[John Muir]


[Merrills & Moores]


image preview


[Cedar Key?] Jan 3d 68Dear friends I was so glad to hear from you I thought a letter from you had been lost but it found our Key at last about a month after it was written "Slow wanderings" which you applied to the motion of my letter may be applied to all Southern Mails Postal arrangements are miserable. I did not tell you where to write because I could not I did not go to places I came to them & seld knew where I would be found I cordially wish you all happy N year I am glad to know that you are all well I have been sick for two months with repeated attacks of fever bilious and intermittent. All who live here have fever sometime Had I not been comp- elled to stop I could not have been caught. My ups and downs of health may be seen at a glance upon this lineDeath line 100 80 60 [Diagram drawn in here] 40 Limits of health line 20I mean to start for Cuba tomorrow or next day I do not grow stronger here I shall be glad of the chance of studying the sea Matters here flow in a different channel from those of Ind. The preachers do not preach ch[illegible] do not breathe lecturers do not come to mar their comfort by building up that of others, nor do merchants spill each others blood all seek 100 per cent on every kind of goods There are only two seasons on this Key warm summer & warmer summer & as the weather goes smoothly over the points of union so our storms are not so loud nor so [illegible]. Thus our temp. of Dec. last was about 65° in shade this Key is 2 1/2 or 3 ms. in dia. & is 44 ft. above the sea at the highest point It is surrounded by scores of other keys, many of them beautifully covered by Palmettos Elders & live oak trimmed & united by many a flower & vivid with shining evergreen foliage others consists of just a bank of shells or sand with a few mangroves & grasses encompassed with a broad rim of rushes forming a dear retirement for gray & weary seabirds especially pelicans rich in fish All of these islets are in shallow water inside the bars & at low tide some of them are united just below the house is quite a extensive tract regularly laid with farms rich favorite feeding ground for thousands of white & blue cranes & a multitude of other waders, day by day they gather from the reedy islands & from the woods confident that their food ready I have watched these noble flocks of fowls with the deepest int- as they gracefully had their daily bread upon these open banks & shallows. Happy happy birds with such


Ced[ar] Key[s], [Fla]

Date Original

1868 Jan 3


Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 13.0 cm

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 01, Image 1164

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