John Muir


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Just as we neared the shore we saw an old woman hastening back into the woods with a keg of hootchenoo. They suspected the whites of seeking to confiscate their whisky. Our Indians regard the Auks with ineffable contempt. “They are not men, they are dogs,” said old Toyatte who had a club fight a few months ago. How could such trash dare to come to Wrangel to fight with men. He refused to hoist his flag while nearing the village, and told Mr. Y[oung] that he hoped he would not ask him to lead in prayer if he held a meeting, for he could not pray for such renegades. {sketch: Prow of Sitka Jack’s Canoe} At another camp of Kakes or Hoonas that we visited the day before we found the whysky business in full blast – and oil can with a short zigzag tin worm. They said that an old man, a friend of theirs, was about to die and they were getting the whisky ready for his funeral – suggestive of an Irish wake. Our Indians were getting out of oily flesh which they regard as a necessity. The bacon was nearly done, so they eagerly enquired at every camp we passed for this sort of food, and at length found porcupine and wild sheep. The sheep flesh was dirty, but was eaten as necessary by Mr. Y[oung]. I found bread and beans and dried fruit of which we had abundance preferable to anything bloody and foul. {sketch: Covering front of dead-house Hoona Vil.} While yet 8 or 10 miles from the mouth of the bay we found a large number of stranded ice-bergs on t he shore that had drifted at least 30 or 40 ms for the gl[acier]s from which they came are at the head of the bay. A very large one came sailing majestically down before the wind just before dark. Nov. 12 Left camp at 6 o’clock – nearly an hour before daybreak. A violent wind was sweeping down the bay, making it impossible to visit the gl[acier]s at the head. We sailed across at fine speed, keeping

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 11.5 x 18 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