James Davie Butler


John Muir



June 1, 1897

John Muir

My dear Friend.

It is the purpose of the faculty here to give you the degree of L L.D. at the next commencement. The idea is that it belongs to the institution where you studied so long and would gladly have studied longer, to recognize your discovery of America, that is wide areas of it that were before unknown, and that but for you would have remained so not a little longer.
By the way you have noticed,--I hope without envy--the glorious advancement of your fellow apostle or missionary Sheldon Jackson - the last Moderator of the Presbyterian church. His slogan was "wild rider of the prairies"--and "big boy of the sierras"--and so he rode to glory. No doubt you will give him an ovation in Frisco as he halts to prepare for evangelizing the rein-deer-raising dwellers about your glacier, and all over Alaska. Your partnership will be more congenial than ever.


What do you know about Mrs. Carr? It is said that she is in a Frisco insane asylum, but no particulars have come to my hearing.
My river has been a smooth-sliding current without a rapid or a mummur. Still I have been studious in my way. Two reviews the Nation has now on hand, one on Alex. Henry--1000 - 14 fur-trading from Superior to the Pacific. and True stories of Indian captives from New England to Canada 1677-1760
Agnes & co. - and Anna for seven weeks caring for household sublunaries, have left me in perfect peace in my ideal study. Many languages have blotted out the curse of Babel. My last craze is Anglo-Saxon, the study of my second childhood to which I dedicate every minute of day-light, and maintain that it is the only thing now worth living for. It is to acquaint myself with the tongue of my ancestors 1000 years ago, so that as soon as I enter heaven I can understand their exposition of my descent etc.


James Davie Butler.


Madison, Wisc.

Date Original

1897 Jun 1


Original letter dimensions: 28 x 21.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 09, Image 0893

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



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.