John Muir


[John Muir]


Helen [Muir]



Muir Glacier

Glacier Bay

July 8th 1890

Dear little Helen

I wish I could see you Papa is pretty lonesome sometimes because I want so to have you beside me. The pretty flowers grow over the rocks though it is pretty cold, & wild goats are on the tops of the mountains & a few seals & trout live in the cold water But I feel like poor Paddy Grogan sometimes & then I have to look at your picture. I live in a little cloth house but Captain Carroll says that he is going to bring me lumber nextime for a little wooden house. Tell Mamma that the Captain is very kind & gives me everything I want. I got a sack of potatoes & some oranges & meat & things & the Engineer is just now making iron for shoes




for the runners of my little sled I am going to pull on the ice when I go to look at it. I was up a big mountain & saw some fine pretty hills & I made pictures of them & will bring them back for you to see. Tell Mamma I can eat very big dinners now I had beans & mush & bacon for breakfast this morning, & a whole quart of coffee, & beans & bacon & chees & another quart of coffee for dinner & a hard tack. Sometimes we have dried peaches or apricots & cheese & even pancakes & yeast powder bread but it is very hard making the fire burn in the rain & wind when the weather is bad. Still it only makes us the hungrier for sometimes we




no night here. It is 9 oclock just now & I suppose you are sleeping my little Darling & the ship is going soon, but I want to write until the ship starts I am writing in the Captain's cabin & he will send me ashore to my own little cloth house before the ship starts. He sent a boat for me when he came in with all the people into this place to see the ice, to tell me to come & eat dinner with him - & so I had one good dinner with champagne but no beans. When I was on the big mountain two days ago, I sat on a mat of beautiful flowers that are called Cyanthus & Cassiope & anemones & a lot of other making


[in margin: Send me a box of [illegible] & anything marked [illegible] Care Goodall [Park?] & Co. John Muir Glacier Bay Alaska]



a picture of the mt & gls & I heard something saying cheerup, cheerup, & I looked around & saw a little striped marmot about 8 inches long standing on his hind legs looking at me like a little boy. He was standing in the flowers & had a nice time but he must have had a dark cold time in his nest in the winter. Then I hear something else as if he felt lonesome & pitiful & I looked & saw a big brown marmot, another kind standing like a rusty old man with small eyes, standing on the other side of me & this is the company I had. Here are their pictures. The ship is going. Goodbye Helen Wanda Mama Grandma Grandpa



Muir Glacier, Glacier Bay [Alaska]

Circa Date

[1890] Jul 8


Original letter dimensions: 28 x 21.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 06, Image 0557

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



4 pages


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



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