John Muir


[John Muir]


Dan[iel H. Muir]



Ranch in the foothills two miles from La Grange Merced Co Cal'a. Apr 17th 69

Dear brother Dan

Your letter of Feb 22' reached me a few days ago over on Dry Creek where I was engaged in the wooly work of sheepshearing I am glad to hear that unto David a son is born, & that you have discovered a profession & a girl, that you can cordially make you own. I have always [maintain?] ed that the Scotch are the salt of the earth, the French are more off[illegible] & [illegible]. The [illegible] more lively & graceful & the Germans more [dreamy?] & imaginative, but for real kindness of heart - depth of intellect & all of the graver-higher attributes of humanity the sons of Coladonia are unequalled

[in margin: I mean to go to South America next winter, then to Europe. Then however the plains & mountains of Cala are glorious again with innumerable flowers. It is raining today. The peaks of the Sierras are covered in clouds. My [illegible] is [illegible]. Covered address Hopeton's as before.]


As a [illegible] first then I rejoice at the birth of every Scot in general, & every Muir in particular, & I am glad to hear that there is [illegible] [illegible] of your soon engaging in the good work & furnishing [illegible] of precious scotch element to the grand human mass of the earth As for myself I am lost absorbed - Captivated with the divine & in fathomable loneliness & grandeur of Nature. Somehow I feel separated from the mass of mankind, & I do not know whether I can return to the or- dinary modes of feeling & thinking or not, I work hard for the means of traveling, & find myself able to make what is called a fortune in a great variety of ways, but bread & sunshine birds & flowers & open sky are enough for the comfort & delight of my existence


David attends to the feeding & clothing of people. Your are going to feel the pocket & the pulse, & for varietys sake I ought to “way my head in a [poopit”?]. I think I might preach Nature like an apostle, but if I should enter an ordinary ecclesestical pulpit, I fear I should be found preaching much that was unsanctified & unorthodox. There are three of us, & we should have adopted the three professions, David, ought to have been a Lawyer. You a preacher, & I a doctor, for David is the most cunning You the most p[illegible], & I the most [illegible] I hope that you will push your courtship & profession to a successful issue, of the first I will say nothing as doubtless you understand the matter better than I do, but allow me to write a line or two [illegible] the profession of your choice


to not seek to prepare yourself in too short a time, or at too small an expense of money or app[illegible] [illegible]. I suppose that after studying a while with a doctor that you could go through the requ[illegible] course [illegible] in two years, but you should be willing to devote a year or two to latin & general science. If you are ready for the practice of your profession in [illegible] in six years. You will be doing well enough. Set your mark high a Doctor ought to know a great many things, the [illegible] ignorant mercenary, back woods e[illegible]ians are as little worthy the name as any numbers of the [illegible] [illegible]- in the world. All that is required is knowledge, common sense, & manliness In regard to money you can always count on what I happen to have about me. I am not done with my travels yet. I may see you in one or two yrs


… two miles from La Grange Merced Co. Cala

Date Original

1869 Apr 17


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0075

Collection Identifier

Online finding aid for the microform version of the John Muir Correspondence

Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see

Owning Institution

The Huntington Library. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date



4 pages


Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters



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