John Muir


John Muir


[The] Trouts and Jays


Yosemite Valley Cal. November 28th 71

Trouts & Jays, Dear friends I have been among the upper mountains for the last three months alone reading the history of the ancient ice rivers wh used to flow so grandly here & now that winter storms have come & I am driven down to the abodes of men & have also come back to my common senses, I find that one of my greatest shortcomings is this long neglect of you, Your little black eyed Birdie looking out of her picture at me from my table keeps you all in memory & I have said a hundred times as I look her up "that is a pretty lady" Her eyes give expression to her young new made face that makes her really beautiful, although babies are seldom beautiful to me, almost all young homos have a dull apathetic meaty look wh makes me feel like telling mothers to lay them away some place untill they are ripe I wonder how many of these small folk you have by this late time nestled away among your many homes, Doubtless like the Jews you have become a multitude, & people your streams & woods like any other birds & fishes, well I wish you plenty of green woods & bright living waters & Gods best blessing over all

[in margin: Remember me to Mrs [Laycack?] & to the Layton that gave me the flowers]

I wish that you all might read the beauty & the love wh covers this mountain part of Gods beautiful earthly star. You know that I never was very [illegible] and [illegible] holding that in our zeal for the improvement of others we were liable to neglect ourselves, but now I feel like preaching these mountains like an apostle, & John Baptist could hardly be more anxious to get people into the Jordan than I to have all nations & tongues baptized in this glorious terrestrial mountain beauty. Next spring send one of your member to Yosemite - either a Trout or a Jay & I will bear at least half the pecuniary expense & I will see that he or she has abundance of bread & of mountains & all that is required for a family missionary on terrestrial revelations that on his return you all my have preaching according to California then you would be far happier & you would love each other & the world & your bible far better, Our [illegible] are wearing their first snow jewels & they are perfectly glorious, I am engaged in the study of the ancient glacier system of this portion of the Sierra & Prof Runkle, President of the Boston Institute of Tech- nology has set me to writing a book on the subject for the Boston Academy of Sciences. I wish I had time to tell you about my long lone rambles I shall see you sometime Farewell, Ever Cordialy your friend. John Muir


Yosemite Valley, Cal

Date Original

1871 Nov 28


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0589

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 Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley. 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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