John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



[While our own feed is deficient as to the] our old fashioned staff of life has failed altogether [&]. Billy the herder is somewhat demoralized & seems to care but little what becomes of his flock [the sheep This of course puts the care on me all the more heavily for I can no longer trust him]. He says that “since the Boss has failed to feed him he is not rightly bound to feed the sheep”, & swears that “no decent white man [man white & decent] can climb these steep mountains on mutton alone.”

“It is [was] not ["] fittin grub [etc] for a white man really white, for dogs and coyotes and Indians [Dogs & Indians was] it’s different. [, & coyotes & such vermin."] Good grub, good shepherd [work], good sheep [etc.] That’s what I say.” Such was Billy’s 4th of July oration and [it was] not altogether unreasabe [unreasonable]

[Patriotism almost forgotten in this disorder] & bread famine. A grand Ba-a-a of 2000 sheep power our only oration which is not likely to mend any good want of what ever kind.

July 5th} The clouds of noon .05 on the high Sierra seem yet more marvellously [marvelously] indescribably beautiful from day to day as one becomes more wakeful to see them. The smoke of the gunpowder burned yesterday on [over all] the lowlands has probably cleared


by this time, & also the [vapory][spread eagle] eloquence of the orators [the speeches even are no doubt growing dim in dim minds, & everyday work will move on]. Here everyday is a holiday [so [wholesome]spiritual & pure, no weariness follows].

A [grand] jubilee ever sounding (on) with [deep calm] serene enthusiasm, without wear or waste cloying or weariness, everything rejoicing, dancing and singing [its thrilling music reaching all the world, through heat & cold, light & darkness, sea & land, to heart of all things]. Not a single cell or crystal unvisited or forgotten. [one cellful of life or atom of crystal untouched or forgotten.]

July 6th} Mr Delaney has not arrived yet, & the bread famine is [getting] sore, [though the distance to Bull Creek where there is a store is not great, about a days journey perhaps, but it is not safe to leave the sheep now more unmanageable [sic] than ever.]

We must [just] eat mutton a while longer though it[s] [would] seems hard to get accustomed [impossible to learn] to it [like such as [plain] cat & dog diet however [abundant] [plentiful] long the lesson.] I have heard of Texas pioneers living without bread or anything made from the cereals for months without suffering, [making] using[e] [of] the breast meat of wild Turkey [instead of] for bread. This kind they had in abundance

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook05 Img065.jpg

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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