James T. White


James T. White


John Muir




New York,Dec.30,1898.

Dear Sir:-

My work,as Editor-in-Chief of The National Cyclopedia of American Biography,brings me in contact with the foremost personages in the United States; and being quite a hero worshipper,I am gathering into an "Original Calendar" solely for my own pleasure and not for publication,a characteristic verse, quotation from one's own writing,drawing,or bar of music,-from the world's brightest intellects upon the date of their birthdays,and I beg to ask from you for this purpose some slight contribution from your genius and attainment over your own signature, on the accompanying sheet.
You must appreciate what entertainment such a galaxy of originality would give to you,and I trust you will lend me your good will and aid,as regards yourself,in helping me to this gratification.
Pleaee return in the same envelope,tearing off the label, and restamping with encolsed atamp. The Calendar will be ready to bind upon the return of a few more leaves, and you will render me very much your birthday, the date reserved for you in my arragement. I am,



To -
Mr. John Muir,
Martinez, Cal.

the air a constant storm, etc. 250
Coming on of night. Wood thrush [giving?] [his?] farewell melody to the disappearing day the firefly glittering. Whip poor will heard owl preparing to search field & forest Rooks going home to nests of young cattle treading heavily to pens, sheep gathering to the lee of rocks or [protecting?] hedge
To birds. "Cuckoo [cry?] English call is singing, Many speak in raptures of its sweet voice & the same people tell me in cold blood that we have no bird that can sing. I wish they had a chance to judge of the powers of the Mock-bird red thrush cat-bird Oriole Indigo Bunting & even the Whip poor will What would they say of a half million of Robins about to take their departure for the North making the woods fairly tremble with melodious harmony?
Reservation article in Atlantic
Surprising growth of every living thing animal or vegetable. In 6 weeks I have seen the eggs laid, the birds hatched, their 1st moult half over their assoc in flocks & preparations begun for then leaving this country.
That the Creator should have commanded mils of delicate [diminutive?] tender creatures to cross immense spaces of country to all appearance 1000 times more congenial to them than this, to cause them to people as it were this desolate land for a time to enliven it with sweet song for 2 mos at most, & by this same command induce them to abandon it almost suddenly is as wonderful as it is beautiful

[in margin: [illegible] fruits [illegible] ripe yet 6 weeks ago [illegible] whole [country?] was a sheet of snow]


Audubon Notes

wild sheep horns battered by fighting heard a mile says [Provost?]- hunter. This easily approached
Nature leaped as it were at her own marvels
Speed of birds. Swallows 2 1/2 ms per minute
Wild pidgeons traveling 2, swans 2, wild turkeys 1 3/4
100s of times have I spoken to him quite loudly in the woods as I looked on the silvery streams or the dense swamps or the noble Ohio or on Mtns loosing their peak in gray mists or [illegible] silver
He (W. Scott) might describe as no other man can the stream the swamp the river the mtn for the sake of future ages. & cant hence they will not be here as I see them. Nat will have been robbed of many brilliant charms, the rivers will be [tormented?] and turned astray from their primitive courses, the hills leveled with the swamps & the & perhaps the swamps will have become a mound surmounted by a fortress of a 1000 guns. Scarce a magnol will Louisiana possess, the horned deer will exist nowhere fish no longer abound in the rivers, the Eagle scarce can alight & these millions of lovely songsters will be driven away or slain by man


New York

Date Original

1898 Dec 30


Original letter dimensions: 28 x 21.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 10, Image 0585

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



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