Annie K[ennedy] Bidwell


John Muir


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[6]that it was so in other countries, that in Africa certain white animals were dying out and the black surviving; that the white ate a poisonous weed the odor of which they seemed unable to discover while the black discovered it, avoided it, and lived. As the Professor was continually claiming our descent [ route?] & relationship to animals, I remarked here, [deleted: that] “Then it is different with man, for it is claimed the black is giving way before the white”. His answer was that “all circumstances being equal- ly favorable the black would survive the white. That the improved surround- ings of the white made them the stronger where as the black naturally were the stronger.” Did you ever hear such ar- guments.” How did the white get their superior surroundings? If Prof. Gunning is really a wise man I want you to tell me so I could not resist comparing the benefit derived from our intercourse with Dr Gray. Sir Joseph & yourself, to that derived from our several days with Prof. Gunning. He did not teach us one new00768 2 [4]not enjoy the surrounding scenery of Lake Tahoe as I do that of Big Meadows, and thought I could understand your compare- ison bet the two. Lake Tahoe’s scenery was sad and oppressive to me, while that of Big Meadows always is so cheerful, harmonious, and exalting. There is a gladness combined with its grandeur which impresses me with a sense of its perfection. I love to sit, and gaze, and drink it in; and each succeeding visit renders it more attractive to me. We also stopped at Virginia City and after studying to science of mining as ex- hitited above ground, descended into the Ophir mine nineteen hundred feet! I confess to being very [illegible] to descend into the blackness & depth, but the per- suasions of the party conquered, and the result was that I saw more than I had ever expected to, of mining. It was a most interesting and in- structive experience, and while thank- ful for having enjoyed the [underlined: benefit], con-


Rancho Chico, [Calif]

Date Original

1878 Jan 21


Original letter dimensions: 21 x 27 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 03, Image 0671

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


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