John Muir


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1st day a little headache. 2nd fine independence, freedom from the flesh; nothing to do but enjoy myself. 3rd felt a little weakness and gauntness in going up grade, and on the 3rd day of fasting combined with climbing the position of the snowline and timber on the mountains always became less interesting than the breadline. Dr. Stebbins, one of Harvard’s honored sons now on our side of the continent, told me he had lived on a dollar a week while pursuing his studies here. Through part of my course as a student I lived on ½ dollar per week. Though now I fancy little hunger is known here excepting the hunger for knowledge. This is a fine dinner and the bread part of it I could have enjoyed more I have seen the time and times tho’ the least significant part of it. For many years Harvard has seemed to me, with the freshness of conception that grows in solitude, looking calmly for God’s mtns tops and the depths of forests, to be the brightest educational light on this continent, a generous fountain sending forth good men like rays of light into the dark of ignorance. I was fortunate I meeting some of the best of your Harvard men, and at once recognized them as the best of God’s nobles. Emerson, Agassiz, Gray these men influenced me more than any others. Yes, the most of my yrs were spent on the wild side of the continent invisible in the forests and mtns. These men were the first to find me and hail me as their brother. First of all, and greatest of all, came Emerson. I was then living in Yosemite Val as a convenient and grand vestibule of the Sierra from wh I could make excursions in the adjacent mtns. I had not much money was then running a mill that I had built to saw fallen timber for cottages. When

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Original journal dimensions: 8.5 x 14.5 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