John Muir


Emily [O. Pelton]


image preview


Nature, to experience, by taking to her a pure heart and unartificial mind, the infinite tenderness and power of her love. You mentioned the refining influences of society. Compared with the intense purity and cordiality and beauty of Nature, the most delicate refinements and cultures of civilization are gross barbarisms. As for the rough animals called men, who occur in and on these mountains like sticks of condensed filth, I am not in contact with them; I do not live with them. I live alone, or, rather, with the rocks and flowers and snows and blessed storms; I live in blessed mountain Light, and love nothing less pure. You'll find me rough as the rocks and about the same color-granite. But as for loss of pure- mindedness that you seem to fear, come and see my teachers; come, see my Mountain Mother and you will be at rest on that point. We have had a glorious storm of the kind called earth- quake. I've just been writing an account of it for the N. Y. Tribune.1 It would seem strange that any portion of our perpendicular walls are left unshattered. it is delightful to be trotted and dumpled on our Mother's mountain knee. I hope we will be blessed with some more. The first shock of the morning of [March] 26th, at half past two o'clock, was the most sublime storm I every experienced. Most cordially yours, JOHN MUIR.1 Issue of May 7, 1872.


Yosemite Valley

Date Original

1872 Apr 2


Original letter dimensions: 32.5 x 21.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0761

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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 2


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