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


Original letter dimensions: 25 x 39 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 1191

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



3 pages



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