Theodore H. Hittell
Martinez, April 7, 1899.
My dear Hittell,
I have read the Bear book. & on the whole I found it interesting. An introduction fully explaining the time & circumstances of your meeting Adams & what became of him is very important There is a great deal of vagueness all through the book which if you can clear up from your original notes or from information from his friends or acquaintances will be a grand improvement. His main camp he says was on the [Merced?] - a North Fork 40 miles N.W. from Yosemite Now he could not get half this distance from Yosemite in a N.W. direction on any branch of the Merced. 40 miles would take him across the Tuolume & on to the Slanislaws or nearly. It seems too there was a wagon road to this wild camp
He speaks of shooting an Old Mountain sheep which weiht 75 lbs. an old ram. I dont believe a specimen could be found less than twice this [weight?]. Nor do I believe he found any wild sheep near the "Mariposa River." Nor any such huge caves & dens of bears & wolves as he describes. There is so much of this obscurity & so many errors the book has an unreal air When with so much genuine & wonderful adventure it should be the most interesting wild book of its time. The style in part I dont like - weak & inflated, "when taken from the cage my condition was one of entire insensibility". His goods were "all consumed in a great conflagration" etc etc. But the [illegible] is the deadliest fault. How much of this you will be able to clear away I dont know. As to the Eastern publishers bring out the book you can find out only by submitting it to them. Ill return it to Payot Upham & Cos [store?].
With best wishes & congratulations
[in margin: [on?] Mrs Hittells [illegible] from [illegible] I am truly Yours John Muir]
1899 Apr 7
Original letter dimensions unknown.
Muir, John, "Letter from John Muir to Theodore H. Hittell, 1899 Apr 7." (1899). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 2375.
Reel 10, Image 0733
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