John Muir


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rather than of backwardness. “There was a place back he’a”, said my worthy entertainer, “whar they was a mill-house, and store-house, and still-house, and spring-house, and blacksmith shop, all in the same yard - cows too, and heaps o’big gals a milkin’ ‘em.” This is the most primitive country I have seen, primitive in everything. The most hidden places of Wisconsin are far in advance of the mountains of Tennessee and N. Carolina, but my host speaks of the old-fashioned unenlightened times like a philosopher in the best light. “I believe in Providence,” said he. “Our fathers came into these valleys and they got the richest of them skimmed off - the cream off the ground. It won’t yield no roastin’ ears now. But the Lord foresaw this and prepared something else for us, and what is it? Why he meant us to bust open these copper mines and then we will have money to buy the corn that we cannot raise.” A most profound observation! 18th. Up the mountain upon the state line. The scenery is immeasurably grander than any I ever before beheld. The view extended to the Cumberland Mountains on the north and far into Georgia and N. Carolina to the south - an area of about 5000 square miles. Such an ocean of wooded, waving, swelling mountain beauty and grandeur is not to be described, countless forest-clad hills side by side in rows and groups seemed to be enjoying the rich sunshine and remaining motionless only because they were so eagerly absorbing it. All were united by curves and slopes of inimitable softness and beauty. Oh these forest gardens of our Father! What perfection, what divinity in their architecture, what simplicity, what mysterious complexity! Who shall read the teachings of these flowery sylvan sheets, the glad brotherhood of rills that sing in these valleys, and of all the happy creatures that dwell in them under the tender keeping of a Father’s care. 19th. Received warning of dangers upon my path through the mountains - was told by my entertainer of a wondrous gap in the mountains which he advised me to see. “It is called Track Gap,” said he, “from the great number of tracks in

Date Original

July 1867


Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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