John Muir


[Annie Kennedy] Bidwell


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Sitka AlaskaJuly I6th 1879.Dear Mrs Bidwell.This is a charming portion of Gods lovely world, such a wondrous composition of land and water- still glassy bays and inlets islands and mountains. The voyage all the way up from Victoria is through the most wonderful system of ocean inlets straits reaches and channels imaginable. It was difficult to realize that we were on salt water at all- we seemed to be sailing on a deep winding river abounding in lovely mountain scenery, snow and ice on the summits dense forests from the snow line down to the waters edge. The Numerable Cascades like silver ribbons and webs of lace pouring in through the woods on either side the water calm and glassy fenced out from the swell of the ocean.The whole marvellous network of fiords along this Northen Coast was eroded and fashioned by the ancient glaciers, and the small waves that plash their shores have not yet appreciable marked the rocks. I had a delightful botanical ramble yesterday through a forest and a bog. My old favorites of Canada were found in bloom, heathworts Linnea Cranberry huckleberries Sedum Pyrolq, etc. The forests are impenetrably dense, green and damp and mossy. Cupressus Menzies Spruce and Hemlock, one generation falling and crumbling into humus, for the next to grow upon the decaying leaves boughs and trunks and mosses forming a mass 10 to 15 ft. deep.I saw four trees growing astride one prostrate trunk.- such mosses and ferns!!You and the General must come to this fine wild Northland. How little it is known, I have but a moment to write and you will excuse this hasty scribble. I will probally visit the Stickine Glaciers and will be in Port Townsend in a month from


Sitka, Alaska

Date Original

1879 Jul 16


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 03, Image 1122

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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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The Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley. 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 3


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