John Muir


[Annie Kennedy] Bidwell


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1419 [illegible] St. San Francisco, Cal [ Feb. 1st, 1878?]My dear Mrs Bidwell I was delighted with your fine long sparkling letter of Jan’ 21, which reached me just after posting a short note to you. Your account of your scientific [ discussions?] with Gunning is very amusing & I could not help being pleased to know that he had caught a truth-loving Tartar, the only kind of which such so- called scientists are afraid. You ask my opinion of this gentleman. I know very little about him nor will I be likely to know much more, because I fear he belongs to a clan of “Profs” who are animated less by love of truth than by a vulgar appetite for notricty & money. The word “humbug” is very telling in descriptions of such characters, though I am loath to apply so perfectly damming a term to anyone not well known to me. Still I have seen reports of some of his lectures, & have looked through a book that he wrote some years ago so that I can hardly be mistaken in his size & genus. On the contrary my friends Prof Norton of San Jose & John Swett who have met him & heard his lectures were pleased with him, although the latter confessed that in a portion of one of his lectures he had tried to humbing the people. He met another friend of mine lately on the Sacramento coast, & sent me word that there was no one in California he was so anxious to meet as myself.


1419 Taylor St., San Francisco

Date Original

1878 Feb 1


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 03, Image 0688

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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

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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