John Muir


John Muir


[William C.] Hendricks



1419 Taylor St San Francisco Nov. 20th 1875

My dear Sir.

I write now chiefly to thank you for the kind & painstaking interest you are taking in my friend Keith, & to ask whether your sister is still on our coast, & to say how do you all do. Has your sister quite recovered from the Yosemite trip which [ proved?] so [ fate giving?]. I have just


descended from my summers studies in the Sierra, having been engaged mostly on the head waters of Owens River & the Middle San Joaquin, & in the Lava floods of Mono & Owens Valleys. I also spent two & a half months in studying the grandest of all our forest trees Sequoia [ Geganten?], tracing its [ limits?], estimating the area which it occupies, & reading its history as a species. When I publish results I will send you copy. One of my most val= =uable discoveries is the origin

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of the quarty sands & gravels of your deep places. Keith has just received a check from Wilson of Cinncin =ati for $2,500.00 gold for a painting 6 ½ ft by 4, & though a large price, the landscape is well worth the money. I wish something could be done this season by your law builders for the preservation of our magnificent forests. No part of the resources of our young state is so little apprec= =iated, & so ruthlessly destroyed. Destruction in this particular is infinitely greater than fair use


& once destroyed can never be fully restored. The forests should be carefully explored, & the area of each kind of timber, together with its value, & the means necessary for its preservation carefully studied & estimated. So also as regards the available water supply for mining & agricultural purposes, & the methods for saving it, the greatest ignorance & confusion prevails. It seems to me that the first labors of a scientific survey ought to be directed towards finding out what nature has bestowed, what minerals, what

[Page 3]

Mr Muir L[illegible]
Dec [ 24th?] 1875

Keith’s picture [illegible] matters general

[5] 3

soils what forests, then how to make the most of them – But I will not weary you with these desultory remarks, no doubt you are over laden with business on the approach of the opening of your work at Sacramento. I might call your attention to an article of mine in the November Number of Harpers Magazine on the Living Glaciers of California. You may have seen it Prof Hayden writes me from Washington that he would


like me to write a [illegible] of western glaciers for government publication. I am not however quite ready for this work Thanking you again for your genuine Kindness to my friend Keith I remain very truly yours John Muir

To Senator Hendricks

[stamped at bottom: Literary Property Rights held by the California Historical Society]


San Francisco [Calif.]

Date Original

1875 Nov 20


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 03, Image 0345

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, click here to view the Holt-Atherton Special Collections policies.

Owning Institution

California Historical Society. 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



3 pages


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



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