John Muir


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of Galilee was half as beautiful as Bonaventure I do not wonder that a man should dwell among its tombs. It is only three or four miles from Savannah and is reached by a smooth white road made of shells. There is but little to be seen on the way in land, water, or sky, that would lead one to hope for the glories of Bonaventure. The ragged desolate fields on both sides of the road are overrun with coarse rank weeks and show scarce a trace of cultivation. But soon all is changed. Rickety log huts, broken fences, and the last patch of weedy rice stubble are left behind. You find the edge of the uncultivated forest. You come to clumps of purple liatris and living wildwood trees. You hear the song of birds - cross a small stream and are with nature in the grand old forest graveyard, so beautiful that almost any sensible person would choose to dwell here with the dead rather than with the lazy disorderly living. Part of the grounds were cultivated and planted with oaks one hundred years ago by a wealthy gentleman who had his country residence here, but by far the greater portion is undisturbed and even on those spots disordered by art, Nature is ever at work to reclaim them and make them look as if the foot of man had never neared them. Only a small plot of ground is occupied with graves, and the old mansion in the ruins. The most open glory of Bonaventure is its noble avenue of live oaks, but planted in grand avenues there are thousands of smaller trees and clustered bushes covered almost from sight in the brightness of their own light. The place is half surrounded by the salt marshes and islets of the river, their reeds and sedges make a delightful fringe. Many bald eagles roost on the trees along the sides of the marsh. Their screams are constantly heard joined with the noise of the crows, and the songs of countless warblers hidden deep

Date Original

July 1867


Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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