James T. White


John Muir


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the air a constant storm, etc. 250Coming on of night. Wood thrush [giving?] [his?] farewell melody to the disappearing day the firefly glittering. Whip poor will heard owl preparing to search field & forest Rooks going home to nests of young cattle treading heavily to pens, sheep gathering to the lee of rocks or [protecting?] hedgeTo birds. "Cuckoo [cry?] English call is singing, Many speak in raptures of its sweet voice & the same people tell me in cold blood that we have no bird that can sing. I wish they had a chance to judge of the powers of the Mock-bird red thrush cat-bird Oriole Indigo Bunting & even the Whip poor will What would they say of a half million of Robins about to take their departure for the North making the woods fairly tremble with melodious harmony?Reservation article in AtlanticSurprising growth of every living thing animal or vegetable. In 6 weeks I have seen the eggs laid, the birds hatched, their 1st moult half over their assoc in flocks & preparations begun for then leaving this country.That the Creator should have commanded mils of delicate [diminutive?] tender creatures to cross immense spaces of country to all appearance 1000 times more congenial to them than this, to cause them to people as it were this desolate land for a time to enliven it with sweet song for 2 mos at most, & by this same command induce them to abandon it almost suddenly is as wonderful as it is beautiful[in margin: [illegible] fruits [illegible] ripe yet 6 weeks ago [illegible] whole [country?] was a sheet of snow]268Audubon Noteswild sheep horns battered by fighting heard a mile says [Provost?]- hunter. This easily approachedNature leaped as it were at her own marvelsSpeed of birds. Swallows 2 1/2 ms per minuteWild pidgeons traveling 2, swans 2, wild turkeys 1 3/4100s of times have I spoken to him quite loudly in the woods as I looked on the silvery streams or the dense swamps or the noble Ohio or on Mtns loosing their peak in gray mists or [illegible] silverHe (W. Scott) might describe as no other man can the stream the swamp the river the mtn for the sake of future ages. & cant hence they will not be here as I see them. Nat will have been robbed of many brilliant charms, the rivers will be [tormented?] and turned astray from their primitive courses, the hills leveled with the swamps & the & perhaps the swamps will have become a mound surmounted by a fortress of a 1000 guns. Scarce a magnol will Louisiana possess, the horned deer will exist nowhere fish no longer abound in the rivers, the Eagle scarce can alight & these millions of lovely songsters will be driven away or slain by man


New York

Date Original



Original letter dimensions: 28 x 21.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 10, Image 0587

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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.

Page Number

Page 2


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