John Muir


[John Muir]


Morgan Shepard


[First draft of letter,in note-book]


Mr.Morgan Shepard,
San Francisco.

Dear Mr.Shepard:

I have never seen or heard of a large photograph of Mt. Whitney, nor of good telling ones of any size. Whitney is a difficult subject, because it has comparatively little individuality, being only one of the many lofty fragmentary residual masses into which the southern Sierra has been carved - the highest tooth of California's great white mountain saw. From the north it presents a well-marked helmet-shaped summit with the sheer front facing eastward. From Owens Valley at the base of the Range it is scarce at all recognizable. From the head of Crab Tree Creek, on the west side, it presents a rounded,massive,well-segregated form about 3000 feet in height above the base, and picturesquely streaked with lines of bristling pinnacles.This,I think,is far the best view,though difficult to photograph effectively.Of course you have seen Miss Hooker's photographs made last summer.J.N.LeConte makes good pictures, and probably has made some of Whitney.Next time I'm in the City I'll try to call on you and explain farther.
Sincerely sympathizing with Miss Whitney in trying to get a good picture of her brother's noble monument, I am,
Faithfully yours,
[John Muir]

P.s. Miss Hooker writes me she is going to Europe next month.


[Martinez, Calif.]

Circa Date

[1903 Jan]


Original letter dimensions: 21 x 17 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 13, Image 0148

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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

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.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date



1 page


Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters



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