John Muir


John Muir


Dan[iel Muir Jr.]


[1870] (1869?)

Tuolumne river - Two miles below La Grange, Sep 22th

Dear Doctor Dan

Your notes of June 25 & Aug 28 have just reached me For the last four months I have been away from post offices at the summit of the great Sierra Nevada mountains among the stored up treasures of everlasting [snow?] As to your proper fraternal feeling in regard to a more frequent interchange of [illegible] thoughts I would state that I will always be glad to scribble you some sort of a pow wow in response to any of yours be they of a [illegible] handle, medical, theological or scientific character As to that 60 dollars you may keep it untill you emerge a burning & a shining light from Ann Arbor "wise men & bones" Her Doctor are a few feelings & facts from my experiences which may be of use to you in your Esculapism researches. I was very hungry in Georgia having eaten only about one meal [15?] or so hours. My mind was unclouded, memory clear, appetite good, the forest trees seemed to be running round in a circle [illegible] & all of the streams by the roadside seemed to be running up hill. - One time this summer in the mountains we got out of flour, & all we had to eat was mutton & molasses candy. A staff of life composed of this material is to say the least Doctor

[in margin: Goodnight Dan the MD or DM. May you be very successful in counting rickety pulses & [illegible] old sores. Dr. Carr of Madison Wis. is now Prof in Cal State University. I saw Prof Butler last Aug in the Yo Semite Valley. [illegible] just read in letter from [illegible] telling that he has sailed for the [illegible] islands. I have enjoyed a month [illegible] among the glorious sublimities of God's mountains. May you live to enjoy the ["like?"] from your [illegible] bro John]

a very poor stick. But in speaking to a medical man I ought to be more particular & so I will quote direct from my diary "July2d, - [Tea?] & mutton! - to this little measure has shrunk all the timber of our staff of life. Crystal streams sing in all the mazes of these cool mountains & so our" water is [sure?]" but our bread I fear will not be given us for many a day. The tea we drink is very strong & makes us dizzy like whiskey & when poured in quarts & pints upon solid pounds of unmixed masticated mutton it causes a series of loud premonitory rumblings like those that preceded the great earthquake last year at San Francisco. The tea, Doctor, trys to go down among the mutton & the mutton tries to come up among the tea but if both are kept in place until one mountain is climbed all is safe "5th" Tea & mutton becoming [more?] & more combative & so we have been compelled to vary our diet to mutton & molasses candy - There seems to be a bread sheep in that grand centre of man the stomach which no other food of a civilized kind can s[illegible]py" "6th Feel weak, sick[illegible], & sour" - There is a cluster of conic splintered granite peak near the summit opposite "castle peak" & "Mount [illegible]" where the highest sources of the Tuolumne Merced & Joaquin rivers are small sparkling singing streams, One of these peaks is exactly like an old Cathedral & is called "cathedral peak". I rolled a loaf of bread in an pair of blankets & started to explore these mts'. I reached the top most spires of the grand old church about noon of the first day & sat down to rest & to eat & now Doctor here is a strange thing, I was seated on the brink of a [illegible] about 7000 ft in depth, & in eating when ever I looked up I was hungry, but hen I looked down I was full my stomach consented to take block after block of the bread which perisheth. While I kept looking at the sky like an old ashologer but the moment I looked down I felt that I was not "fit for the calf" I have had charge of 2500 sheep, & have enjoyed a most glorious piece of life among mountain flowers, mountain grandeur, [illegible] [illegible] [illegible] & grizzly bears. Bears as [illegible] [illegible] killed a good many of our sheep I have been engaged with botany geology & drawing. Have about 50 sketches, I mean to leave Cal in 3 months for some other portion of the Lords lovely creation, perhaps South America.

[in margin: Please send your half & the other half & give her my kindest wishes. My adress is Hopeton Mercer Co as before. I have a thousand things to tell you when we meet]


Tuolumne River--Two miles below La Grange

Circa Date

[1869] Sep 24


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0135

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



2 pages


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



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