aboriginal forest along estuary of river, wild place so near civilization, wild on acct of sandy sterility of soil where people live by scratching out meager crops from sand, and by crabbin, froggin, and fishin. Got tired and hired a horse and wagon from farmer; searched in vain for Vaccinium, and made haste back to station for train to discover that the return train ran only every other day. Sargent began to grow ill, throat, fever, headache, sore bones, etc. Hired team and surrey to take us 17 ms across the country to another rr to catch train that passed at 1:20 A.M. Went to bed at 9, called at 12:45, little sleep, Sargent none; went to bed in sleeper 2d time. The drive from Millsborough to Laurel was over flat sandy country well timbered with oak and Taeda pine, mostly 2d growth about 80 ft h; hickory common and some fine specimens of Tulip, Sassafras, persimmon; an almost continous stretch of fields bounded by abrupt walls of trees reached from town to town all the 17 ms . Strawberries, rasp, tomatoes, cultivated for NY market on most famous farms, also little wheat, buckwheat, corn, etc., few cattle hogs, etc. Tomato canning establishments common. Land cropped over in 3 yrs. This is said to be the N limit of Taxadium and cane of cane brakes; saw both. Had little sleep on train, Sargent none. [Oct 13]. Arrived at Wilmington at 4:20 A.M. Drove to Canby’s home and went to bed a 3d time, arose at 8:45 and took train at 10 for Boston; arrived at 8:30 and drove to Doctor’s office, Mr. S being seriously ill; then to Brookline and so to bed. Had Sargent’s sickness not intervened we would have spent another day in Delaware and stopped in Philadelphia and NY to see museums, etc. I had intended passing a few days at NY before going to Boston but Sargent thought the foliage was ripe and that I had better go
Original journal dimensions: 9 x 15 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist