Creator

John Muir

Creator

John Muir

Recipient

Emily [O. Pelton]

Transcription

1870 Yosemite Valley May 15th My dear friend Emily

I would gladly climb to the top our highest rocks to find out whether you are on this or the other side of the rocky mtns Can it be that you are indeed in California. If this be a fact it has some rare unbelievable properties that make it hard to comprehend But with faith like a grain of mustard seed I will go on to believe that you are verily in Yuba. Well [illegible] I congratulate you upon your arrival in this Pacific land of gold I mean the gold of Yellow comps' that cover the plains You must be very weary of that long ride I should think that a week of car locomotion on such hillocky railroads would sift

[in margin: Camps of dirty batchelors. There is about fifty visitors here at present. The valley is very beautiful. Summer [illegible] is in full gushing [illegible] the falls are very high from the melting of the upper snows. [illegible] will hoping to see you soon & that you will [illegible] all the health benefits from your long journey that you hope for. Ever yours John M]

all the best of a persons life out but doubtless you have had much to enjoy from the beautiful plains & lakes & mountains that you have passed. Many say that the "plains" are monotonous deserts but I do not think that you would see them so, Last year I was over the summit to Mono lake - the whole country about there is generally described as a dreary forbidding waste Yet I never beheld a place where beauty was written in plainer characters or where the tender fostering hand of the Great Gardener was more directly visible You have not come at the most beautiful time of year The plains of the Sacramento will be crisp & dead ere this but if you are here in April you will see a sheet of plant gold unrivalled in the world

I was left in charge here last fall when Mr Hutchings left for Washington to attend to his land claims, & as he has not returned I cannot leave the valley, though I would be so happy to meet you; but I will now be here all summer & you must of course see Yo[illegible] I will undertake to guide [illegible] to all the most holy nooks [illegible] in rock & grove & to stand points where you will hear the waters in there most divine harmonies This is a costly trip as most people make it but if you can come I will send you directions etc that will make your expenses quite hearable I believe I told you that Dr Carr was now Prof' in the university of this state I have not seen the Dr or Mrs Carr yet

but expect them here this summer. I wish you could come when they are here Mrs Carr was frequently at Pr du Chien & I think you know her You ask me to tell my work well it so happened by a great coincidence that the [illegible[ay your letter arrived I began [illegible] lumber for repairs on the [illegible] tory house & tomorrow I am [illegible] to begin tearing down muslin partitions, that you spoke of I made a saw mill for Mr H this winter, & have been operating it lately, this together with various jobs of carpenter work & the feeding of a herd of hateful gobblers is my terrestrial employment & visible means of support I do not think you will re- cognize me, like John the Baptist I dwell in the wilderness & have a leathern girdle about my loins & I wear sackcloth & when I camp out I have ashes on my head & on my whole body

[in margin: There are two families in [illegible] besides some]

20

Yosemite Valley - May 15th,[1870]

My dear friend Emily

I would gladly climb to the top of our highest rocks to find out whether you are on this or the other side of the rocky mtns. Can it be that you are indeed in California? If this be a fact it has some rare unbelievable properties that make it hard to comprehend. But with faith like a grain of mustard seed I will go on to believe that you are verily in Yuba. Well I congratulate you upon your arrival in this Pacific land of gold. I mean the gold of yellow comps' that cover the plains.
You must be very weary of that long ride. I should think that a week of car locomotion on such hillocky railroads would sift all the best of a persons life out but doubtless you have had much to enjoy from the beautiful plains and lakes and mountains that you have passed. Many say that the "plains" are monotonous deserts but I do not think that you would see them so. Last year I was over the summit to Mono Lake. The whole country about there is generally described as a dreary forbiding waste yet I never beheld a place where beauty was written in plainer characters or where the tender fostering hand of the Great Gardener was more directly visible.
You have not come at the most beautiful time of year. The plains of the Sacramento will be crisp and dead ere this but if you are here in April you will see a sheet of plant gold unrivalled in the world.
I was left in charge here last fall when Mr. Hutchings left for Washington to attend to his land claims, and as he has not returned I cannot leave the valley, though I would be so happy to meet you; but I will now be here all summer and you must of course see Yo(Semite)*. I will undertake to guide(you)* to all the most holy nooks (----)* in rock and grove and to standpoints where you will hear *() these particular lines fell on the side of paper which was torn. Words and parts of words in () seemed logical to copyist. Where there are (-----) the whole word was torn from the page.

2-May 15th, 1870

the waters in the most divine harmonies. This is a costly trip as most people make it but if you can come I will send you directions etc., that will make your expenses quite bearable.
I believe I told you that Dr. Carr was now Prof. in the University of this State. I have not seen the Dr. or Mrs. Carr yet but expect them here this summer. I wish you could come when they are here. Mrs. Carr was frequently at Pr du Chien and I think you know her. You ask me to tell (about) my work. Well it so happened by a great coincidence that the (d)ay*your letter arrived I began(to saw?)*lumber for repairs on the (fac)tory house and tomorrow I am going to begin tearing down muslin partitions, that you spoke of.
I made a sawmill for Mr. H. this winter, and have been operating it lately. This together with various jobs of carpenter work and the feeding of a herd of hateful gobblers is my terrestrial employment and visible means of support.
I do not think you will recognize me, like John the Baptist, I dwell in the wilderness and have a leathern girdle about my loins and I wear sackcloth when I camp out I have ashes on my head and on my whole body. There are two families in (--------)* besides some camps of dirty batchelors, There is about fifty visitors here at present. The valley is very beautiful. Summer verdure is in full gushing prime. The falls are very high from the melting of the upper snow.
Farewell, hoping to see you soon and that you will derive all the health benefits from your long journey that you hope for,

Ever yours,
John M.

*() these particular lines fell on the side of paper which was torn. Words and parts of words in () seemed logical to copyist. Where there are (--) the whole word was torn from the page.

Location

Yosemite Valley

Date Original

1870 May 15

Source

Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier

muir02_0269-let.tif

File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0269

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 http://www.pacific.edu/Library/Find/Holt-Atherton-Special-Collections/Fees-and-Forms-.html

Owning Institution

Wisconsin Historical Society. 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

1984

Pages

6 pages

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