John Muir


image preview


meal, also two boys about 10 years old, saying as a reason, “They are little ones. You must let them into the pilot-house,” where the meal was served. We called in a girl 18 years old who was looking wistfully through the window, but none of the Indians seemed to care about her getting anything. We enquired the cause, explaining that white men always served the ladies first. The orator said that while girls were small they always looked after them, but when they grew up they always went away from their parents and were of no use to them, and that they could look out for themselves. Wondering how those who had got but little from us could find anything to eat, I went on deck and discovered four of them dining heartily on the skin and blubber of whale, which they were eating raw with hearty relish, swallowing large blocks of black and white that they cut off with a butcher knife. The skin is black like rubber, one inch thick, and to this there was about an inch of blubber attached. They get the whale skin from the whalers, excepting the little they procure themselves. They hunt the whale now with lanes and gear of every kind bought from the whalers, and sometimes succeed in killing a good many. They eat the carcass, and save the bone to trade to the whalers, who are eager to get it. After the old orator had left the reindeer man told us that he was a “bad fellow, all the same as a dog;” that he had killed two men while drunk. “All the time talk, talk too much – he dog!”

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 11.5 x 21 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

Rights Management

To view additional information on copyright and related rights of this item, such as to purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish them, click here to view the Holt-Atherton Special Collections policies.


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