John Muir


[Jeanne C.] Carr


image preview


14of great beauty & variety in wh the river has swept & curled shifting from side to side retreating & returning as determined by flood & the gradual erosion & removal of drift beds formerly laid down A few miles above here at the village of La Grange the wild river has made some astonishing deposits in its young days through wh it now flows with the manners of stately old age apparently disclaiming all knowledge of then, but a thousand thousand bowlders gathered from many a moraine swashed & ground in potholes record their history & tell of white floods of a grandeur not easily conceived Noble sections nearly a hundred feet deep are laid bare like a book by the mining company. Water is drawn from the river 00691 15several miles above & conducted by ditches & pipes & made to play upon these deposits for the gold they contain Thus the Tuolumne of today is compelled to unravel & lay bare its own ancient history wh’ is a thousandfold more important than the handfuls of gold sand it chances to contain I mean to return to these magnificent records in a week or two & turn the gold disease of the La Grangers to account in learning the grand old story of the Sierra flood period. If these hundred laborious hydraulicers were under my employ they could not do me better service & all along the Sierra flank thousands of strong arms are working for me incited by the small golden bai[illegible] Who shall say that I am not rich? Up through the purple foothills to Coulterville where I met many hearty shaggy mountaineers glad to see me. Strange to say the Overland studies have been read & discussed in the most unlikely places


Yosemite Valley

Date Original

[1874 Sep]


Original letter dimensions: 25 x 40 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 03, Image 0195

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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 9


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