John Muir


[Ralph Waldo] Emerson


image preview


I have been going about the valley all morning & day, anxious to learn what I could of this magnificent power. The ground is still in motion. It has never fairy settled since the first shock. Between each of the greater shocks a heavy rumbling is heard, not always dis- tinguishable from the explosive notes of the Upper Fall. These are the first spoken words that I have heard direct from the tender bosom of Mother Earth. Frogs cease their songs when a severe shock occurs. I noticed a pair of robins flying with a frightened cheep cheep from a shaken oak. Butterflies seem to know nothing about it. Vertical animals are mostly in sore consternation. Two or three have fled. A little girl of Hutchings cried terror stricken in the night, Grandma! Grandma! Pray to God to stop it. [I met?] two violets up by Indian Canon & I asked them while I looked in their eyes, what they thought of the great quake storm. They replied "It's all Love". We have lost Eagle Rock but have gained another that is more beautiful, Distruction is always creation; storms of water & & cloud, Storms of azure wind, & purple granite, are things of Beauty & Love, working Beauty & Love constantly "higher yet higher" - I did not purpose sending so much storm. I write mostly to repeat my invitation to Yosemite next summer. for this year Pacific letters fly Atlanticward like wounded birds, All are unsteady & many fall dead in drifts. Therefore


Yosemite Valley

Date Original

1872 Mar 26


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0741

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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

The Houghton Library, Harvard University. 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 3


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