John Muir


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was having a farewell talk with his wife, who seemed very anxious about his safety and long absence. His little boy, too, about a year and a half old, had been told that his father was going away and he seemed to understand somewhat, as he kept holding him by the legs and trying to talk to him while looking up in his face. When we started away from the house he kissed his boy and bade him goodbye. The little fellow in his funny bags of fur toddled after him until caught and carried back by some of the women who were looking on. Joe’s wife came aboard for a final farewell. After taking him aside and talking with him, the tears running down her cheeks, she left the vessel and went back with some others who had come to trade deerskins, while we sailed away. One touch of nature makes all the world kin, and here were many touches amount the wild Chukehis. We next proceeded to St. Lawrence Bay in search of furs and more dogs and came to anchor at the mouth of the bay, opposite a small Chukehi settlement of 2 huts, at half past one in the afternoon, May 29. This bay, like all I have seen along this coast, is of glacial formation, conducting back into glacial fountains in the range of peaks of moderate height. The wind was blowing hard from the south and snow was falling. The natives, however, came off at once to trade. Here we met the voluble Jaroochah, who sat gravely on the sloppy deck in the sludge and told the story of the wrecked Vigilance in a loud, vehement, growling, roaring voice and with frantic gestures, he assured us over and over again that there was no use in going to seek any of the crew, for they were all dead and the ship with her broken masts had drifted away again to the north with the ice-pack. When told that we would certainly seek them whether dead or alive he explained that the snow and ice were too soft for sleds at this time of year. Seeing that we were still unconvinced, he doubtless regarded us foolish and incorrigible white trash. We went ashore to fetch some dogs they offered to sell, but they changed their minds and refused to sell at any price. Nor were they willing to barter for deerskins we needed for

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 11 x 18.5 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