John Muir


John Muir


[Ann Gilrye Muir]



In all my lonely journeys among the most distant and difficult pathless, passless mountains, I never wander, am never lost. Providence guides through every danger and takes me to all the truths which I need to learn, and some day I hope to show you my sheaves, my big bound pages of mountain gospel. I have just been busy moving my few chattels from Hutchings to Blacks, about half a mile down the valley and I sense feel at home. Tidings of the great far sweeping fires have reached our hidden home and I am thankful that your section of towns and farms has been spared I heard a few weeks ago from David and Joanna and learn that all is well 00631

[copy] [1] [1871]

a copy of mothers letter
Yosemite Valley November 16th

Dear Mother Our highwalled home is quiet now, travel has ceased for the season, and I have returned from my last hard exploratory ramble in the summit mountains. I will remain during the winter at Blacks hotel taking care of the premises and working up the data which I have ga[illegible] during these last months and years concerning the ancient glacial system of this wonderful region. For the last two or three months I have worked incessantly among the most remote and undiscoverable of the deep Canons of this Merced basin, finding many a mountain page glorious with the writing of God and in characters that any earnest eye could read. The few Scientific men who have written upon this region tell is that Yosemite Valley is unlike anything else, an exceptional


creation, seperate in all respects from all other valleys, but such is not true, Yosemite is one of many One chapter of a great mount- ain book written by the same pen of ice which the Lord long ago passed over every page of our great Sierra Nevada's. I know how Yosemite and all the other valley's of these magnificent mountains were made and the next year [ontrod?] of my life will be occupied chiefly in writing their history in a human book - a glorious subject, which God help me preach [aright?].

I have been sleeping in the rocks and snow often weary and hungry sustained by the excitements of my subject and by the Scottish pluck and perseverance which belongs to our family - for the last few days I have been eating and resting and enjoying long warm sleeps beneath a roof, in a warm rockless boulderless bed.


Wisconsin winter will soon be upon you may you enjoy its brightness and universal beauty in warm and happy homes Our topmost mountains are white with their earliest snow, but the Valley is still base and brown with rustling leaves of the Oak and Alder and fronds of the fast fading ferns Between two and three thousand Persons visited the Valley this summer I am glad they are all gone. I can now think my thoughts and say my prayers in quiet ever devoutly yours in family love John


Yosemite Valley

Circa Date

[1871] Nov 16


Original letter dimensions: 20 x 25.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0581

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

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific 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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