John Muir


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Bay; so many old friends did I meet such as Linnaea, Ledum Coptis, Pyrola, Baccinium, Cranberry , Partridge berry, Lycopodium, Mosses, Ferns and a’that and a’ that and ….. muckle of true bog beauties dear to the heart of every dweller of the cool North. There is a hard compact quartzite here which rises above the general level in smooth rocky mountains which retain the grooves and scratches and some of the polish of the ice which flowed West. Glacial traces in general better preserved here than elsewhere on the coast as far as I have seen. So much moss and moisture seems to erode the surface in a short time, as well as hide it. The presence of the Jamestown with her dignity of cannon power and official buttons is said to exert a most salutary influence on the behavior of the Indians. That the government would in some way have an unmistakable representation here is plain. Then let power appear to whatever extent is requisite to the enforcement of simple justice such as every Indian understands quite as well as whites. This may easily be accomplished. One gunboat, first class in everything save size, would be sufficient for the whole territory because the Indians dwell in permanent villages on the edge of navigable water wedged in between the woods and deep water at the mercy of such a ship. The Indians seldom go back into the tangled woods; they live and move on the water, and have a genius for justice that is quite phenomenal. They are human; therefore do what is wrong now and then, but a good thrashing, prompt, heavy and wholesale and whole-souled, discriminating only as to the offending tribes, not as to individuals, - such a punishment will last on the average about one generation, and is ever found to be productive of the best results, peace and good will. It is a common saying that savages respect only power; these seem literally to kiss the rod and love it, and therefore need it only once in a lifetime. The agency fort-and-soldier system begets only disease, crime, debauch, general demoralization and death. They, {Sketch: View in Granville Sound}

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Original journal dimensions: 8.5 x 13.5 cm.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist