John Muir


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until next spring - that I would find much to interest me in and about the great cave, etc. Also that he was one of the school officials and was sure I could obtain their school for the winter term. I thanked him for his kind plans, but pursued my own. Sept. 7. Left the hospitable Kentuckians with their sincere good wishes and bore away southward again through the deep green woods. In magnificent forest all day. Saw mistletoe for first time - traveled part of to-day with a Kentuckian from near Burkesville. He spoke to all the negroes he met with familiar kindly greetings, addressing them always as uncles and aunts. All travelers, white and black, male and female, travel on horseback. Glasgow is one of the few southern towns possessed of ordinary American life. At night with a well-to-do farmer. Sept. 8. Deep green bossy sea of waving flowing hill forest. Corn and cotton and tobacco fields scattered here and there. Cotton is a coarse, rough, straggling, unhappy looking plant. I had imagined that a cotton field in flower was something magnificent, but it does not possess half the beauty of a field of Irish potatoes. Met a great many negroes going to meeting, dressed in their Sunday best, fat, happy looking and contented. Scenery on approaching the Cumberland river, becomes still grander. Burkesville in beautiful position, embosomed in glorious array of verdant flowing hills. The Cumberland must be a happy stream. I think I could enjoy traveling with it in the midst of such beauty all my life. This evening could find none willing to take me in, and so lay down on a hillside and fell asleep muttering praises to the happy abounding beauty of Kentucky. 9th. Another day in the happiest provinces of bird and flower. Many rapid streams flowing in beautiful flower-bordered channels embowered in dense woods. Am seated on a grand hill slope that is laid against the sky like a picture - amid the wide waves of green wood there are spots of autumnal yellow, and the atmosphere too has the dawnings of autumn in color and sound. The soft light of morning falls on ripening forests of oak and elm, walnut and hickory, and all Nature is calm and thoughtful. Kentucky is the greenest leafiest state I have seen. The sea of soft temperate plant-green is deepest here. Comparing volumes of vegetable verdure in different countries to a wedge, one end would be in the forests

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