N. D. Stebbins


John Muir


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Dowagiac,Mich.,Sept.[1882]My dear friend J. Muir:Permit me to trouble your eyes once more with one of my scrawls.I want to say I was more than pleased in the perusal of your exceedingly interesting letter Aug. 24. I can't help it, old as I am. Such representation of natural scenery and glacial action fills me With a sort of visionary enthusiasm and sends me kiting in mind, trying to see and make faith a substance.So I imagine those great fields of inclined planes of ice are after me just ready [to] throw off a small mountain of ice. My boat must be away in the distance in safety.Then what an artillery to listen to - second guns, or rather minute reports of the ice artillery.I rec'd your letter while on a visit to Niles. Showed it to an intelligent and wealthy man. Said he, "I must have his book as soon as published." I am using your letter as an advertisement. It is singular how many I find read it with as much enthusiasm, as I claim they can't help it.One gentleman visiting here from Chicago (was a col. in the late evil war of ours) sat right down and wrote' to the Sec. of the Navy for your report. I presume it will be printed in the Naval Reports. I Shall go to Detroit and Chicago. I presume you have no objections to my using your letter for good purposes. I am intimate with the editors [in] Detroit and some in Chicago.I haven't a doubt your books will sell like 'hot cakes.' O that I could see one! I write all this rigmarole to encourage you to hasten its birth into the world, and would like to give, if I could, a little ergot to help it along in its birth.I noticed in reading B.F.Taylor's description of Yosemite Valley he says the altitude of the rocks are reckoned above the sea level. I had always supposed they were reckoned above the Valley. The Valley itself, I was told, was 5 to 7000 feet above the sea level. Am I right? I won't ask for a letter, but if you please put it on a postal - am I right?I often picture to myself your critical and dangerous position when on your trip to the Summit of Mt. Ly[illegible]? when you came to a deadlock abreast a perpendicular bank of ice, when for a moment your heart failed -for a moment. Then came the Divine to your rescue. A new heart and wise step, new force of life - saved! Don't forget that in your book.I thank you most heartily for your letters. As you intimate, we may never see each other again in this world.It is a delightful, joyful thought that we will see each other in the spirit world.May we not become explorers in this grand universe - wonders and such a variety that it will occupy an eternity [to] observe them? You may laugh at my visions - all right. I am quite willing in that spirit world to follow you in the observance and study of all. these - mysteries to me now - then as easily understood as the glaciers at Alaska were to your vision.Please excuse this sheet of wild-goose-fairies' flights if so it irks (to) you.Please remember [me] to Miss Wanda and her mother.Truly ever your enthusiastic friend,N. D. Stebbins


Dowagiac, Mich.

Date Original

[1882] Sep


Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 04, Image 0908

Copyright Statement

Some letters written to John Muir may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

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.

Page Number

Page 3


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