John Muir


William Trout


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[Page 2] about the time America after having fully populated shall lose her grand civilization and become savage and solitary again but I fear no such thing for the settlements about the shores of the Georgian bay. There will always be shoals and schools of Trout and flocks of Jays. What thickets and clumps of strangers shall have grown up in the old family plantation ere I see you again. On reaching home after being with you I had difficulty in recognizing some well known trees, they were so thickly surrounded with small ones that had grown up in my absence and so William I fear it will be with you. But now to change this ramble in the Trout woods let us have a word on the Darwinian theory of origin of species mentioned in your last. You ought to be among the last to find fault with the development theory for I can prove that you were derived from a fish from the lack of fixity in species. [Page 3] You cling to the shores of that bay of yours as if you belonged to its waters. You are always dabbling in water not with fins to be sure but with wheels, which essentially are nothing but a circle of fins though you call them buckets and add to this your fondness for swimming and also the conclusive philological argument of your name. I am not a swimmer at all. I am a wader my broad feet prove it. I naturally took to wading the swamps of Florida and also waded for weeks on your Canada marshes. Clearly I am not derivable from any animal species. I sprang as my name and instinct and habits indicate directly from the Muir from a Scottish bog or bank of heather bushes. But akin to draw a long face my page is half done and nothing said I must do better in speaking to a married man so here is a broad line and not a bit of nonsense comes this [illegible]


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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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 2 & 3


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