John Muir


John Muir


[Asa] Gray]


FOR REFERENCE USE ONLY Reproduced from the original in The Yale University Library Permission necessary for reproduction or publication [Muir, John] Oakland Nov 25th 1873Prof Gray, Dear friend Your report upon the plants sent from the head of the North Fork of the San Joaquin was duly received Here are a few specimens collected by Dr Kellogg & myself in a long excursion southward about the heads of the Middle & South Forks of the San Joaquin & of the Kings & Kern Rivers. The season was too far advanced for much to be done in botany yet we met many plants new to us & I made raids among the high fountains of these rivers wh resulted in the discovery of many glaciers & Yosemite Canons. We found a new pine, perhaps [aristata?] growing abundantly on both sides of the Sierra at an elevation of from 9 to 11,000 ft on all the mountains about the head of the South Fork of Kings & Kern Rivers. In sheltered localities it grows straight as an arrow with a round smooth delicately tapered hole, & with long upcurving branches, some branches are reached out exceptionally long for the bearing of the cones after the manner of the sugar pine, this producing a great variety of picture[illegible] forms. In old age the branches become lean

FOR REFERENCE USE ONLY Reproduced from the original in The Yale University Library Permission necessary for reproduction or publicationonly the ends are tasseled with leaves that stand stiffly out at right angles to the branch & all around equally. The leaves are five in a sheath, one inch long “ Bark on old trees thick & rough & brown (seldom smooth) deeply furrowed both vertically & [underlined: horizontally] Cones about from three to four & a half inches long, one inch dia’ at base obtuse, pendulous, in clusters like those of monticola, [underlined: dark blue] in color when young When full grown in favorable localities where bread is abundant it reaches a height of about one hundred ft & diameter of five feet average about 80 ft dia’ 3 ft – only a wind bent bush at el’ of 11,000 ft This brave & handsome pine is closely related to Monticola & Lambertiana & is the most [underlined: graceful] of all the pines that I have seen In old age it is gnarly & picturesque, In middle age, graceful & Williamson spruce like with wonderful variety of forms, In youth, strictly balanced symmetrical & severely proper. On the head canons of Kings River we found cones of [illegible]aniabilis with the bracts extending from 1/8 to ½ inch beyond the scales. In some the scales were reflexed almost covering the whole surface of the cone. The whole forest for miles on the South Fork of King River bore cones more or less bracted as above but with no other difference that I could detect either in the size or form of cones or of the trees.[illegible] Pamabilis & [illebible] identical species We found [illegible] Monophylla on the Western flank of the Sierra on the S. Fork of Kings River at elevation of 5,000 ft

FOR REFERENCE USE ONLY Reproduced from the original in The Yale University Library Permission necessary for reproduction or publicationWith this I send you all the seed of Williamson Spruce I could procure it is not very good, most of the cones were blighted in some way. I was not at home in season to gather seeds of Torreya but contracted with another party to collect & send you some packed as you directed. I trust you will receive them in good order. I am ever yrs cordially John Muir (Mr & Prof’ Carr send regards) (My address is now Oakland, Care Prof E. S. [Carr?]) ———————————————


Oakland, [Calif]

Date Original

1873 Nov 25


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 1231

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



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