The transition from one to the other of these conditions was gradual and orderly: first a nearly simple tableland. Then a grand mer de glace shedding its slow-crawling currents to the ocean and becoming gradually more wrinkled as unequal erosion roughened its bed and brought its highest ridges above the surface. Then a land of lakes, an almost continuous sheet of water from the Sierra to the Wahsatch [Wasatch], adorned with innumerable mountain islands. Then a slow dessication [desiccation] and decay to present conditions. Such a mer de glace would form a fine barrier to the northward march of your Asiatic plants and hold them perhaps until they perished or came into competition with others better adapted to the changed conditions.
San Francisco [Calif.]
1879 Feb 1
Original letter dimensions: 11 x 18
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Directors' Correspondence 199/312-317
The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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 http://www.pacific.edu/Library/Find/Holt-Atherton-Special-Collections/Fees-and-Forms-.html
Documents reproduced with the kind permission of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
DC 199 ff 312 317 image 5
John Muir, correspondence, letters, author, writing, naturalist, California, correspondent, mail, message, post, exchange of letters, missive, notes, epistle