John Muir


John Muir


[James Davie] Butler


Martinez Sep. 1, 1889.

My dear old friend Prof. Butler,

You are not forgotten but I am stupidly busy, too much so to be able to make good use of odd hours in writing. All the year I have from fifteen to forty men to look after on the ranch besides the selling of the fruit, & the editing of Picturesque California & the writing of half of the work or more. This fall I have to contribute some articles to the Century magazine so you will easily see that I am laden. It is delightful to see you in your letters with your family & books & glorious surroundings. Every region of the world that has been recently glaciated is pure & wholesome & abounds in fine scenery & such a region is your northern lake


country. How gladly I would cross the mountains to join you all for a summer if I could get away. But much of my old freedom is now lost though I run away right or wrong at times. Last summer I spent a few summer months in Washington Terr studying the grand forests of Puget Sound & then climbed to the summit of Mt Rainier about 15000 feet high over many miles of wildly shattered & crevassed glaciers. Some twenty glaciers flow down the flanks of this grand icy cone most of them reaching the forests ere they melt & give place to roaring turbid torrents. This summer I made yet another visit to my old Yosemite home & out over the mountains at the head of the Tuolumne River. I was accompanied by one of the editors of the Century & had a


delightful time. When we were passing the head of the Vernal Falls I told our thin subtle spiritual story to the editor. In a year or two I hope to find a capable foreman to look after this ranch-work with its hundreds of tons of grapes pears cherries etc & find time for book writing & old time wanderings in the wilderness. I hope also to see you ere we part at the end of the day. You want my manner of life. Well in short I get up about six o'clock & attend to the farm work. go to bed about 9 & read until midnight. When I have a literary task I leave home shut myself up in a room in a San Francisco hotel. go out only for meals & peg away awkwardly & tortuously until

the wee sma hours of thereabouts working long & hard & accomplishing little. During meals at home my little girls make me tell stories, many of them very long, continued from day to day for a month or two. Did I send you my girls' pictures? If not I will. Will you be likely to come again to our side the continent? how I should enjoy your visit. To think of little Henry an Alderman! I am glad that you are all well & all together [Greek?] & [illegible] holds you in health I read & read your Butler family with much interest & ought to have said so & thanked you long ago. With love to Mrs. Butler & Henry James the girls & thee old friend

I am ever Your friend John Muir


Martinez, [Calif]

Date Original

1889 Sep 1


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 06, Image 0225

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

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



4 pages


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



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