[Robert Underwood] Johnson
Martinez, Feb. 15, 1898
My dear Johnson,
I have just finished an article on the Yellowstone for the Atlantic, & have two more park articles to write. Of course you know very well that the Century Co. could have had these forest things if they liked.
I think by the tone of your last letter that you have misunderstood me in part. The editor of the Atlantic did not "step in" & offer to pay me a larger price for articles than the Century. On the contrary when Mr. Page at Sargents request wrote me offering to publish as much forestry as I would write he stated that because the Atlantic was so much smaller a concern than the Century he was afraid my compensation would have to be less. I never told him what the Century paid nor did he make any offer. When the first article was published he asked me to name the price. I told him to send what he usually paid for similar articles. He sent more than Century price but no sum was mentioned beforehand.
Later he began asking for books not already [bargained?] for, praised Houghton Mifflin of course as he should,
& offered my own terms within reason (safe enough in dealing with Scotch)
Now there; Pax vobis. Surely you dont think I tackled these tough forest things for money! Your jumping up with an armful of unworthy motives in this matter is the first immorality I have seen in you.
One book the Century Co. can brag on - the dictionary. The grandest book of the age. In my opinion a Kingly Sequoia. I'm glad you are watching forest affairs, they look gloomy to me but we must keep pegging away as we can & pray for a better Sec. of Interior & better senators.
I dont know when I'll start for Klondike. Certainly not before June or July if I start at all. Come & go with me. If You'll go I'll go.
Ever Yours Truly
1898 Feb 15
Original letter dimensions unknown.
Muir, John, "Letter from John Muir to [Robert Underwood] Johnson, 1898 Feb 15." (1898). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 2066.
Reel 10, Image 0085
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