John Muir


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gold. On one side of the harbor was a city of yellow plants, the other a city of yellow stucco houses, narrowly and confusedly streeted. “Do you want to go ashore,” said the Captain to me. “Yes,” was my reply, “but I wish to go to the plant side of the harbor.” “Oh well, come with me now, there are some fine squares and gardens in the city full of all sorts of trees and flowers, and some day we will all go over the Morro hill wither you and gather shells. All kinds are there, but these yellow slopes that you see are only covered with weeds.” We jumped into the boat and a couple of sailors pulled us to the thronged and noisy wharf. It was Sunday afternoon, the noisiest day of the Havana week. Cathedral bells and prayers in the forenoon, theatre and bull fight, bells and bellowing in the afternoon – lowly whispered prayers to saints and the Virgin, followed by shouts of praise or reproach to matadors and bulls. I made free with the fine oranges and bananas and many other fruits. Pineapple I had never seen before – wandered about the narrow street stunned with the babel of strange sounds and sights. Gazed among the gorgeously flowered garden squares until our business-detained Captain arrived. Was glad to escape our little schooner Belle again weary and heavy laden with excitement and many beautiful tempting fruits. As night came on a thousand lights starred the great town.

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