John Muir


Emily [O. Pelton]


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To Emily PuttonYosemite Valley,April 2, 1872.Dear friend Emily:Your broad pages are received. You must never waste letter time in apologies for size. The more vast and prairie-like the better. But now for the business part of your coming. Be sure you let me know within a few days the time of your setting out so that I may be able to keep myself in a findable, discoverable place. I am, as, perhaps, I told you, engaged in the study of glaciers and mountain structure, etc., and I am often out alone for weeks where you couldn't find me. Moreover I have a good many friends of every grade who will be here, all of whom have greater or lesser claims on my attention. With Prof. LeConte I have made arrangements for a long scientific ramble hack of the summits; also with Mrs. Carr. You will readily understand from these engagements and numerous other probabilities of visits, especially from scientific friends who almost always take me out of Yosemite, how important it is that I should know very nearly the time of your coming. I would like to have a week of naked, un-occupied time to spend with you, and nothing but unavoidable, un-escapable engagements will prevent me from having such a week.If Mr. Knox would bring his team you could camp out, and the expense would be nothing, hardly, and you could make your headquarters at a cabin I am building. This would be much the best mode of traveling and of seeing the Valley. Independence is nowhere sweeter than in Yosemite. People who come to hue ought to abandon and forget all that is called business and duty, etc.; they should forget their individual existences, should forget they are born. They should as nearly as possible live the life of a particle of dust in the wind, or of a withered leaf in a whirlpool. They should come like thirsty sponges to imbibe without rule. It is blessed to lean fully and trustingly on


Yosemite Valley

Date Original

1872 Apr 2


Original letter dimensions: 32.5 x 21.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0759

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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 1


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