John Muir


David [Gilrye Muir]


image preview


[4]at the wild and novel business of sheep shearing, & had very funny, lawless, exciting times. There was about thirty men in the first gang I worked in, composed of Spanish, Indian, Irish, English, Scottish, & mixed mongrel unanal- yzable elements of Californian society "too numerous to mention" All of this pied regiment in driving the sheep into the shearing pens would hoot and yell like demons the sheep, wild as antelopes, would become ungovernable, & a sort of wholesale sheep hunt would commence in which deeds of romantic daring might be witnessed in the heaving, surging masses of men & mutton equal to those of the knights of old in [illegible] tournament These sheep are not like those of Palestine - dumb before there shearer's for many of them keep up wild & obstreperous warfare with kick & bleat, from the first snip at ears to the last at tail[in margin: My love to [Allie?] & My little ones. Please write very soon & advise Maggie & [J Reid?] & all the [rest?] to write affectionately JM M[illegible] not dated. Praising the country. Sheep Shearing [JC?]][1] On Merced River near Snelling, Merced Co Cal' July 14th [1868].Dear Bro' David I have lived under the sunny sky of California nearly 3 1/2 months, but have not yet rec'd a single letter from any source - perhaps a few went to the dead letter off' while I was in the mountains, but I am settled now with a ranchman for eight or nine months, & hope to enjoy a full share of the comfort of letters during my long isolation. I traveled along the San Jose valley from San Fran' to Gilroy & crossed the Diabolo Mountains by the Pecheco pass, crossed the plains & river of San Joaquin, & traveled on into the Sierra Nevada's to the mammoth trees & magnificent Yo Semite Valley, thence down the Merced to this place.[in margin: Send my letters to Hopeton, It is nearer than Snelling. Address [illegible] [deleted] Merced Co California]


…Merced River Near Snelling, Merced Co., Cal.

Date Original

[1868] Jul 14


Original letter dimensions: 22.0 x 26.5 cm

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 01, Image 1216

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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 1


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