John Muir


John Muir


[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

Ever Yours

John Muir


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

Ever Yours

John Muir


Martinez [Calif.]

Date Original

1898 Jun 21


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 10, Image 0213

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

Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University Archives, Boston, Massachusetts. 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



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.