John Muir


John Muir


Mrs. [Jeanne C.] Carr



Mr Hutchings has not yet returned from Washington & so I will be here all summer I have not heard from you since January I had a letter the other day from Prof' Butler He has been glancing & twinkling about among the towns of all the states at a most unsubstantral velocity May 17. 1870 Did you see the gold of the Joaquin plains this spring There is a later gold in October which you must see Remember me warmly to Dr Carr & all the boys #44 & I remain always most cordially yours John Muir ________________

Yosemite, [illegible] Big Oak [illegible]



[1870] Yosemite May 17th

Dear friend Mrs Carr

Our valley is just gushing throbbing full of open absorbable beauty & I feel that I must tell you about it, I am lonely among my enjoyments - the valley is full of visitors but I have no one to talk to The season that is with us now is about what corresponds to full fledged spring in Wisconsin The oaks are in full leaf & have shoots long enough to bend over & move on the wind The good old breaken is waist high already & almost all the rock ferns have their outermost fronds unrolled Spring is in full power & is steadily reaching higher like a shadow & will will soon reach the topmost h[illegible]


of rocks. The buds of the poplar opened on the 19th of last month. Those of the oaks on the 24th May 1st was a fine hopeful healthful cool bright day with plenty of the fragrance of new leaves & flowers & of the music of bugs & birds from the 5th to 14th was extremely warm - the thermom' averaging about 85° at noon in shade. Craggy banks of cumuli became common about [illegible] King & the dome. Flowers came in troops as the upper snows melted very fast raising the falls to their highest [point?] of glory The waters of the Yosemite falls no longer floated softly & downily like hanks of spent rockets but shoot at once to the bottom with tremendous energy there is at least ten times that amount of water in the valley that there was when you were here. In crossing the valley we had to


sail in the boat The river paid but little attention to its banks, flowing over the meadow in great river like sheets. But last Sunday 15th was a dark day - the rich streams of heat [illegible] were withheld-the thermom' fell suddenly to 35° & down among the verdant hanks of new leaves, & groves of half - open ferns, & thick settlements of confident flowers came heavy snow in big blinding flakes coming down with a steady gait & taking their places gracefully upon shrinking leaves & petals as if they were doing exactly right. The whole day was snowy & stormy like a piece of early winter. Snow fell also on the 16th A good many of the ferns & delicate flr's are killed There is about fifty visitors in the valley at present When are you & the Doctor coming




Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0281

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

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. 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



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