John Muir


[Louie Muir]


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00939 [1] Off Cape Hattery, Monday, August 2d 1880, 10 – A.M.My dear wife.All goes well. For a few hours we will be in Victoria. The voyage thus far has been singularly calm & uneventful. Leaving you is the only event that has marked the trip & it is marked sorely but I shall make haste to you & reach [you ere?] you have the time to grieve & weary. If you will only be calm & cherry all will be better for my short spell of ice work. The sea has been very smooth, nevertheless Mr Magee has been very sick now he is better as for me I have made no sign though I have had some heartache & heartache. We are now past the Flatting rocks where we were so roughly storm tossed last winter & [reach Bay?]. Where we [sheltered?] 36 hrs. How [placid?] it seems now, the water black & gray with reflections from the cloudy sky, fur seals popping their heads up here & there, ducks & gulls dotting the small waves, & Indian fishing-boats towards the shore, each with a small glaring red flag flying from the masthead. Behind the gr[illegible] of white houses nestled in the deepest bend of the bay3& the small waves are tipped with white mild white caps, almost the only ones we have seen since leaving San Francisco. The Captain & first officer have been very attentive to us, giving us the [illegible] of their rooms & books etc besides answering all our questions [about?] the sea & ships. We will reach Victoria about 2 or 3 o’clock. The California will not sail before tomorrow sometime so that we shall have plenty time to get the charts & odds & ends we need before leaving. Mr Magee will undoubtedly go on to Wrangel but will not be likely to stop over 10 minutes past 2 in your clock. We are just rounding the [Esqusmall?] light house & in a few minutes more will be tied up at the wharf. quite a lovely breeze is blowing from the island, & the strait is ruffled with small shining wavelets glowing in the distance like silver. Hereabouts many lofty moutoneed rock bosses rise above the forests bare of trees, but brown looking from the mosses that cover them. Since entering the strait, the heavy swell up & down, up & down has vanished009395 of honest green woods jagged toothed wolves & wild cats harmonize smoothly enough but engines for the distruction of human beings are only devilish though they carry preachers & prayers & open up views of sad [illegible] tears, Now we are making fast “Make fast that line [there?] make fast” let go then”, “give away”. We will go on to Victoria this afternoon taking our baggage with us & stay there until setting out on the Cal. The ride of [3 hrs?] through the woods & round the glacial bosses is very fine, this you would enjoy. I shall look for the [roses?] Will mail this at once, & write again before leaving this grand old ice rubbed island, & now my dear


Off Cape Flattery

Date Original

1880 Aug 2


Original letter dimensions: 22 x 10 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 04, Image 0261

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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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


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