dun-green, knotty, sparsely planted pines. Soil is mostly sand, white and finely grained. 26th. In the afternoon reached Athens. A remarkably beautiful aristocratic town, containing many classic and magnificent mansions of the wealthy planters who formerly owned large negro-stocked plantations in the best cotton and sugar regions farther south. Unmistakable marks of culture and refinement were everywhere apparent. The most beautiful town so far I have seen on this journey and the only one in the South that I would like to revisit. (Politeness of negroes.) 27th. Long zigzag walk amid old plantations, a few of which are still cultivated in the old way by the same negroes that worked them before the war, who occupy their former “quarters”. They are now paid seven to ten dollars per month. Weather very hot on these sandy, lightly shaded, lowland levels. Discovered a delicious spring in a sandstone basin overhung with shady bushes and vines where I enjoyed to the utmost that divine blessing, pure cold water. Discovered here a fine southern fern and some new grasses, etc. Thought I must [Drawing - “Fern Spring.”]
Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist