Charles Francis Saunders


[John Muir]



the subject, if the question is not too great an intrusion upon your time, and with many thanks 'in anticipation'

I remain

Sincerely yours

Charles Francis Saunders

A stamped envelope is enclosed -

John Muir Esq


Pasadena, California

August 9/03

My dear Sir-

Though personally unknown to you, I venture to write you in quest of a little information on a subject which the recent p[illegible]l of your fascinating book on the "Mountains of California" makes me think you are [doubtless?] familiar.
Last winter my wife and I spent several weeks upon the island of Santa Catalina, where in our rambles about the hills we were often in[illegible]ted in ob-



serving the ravens which are very numerous there. We had never known them to be possessed of any [note?] but the harsh "caw" which everybody knows, until one day we came unawares quite close upon one perched upon a fence post on a high hill. He moved his head with great [regularity?] from side to side and at the same time uttered in a low, musical tone, a phrase which may be written approximately:
[musical notation]
an so on over an over again.


We listened to him entranced for quite a while, until by and by he flew away. His quiet song was so strange a performance, seeing as though it might be in rehearsal of some more public performance that the had in mind, that it has remained in our memories ever since, and we have thought that you could perhaps tell us what significance it has, and whether or not it is a usual thing with the raven.
We should indeed be grateful for any and of enlightenment you may be able to give us on


Pasadena, Calif.

Date Original

1903 Aug 9


Original letter dimensions: 19.5 x 24.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 13, Image 0764

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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