John Muir


William Trout


image preview


[Page 4] I most devoutly disbelieve. This so-called development theory yet it is far from being necessarily absurd or ridiculous there is a great deal of misapprehension and confused misunderstanding among people in general concerning it. I perceive in Chas Darwin not a visionary enthusiast nor malicious enemy to revealed religion but a profound and righteous philosopher an earnest seeker after truth at the un[ ]gled fountains of pure nature. The mind of Darwin is not itself satisfied with his own theory. He has had excellent opportunities for observation. This great intellect is brooding over the vast ocean of organic farms the he has beheld striving after comprehensive generalizations, in short striving with honest scientific ardor to read the laws under which the Lord creates them. If I had time I might set forth a great many facts in favor of Darwin’s theory but a far greater number against it as far however as our Christian religion is concerned I cannot see that it injures it in the least. I am sorry for the dead religion so prevalent in your town but in striving to make people see religious truth as you see it remember that all have equal accountability and may well enjoy their own opinions however much they may differ from your own. I have to confess that I am more liberal than ever and less likely to agree with you on these points from when with you. My sawmill works well. I am working here in a kind of half independent way for $70 per month in gold with board etc., right in the spray of grand falls. Remember me with great respect to your wife, and to all your family in general. I am as ever most cordially your friend, John Muir

[Page 1] Yosemite Valley May 28th 70 Dear Friend William I am sorry that I have neglected your October letter so long. Your having married a wife gives ample covering to all your epistolary omissions but I who am not pressed by a single practical care ought to be more attentive when an old and tried friend speaks. Well you are married yet it seems difficult for me to remember you as anything than the most mechanical of all the Trouts. One by one, you have as Lord Bacon says, given pledges to fortune as a family you were always much united thinking and doing alike under all circumstances and it is not strange that the summer season of matrimony should break upon all your family at the same time & some philosophers speculate


Yosemite Valley [Calif.]

Date Original

1870 May 28


Original letter dimensions: 20 x 13 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

MSS 2 M953t Trout

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

1870 May 28 JM to WT p 1 & 4


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