John Muir


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Man and other civilized animals are the only creatures that ever become dirty. No such compounds as those termed dirt are ever found within the province of Nature. Absolute unmistakable purity is all the creation of the Lord. Slept in the “barrens” at the side of a log. Suffered from cold and was drenched in dew. Dared not make a fire for danger of discovery by robber negroes. Had long walk after dark vainly hoping for the shelter of a roof. Very thirsty and often drank eagerly from slimy standing pools groped for in the grass, hurriedly for fear of alligators. 50th. Swamp very dense in the day’s journey. Almost one continuous sheet of water covered with aquatic trees and vines. No stream that I crossed to-day appeared to have the least idea where it was going. Saw an alligator splash into the brown sedgy water by the roadside from an old log. Arrived at night at the house of Captain Simmons, the first civilized intelligent man I have met in Florida. Bitterly prejudiced against “the North” but polite and kind to me nevertheless. He was an officer in the Confederate Army during the War and was of course hostile to those with whom he had been fighting. Our conversation as we sat by the light wood fire was of the one great question, slavery and its concomitants. I managed, however, to switch off upon something more congenial occasionally, the

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