John Muir


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137 bluff. A board at the head of each with the date of their death. Most were killed in the 26 apr [April] surprised by the Modocs while eating lunch & were shot down like frightened sheep. At the base of the bluff wh [which] is 450 ft high there is soil enough to bury them It is a lonely place yet not without beauty. The winds come down from the mtns [mountains] & through the spiny pines & though broken into strange tones on the lava beds is yet fraught with the [balsam] fragrance of the forest & a bay of the placid lake curves up near it filled with ducks & cranes lively scene. [Proceeding] Picking our way south E over the strange [ridges] & hollows of lava beds we come in a few minutes to a circular [flat] a [score] of yds [yards] in dia [diameter] where [by] the [smoothness] of the lava a few handfuls of soils enables the grass tufts to grow more luxuriously

138 than elsewhere. This is the scene of the Canby murder. It is where Canby met his fate From here our guide led us along shore of lake 2 1/2 mis [miles] to the Main Mod [Modoc] Stronghold disturbing numerous flocks of water fowl as we clanked over the flinty lava. The strongholds of Inds [indians] are chiefly fields of tall grass swamps & thickets where they can crouch like cats & make themselves invisible But the Modoc castle is found in [solid] rock. When the Yosem [Yosemite] Inds [indians] committed depredations on the whites of Mariposa they carried their spoils into the Yosem [Yosemite] Val [Valley] as into a stronghold not likely to be taken by the whites. & unlike [ ] the Modocs are said to have boasted that they had a [stone] house into wh [which] no white man could come.

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 9 x 14.5 cm.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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