to all of your boys. I am,Most cordially your friend,John MuirMy post office is Snelling as before.


Two miles below La Grange

Date Original

1869 Oct 3


Original letter dimensions: 23 x 36 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0153

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 4


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