John Muir


[John Muir]


[Jeanne C.] Carr


Camp on South Fork San Joaquin [1] [1873] Near divide of San Joaq’ & Kings River Sep 27th? - ———————————

Dear Mrs Carr We have been out nearly two weeks. Clark is going to leave us, told me five minutes ago, an a little nervous about it, but will of course push on alone We came out through the Mariposa grove around the head of the [illegible] Joaquin across the canon of the North Fork of San Joaq’. – then across the Can. of [Middle Fork?] of San Joaq’ & up E side of the South Fork one days journey. then picked our wild way across the Can’ of the South Fork & came up one days journey on the West Side of the Canon where we made a Camp, for four days. I was anxious to see the head fountains of this river - & started alone Clark not feeling able to bear the fatigues [involved?] in such a trip. I set out without blankets for a hard climb followed the Joaquin to its [underlined: glaciers], & climbed the highest mtn I could find at its head wh was either Mt Humphreys or the Mtn next S. This as a noble mtn. considerably higher than any I have before ascended. The map of the geological survey give no detail of this wild region I was gone from camp four days & discovered 15 glaciers, & Yosemite Valleys “many O” The view from that glorious mtn 13,300 ft high? is not to be attempted here. [San?] over into O[illegible] River


Valley & all across among the fountains of Kings River. I got back to Camp last evening This morning after breakfast Clark said that he ought to be at home attending to business & could not feel justified in being away & therefore had made up his mind to leave us - going home by way of the Valley of the main Joaquin. We will push over to the Kings River region & attempt to go down between the middle & North Forks, thence into the Canon of the South Fork & over the range to Owens Valley & South to Mt Whitney if the weather holds steady, then for Tahoe etc As we are groping through unexplored regions our plans may be considerably modified. I feel a little anxious about the lateness of the season. We may be at Tahoe in three or four weeks. We had a rough time crossing the Mid Fork of the Joaq’. Browny rolled down over the rocks not side wise but end over end. One of the mules rolled boulder like in a yet more irregular fashion. Billy went forth to sketch while I was among the glaciers & got lost, was 36 hours without food

I have named a grand [underlined: wide winged] mountain – on the head of the Joaquin Mt Emerson Its head is high above its fellows, & wings are white with ice & snow

This is a dear bonnie morning, the sun rays



lovingly to His precious mtn pines. The brown meadows are nightly frosted browner & the yellow aspens are losing their leaves I wish I could write to you, but hard work near & far presses heavily & I cannot Nature makes huge demands yet pays a thousand thousand fold. As in all the mtns I have seen about the head of Merced & Tuolumne. This region is a song of God On my way home yesterday afternoon I gathered you these orange leaves from a grove of one of the San Joaquin Yosemites, little thought I that you would receive them so soon Remember me to the Doctor & the boys & to Mrs & Mr Moore & Keith Farewell ———

Dr Kellogg wishes to be kindly remembered


…San Joaquin, near divide of San Joaq and Kings River

Circa Date

[1873] Sep 27


Original letter dimensions: 25 x 39 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 1191

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



3 pages


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



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.