John Muir


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that the whole earth was not made for him. When an animal from a tropic clime is taken to high latitude and it perishes of cold we say that animal was “never intended” for so severe a climate. But when man is taken to humid portions of the tropics and perishes amid deadly malarias, he cannot see that he was “never intended” for such climates. No, he will rather accuse his first mother of the difficulty, who never once beheld a fever district, or will consider it as providential chastisement for some sin. And all uneatable and uncivilizable animals and all plants which carry prickles are deplorable evils, which according to closet researches of clergy require the cleansing chemistry of universal planetary combustion. But only mankind require burning, and if that transmundane furnace can be so applied and regulated as to smelt us to conformity with the rest of the terrestrial creation, the tophetization of the erratic genus were a consummation devoutly to be prayed for; but, glad to leave these ecclesiastical fires, I joyfully return to the immortal truth and immortal beauty of Nature. One day in January I climbed to the housetop to behold yet another of the fine sunsets of this land of flowers. The landscape was a strip of clear Gulf, a strip of sylvan coast, a tranquil company of shell and coral Keys, and a gorgeous dome of sky, without a threatening cloud. All winds were hushed and the calm of the heavens was as profound as that of the isles and their encircling waters. As I gazed from gem to gem of the palm-crowned Keys shut in and measured by the sunset dome, my eye chanced to rest upon the fluttering sails of a Yankee

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