and superior strength. No wonder, since our government does nothing for them. Common rifles would be better for them, partly on account of the difficulty of obtaining supplies of cartridges, and partly because temp them to destroy large amounts of game which they do not need. The reindeer has in this manner been well-nigh exterminated within the few last years. July 14, a hot sunny day. Came to anchor this morning at the head of Kotzebue Sound opposite the mouth of the Kiwalik River. Between 8 and 9 o’clock in the morning, Lieut. Reynolds, with six seamen, took Mr. Nelson and me up the river in one of the boats. We reached a point about 8 miles from the mouth of the estuary near the head of the delta. Since the bay is shoal off the estuary, the ship was anchored about 4 miles from the mouth. Therefore, we had a journey of about 24 miles altogether. We first landed at the mouth of the estuary and walked a mile or two along a bar shoved up by the waves and the ice. Here we found one native hut in good repair. The inhabitants were away, but the trodden grass showed that they had not been gone very long. This is the time of the year when the grand gathering of the clans for trade takes place at Cape Blossom, and they probably had gone there. The floor of the hut was about 10 ft. in dia., was made of a frame of driftwood covered with sod, and was entered by a narrow tunnel 2 ft. high and 18 inches wide. We saw traces of a great many houses [outline of arrangement of hut]
Original journal dimensions: 11.5 x 21 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist