M.W. Harrington


John Muir


image preview


where, her and there, a ragged pinnacle of rock thrust itself through. On one side of the volcano could be seen the glistening blue color of a glacier the crevasses and moraines of which could be dimly seen through our glasses. At the same time behind us on another island was the volcano of Akutan, the cone of which was hidden from view, though the smoke rolling out from its crater was plainly visible. Meantime the wind and rain were coming down in heavy squalls.All these things I had anticipated, but now comes a feature which I had not expected in Lat. 53° 51' and in the latter part of September. The hills and mountains were clothed in bright green and even from the schooner's deck at the distance of a mile or two, we could see abundance of flowers. The coat of green covered everything except the summits of the mountains and an occasional precipice too steep for anything to stick to, and around the patches of snow the emerald color was still brighter. but it was the green of grasses and small plants. Not a tree was to be seen. In fact there is not a tree on the Aleutian Is. except 15 or 20 which were planted near her in 1805 as an experiment. This country is evidently in igneous origin. Old volcanic craters and cones are numerous, though there are now less than a dozen active volcanoes in Alaska. The islands are nothing but mountains, jumbled together in almost inextricable confusion though a general trend of about NE by SW can be recognized about her. On climbing one of the higher peaks you see innumerable others all around you with bare, ragged and forbidding summits and between them numerous


Illinlink, Unalashka I., Alaska

Date Original

1871 Oct 16


Original letter dimensions: 27 x 42.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0559

Copyright Statement

Some letters written to John Muir may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

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.

Page Number

Page 2


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