[Charles Sprague] Sargent
Martinez, June 21, 98
My dear Prof. Sargent
After mailing a letter to you yesterday I received the enclosed from Miss Eastwood which shows pretty clearly that no magnifica flower may be looked for from the summit station. And Mr Sonne from what I saw of the Washoe trees is not very likely to collect any, for in a day in these woods I saw not a single tree with staminate flowers even though they are ten thousand times more abundant then the pistillate. In case then that any accident should befall the box I expressed you on the 17th from Truckee I sent you today another from here so much potter & [pother?] about a small matter may seem silly but I assure you that this year pistillate flrs of magnifica are mighty scare There was a fine crop three years ago. & last year
there was a good crop but nearly every flower was killed by frost & most every leaf bud so that there was only a few overlapped protected branches in special hollows that are [bearn?] This year The fresh ripe staminate flrs are colored rosy purple - the pistillate bright yellow-green with a tinge of purple on the top of the scales. Not one tree in a thousand has pistillate flrs. & you can hardly guess what hacking & climbing with Scotch obstinacy was required to get the few I have sent you I was determined that the last vol of your glorious tree book should not go forth incomplete - if I could help it. I corresponded with quite a number of intelligent people [living?] in the woods but in this year of scarcity they were of no account, & when mid-June came I'm glad I pushed into the wood myself. Here is a grand coniferous generalization from [Lemmon?] - the almost comical effort of a giant by a pigmy I had a note the other day from our
steadfast always fighting forest friend Johnson who assured me that the House of Representatives is immovably in favor of the reservations. & I see by the newspapers that Bliss is appointing special agents to keep out sheep from the reserves & parks, but in the meantime sheep are overrunning everything. Mr Pinchot is opposed to the military in the forests - Why I dont know. Even a raw volunteer with a U.S. Coat & musket is worth a thousand civilians in enforcing the forest laws. To deliberately throw the woods into the arms of political voters after our long experience of them seems incredible. Bliss is no good. Every needle in the wood trembles at sight of him.
I still hope to see you next fall & have a good gloriously colored time in the round headed forests of the Alleghenies. Be sure to get Canby the old Young burly bear & chipmunk botanist I wouldnt miss him for anything
My dear Sargent -
Just as I was about to send this letter I received yours of the 15th & I heartily thank you for the wise & kind things you say about my visit to the Eastern trees. Evidently you know just how I feel in trying to see loved trees instead of fussy society people. I dont want to die without once more saluting the grand godly round headed trees of the east side of America that I first learned to love & beneath which I used to weep for joy when nobody knew me. Tell Canby he must be with us I enjoy his lively squirrelish teasing wildish naturalistness last summer more than I can tell. & I think my lifelong silent work in the woods of the west should compel so good a man to help me see the Eastern woods in my autumnal days. & as for you my dear Sargent that with a thousand seducing influences you have been true to wild nature & have devoted your life to her wild trees. I congratulate & admire you & shout well done
1898 Jun 21
Original letter dimensions unknown.
Muir, John, "Letter from John Muir to [Charles Sprague] Sargent, 1898 Jun 21." (1898). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 2105.
Reel 10, Image 0213
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