[John Muir]


[Kate N. Daggett?]


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To Mrs. Kate N, DaggettYosemite Valley,Dec. 30th, 1872.[ Salutation torn off ]:I have just this minute for the first time lighted your elegant lamp, and I send you again most cordial thanks for so precious a gift.This is the first St. Germain lamp I have seen, and it is certainly the most beautiful of all light fountains. Its forms have been composed by a true artist. Its many curves blend into song with scarce a discordant tone, The trill around the base of the chimney is all that my eye-ear dislikes.The massive finely moulded foundation glows like an ice-polished dome, and the grateful green of the shade is like that of high glacier lakes. If among the multitude of articles that now enter a human home there be one that deserves to be crowned with beauty above anything else [Line cut here where name on opposite side cut ] it is the fountain of light. The poet is the only workman capable of making a candlestick. It is delightful to observe how steadily God-born beauty is flowing into all the handiwork of man. Nature is insinuating herself into every pore of humanity, and it is oozing out in forms that are constantly becoming less and less impure, and those forms of purer and more direct Godfulness are coming not only from the study cells of the painter and architect and art poets in general recognized as such, but they are flowing from the workshop - from the foundry and the forge.I know little of men, seeing them only afar off and in the lump, but standing as I now do on the mountain-side and contemplating the various hives of industry among civilizations old and new, all looming on my vision, dim in the great sea-divided distances, I have this one big, well-defined faith for humanity as a workman, that the time is coming when every "article of manufacture" will be as purely a work of God as are these mountains and pine trees and bonnie loving flowers.I only meant to say you another warm thank-you, but the fresh dewy beauty of your sunrise lamp conjured and loosened these thoughts and sent them down to my page, as rain and frost loosen and send down trains of rattling rough-angled rocks to Yosemite meadows.I suppose our dear Mrs. Carr has told you of the eclipse in my life, years ago when my eyes were quenched just at the spring- dawn of summer when the voice of the bluebird began to appear mingled with the first flower-words of Erigenia and Anemone, But though in that terrible darkness I died to light, I lived again, and God who is Light has led me tenderly from light to light to the shoreless ocean of ray less beamless Spirit Light that bathes these holy mountains.[JOHN MUIR]717


Yosemite Valley

Date Original

1872 Dec 30


Original letter dimensions: 21 x 26 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 1049

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 3


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