M.W. Harrington


John Muir


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island formerly well separated from the main island (Unimak) is now connected with it by a neck of land four feet above the water. I have made a little study of the successive beaches of a raised sea passage in this harbor, which illustrates the point very neatly but I haven't room for it here. Besides the elevation of the surface, a continual change is going on in it. Where one author located and made a drawing of a saddle shaped mountain another traveler saw only a un broken ridge, and where was once the summit of a mountain at another time was a valley or the sides of some other mountain. It has not been the slow and gentle action here which Lyell and Hall and others advocate, which has made these mountains. The force has been violent. At first it was rapid as shown by the summits which show little signs of the action of water. It then grew slower and slower as the signs of water action increase as you descend. The force is still at work but is almost dead. Such are some of the hasty conclusions I have drawn in my three weeks stay here. I believe you said to me "Look out for glaciers". I have looked out for them but have not seen a single sign of one since I have been here, except the one on Makuschin, and that is small and imperfect. There are no signs here of extensive glaciers; no scratches in the rocks, no drift, boulders or roches mountomnees, no old moraines. For my part, I do not think there have been more than local glaciers on the Coast. May I have the pleasure of hearing from you soon and often. My address will be San Francisco, Care U.S. Coast Survey. Communication from here with civilization is infrequent and uncertain, but does sometimes occur. With hearty wishes for your welfare I am Yours sincerely M. W. Harrington. 00454


Illinlink, Unalashka I., Alaska

Date Original

1871 Oct 16


Original letter dimensions: 27 x 42.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0563

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 4


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