John Muir


John Muir


[Robert Underwood] Johnson



Sep 13, 1889

My dear Mr Johnson,

Your telegram & letters reached me in due time I fancy you think me deadly dumb, & so I am nearly. I have been stupidly busy & that is my only excuse. A horde of oriental heathen besides Swiss Dutch Irish etc to look after, & Pic.Cal. into the bargain. By shutting myself up in a room of the Old Grand for two weeks I made out to wriggle through the woods of Washington & over the waters of Puget Sound. Then came howls for the Columbia & I shut myself up again from grapes & heathen for a week but I am still entangled in the woods where rolls the O


& hears but little sound from the dashings of my inkstand. At your urgent request & love the Yo.Val. I have switched off or broken off from Pic.Cal. & Oregon & am trying to say something on Yosemite in the open letter vein but feel awkwardly anxious to say too much & therefore may likely say too little. Will send something soon & should it seem to you that this something is worse than nothing send the stuff on a flying excursion to the wastebasket & I will then say, Thank You. In referring to the Examiner stolen interview I did not mean to say


that the production seemd like your own words or style. How could I? but only that it contained many of your views. That blackguard article in the Argonaut must have been written by Pix though Irish's name is beneath it. I meet him on the street now & then but never see him. Two days ago I met Robinson & Wright sweet [illegible] & suggestive as they were stepping from the Oakland boat on their return from the King's River Yosemite. Robinson held me with his glittering eye on Davis Street & held forth on the wickedness & woe of the Yo & its


affairs in grand devil may care right or wrong style & denounced my poor peeping letter on the valley with great vigor but with fine fatherly regard withal. I quoted your favorite saying on the power of understatement in contentions of this sort but he would have none of it. He modestly declared that the cure for all the Yo woes was a band of lovely disinterested commissioners made up of He Me & Hutch.. He, the artist with the eye, Hutch with the long love & me the poetico-trampo-geologist-bot [botanist] & ornith [ornithologist] - natural etc etc !-!-! ! I told him that you mentioned the possibility of a short paper on Kings


River & he said he wanted to write it or if I was going to do it then he wished to illustrate it & help to write it. His illustrations I have not yet seen but feel sure they are very good. I am going to see Wrights photos when I can. Should my letter open be too late in reaching you go on without it & quote from that Bulletin letter & my talks with you as feely as you like. The money was setn to your Treasurer for the bound vols of the Cent. before the arrival of your letter & I suppose they are on their way ere this.


Am glad to hear your Cent. Park is still lovely, Hurricanes spare it. An [illegible] fellow came & shot the house & here is a copy. Here too are the babes

Mrs Muir sends regards & I am ever Cordially Yours

John Muir

The house can't be got into this envelope & must stay at home - its proper place you will say.


Martinez, [Calif]

Date Original

1889 Sep 13


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 06, Image 0239

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



6 pages


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



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