R[obert] U[nderwood] Johnson


John Muir



Temporarily at Bay Shore, L.I. on a short vacation

address always [letterhead]

1890 Sept. 20

Dear Muir;

The combat thickens, John P. Irish being on the warpath. I have just received two editorials from the Oakland Tribune and an intervening letter from Irish, all which you've doubtless seen. Every time he puts pen to paper he gives an opportunity to the friends of reform. I shall write a brief reply and after it is written perhaps I'll send it. You see the trick; to try to make votes by pretending to defend California's sacred honor & reputation which privately he is besmirching. I hope you'll go for him. In the next Congress we shall probably have to face the question of recession of the original grant unless your legislature does something and Irish could throw


a good deal of dust in the eyes of the average M.C. I hope you'll expose the game in such a way as to defeat his election. He is probably put up by the Washburns as a friend to defend them in Washington. His letter is one of the funniest pieces of pettifogging I have ever seen. Did I tell you that I learned the other day that Irish wrote to the Editor of the Times a long letter of abuse of Mackenzie Robinson you and me -- which was thrown in the waste basket, I believe. Of course he is furious. Pixley is too shrewd to stand and take the fire. Now is the time to get ahead with the King's River Canon[diacritic] article. I've written to stir up Robinson. Meanwhile can you send me a description, by town ships (from a Land Office map) of the territory desirable to be included about this canon[diacritic]. I had a most vexatious time getting the proper description for the present limits of the new park -- spent a whole morning at the Land Office sketching it out from the surveyor's notes. I got the Public Land Committee to abandon the park east of the ridge of the Sierra which some


one in the L.O. had tacked on, for convenience of description! I have today received a letter from Judge Holman of the House Committee saying that the bill will be reported this week to the House. The effort will be to put it through by unanimous consent as the Tulare bill was. In the Senate Plumb, chairman of the Land Committee, will push it along as soon as it comes over from the House. So it is in good shape for passage at this session. I wish you could arrange to come East this winter, you and your wife, and pay us a little visit. Burroughs was to have been here this week to visit us but the wet weather detained him to harvest his grapes. Come & you shall see him & the saucy Mrs. Johnson. I am eager to get a line from you. I heard of you the other day from Mrs. [Rothis?], whom I know. I hope she wont anticipate your new material. These literary people, you know! Call your articles "Alaska Revisited." Gilder is charmed with the Yosemite sketches. Sometime you'll want to collect Yellowstone, Yosemite, Alaska & others in a book of "Wonderland Sketches"


-- By the way, have you ever written about the Yellowstone? Tell Mrs. Muir not to let you backslide from the literary life. You have taken your hand off the plow and should not look back.

We want to print the King's River Canon[diacritic] & Swett's sketch of you together, in a number of the Century in which the '49 series is not specially strong. Lend us a lot of photographs of you - not too much "fixed up" -- to choose from.

Yours faithfully,

R. U. Johnson

I'll send you a copy of what I write in reply to Irish.



…Union Square, New York

Date Original

1890 Sep 20


Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 26 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 06, Image 0649

Collection Identifier

Online finding aid for the microform version of the John Muir Correspondence

Copyright Statement

Some letters written to John Muir may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

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.


2 pages


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



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