John Muir


John Muir


[Robert Underwood] Johnson


Martinez, Jan 7, 1897

My dear Johnson

Thanks for New Year's best wishes & for news of Sargents sad blows of fortune But Sargent will not down, He will soon be on his firm Mastodonic legs again strong & available as ever. I am trying to get the Sierra club to take plain open ground on the Yosemite question as to the advisability of recognizing it as a natural part of the Yosemite National Park, which it really is & sooner or later must become in fact.
I am also trying to write the confounded syndicate forest letters you & Sargent have blandly loaded me with. Here is a letter from father Yorke a Catholic who has got into controversy with our old bad friend J.P.I. He evidently has at length met his match, Ill trouble you no more with it.
Here too is a funny but telling article on the milatary management of our park

With very best wishes to you & family

I am ever with love

John Muir

Bancroft Library


Funny article inclosed on John P. Irish

J Muir

Mr. R.U. Johnson
The Century Magazine
Union Square
New York

[newspaper clipping]Examiner Jan. 5, 1897

Second Answer of the Chancellor to the Charges Made Against Him.
He Says That His Opponent Is Both Officious and Meddlesome.
A claim That the Naval Officer Has Gone Back on His Word - Mud-Slinging Cannot Divert Attention.
The following communication is from the pen of the Rev. Father P.C. Yorke:
To the Editor of "The Examiner" - Dear Sir:
The last effusion of the Hon. John P. Irish answers itself. He has eschewed argument, confessed forgery, admitted misrepresentation, and now he stands with arms akimbo like a truculent fishwife and brazens it out. With him no decent man can bandy words. The style of his epithets shows that he is suffering from a rush of bowels to the brain.
The public can now judge of the Hon. John P. Irish and of the Hon. John P. Irish's cause. He and his pastor have been pilloried for their fellow-cititzens, but despicable to themselves. Malice, misrepresentation, forgery, false witness and all untruth are the charges which have been made against them and which have been proved to the hilt. No amount of mud-slinging can divert public attention from these facts - not even if the Hon. John P. Irish turned his throat into a suction pump and drained our new Postoffice bog dry.
As to the personality of the Hon. John P. Irish, I have learned of it from this controversy and from his letters. I have learned that he is meddlesome and officious, because he has interfered in matters that did not concern him. I have learned that he is void of truth, because I have caught him red-handed in mendacity. I have learned that he is void of honor, because he has gone back on his word. All these things I have learned, not from his enemies, but from himself. He has painted his own picture by his own hand, and I have done nothing but gibbet up his name.
The Hon. John P. Irish boasts in conclusion that he has never been downed by his enemies. 'Tis true. They who crawl to power can never be downed. Of his prototype was it said, "On thy belly shalt thou go and dirt shalt thou eat all the days of thy life." His enemies have no need to down him. Their triumph consists in his success.
In the sewers into which he has descended leave him. Thither I cannot follow. The familiarity he shows with their construction and contents manifests the fact that he is quite a [nome?]. Yours truly,


Martinez [Calif.]

Date Original

1897 Jan 7


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 09, Image 0609

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

The Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley. 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



2 pages



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