Peter L. Trout


Peter L. Trout


John Muir



Hotel St John, San Jose Cal

March 11th 1907

Dear John Muir.

Your letter of March 7th has been received, also your response list. I had no idea that you had written so much for the press but then I never had an opportunity of knowing what you had done. Your criticism's of the M. S that I sent you will receive due respect and attention, and for which you have my sincere thanks. I have now got the whole of the M. S. in shape but it is not satisfactory, and will all have to be re-written; and among other things I intend to leave out the latter half of the first chapter, as it breaks the continuity of the story, and I may perhaps invert some of it near the last. This will include all that you refer to in your letter. I do not know just what I will do with it. I am not going to be in a hurry to get it out in book form. I shall probably try to publish some parts of it in some magazine, and



see how it is likely to take with the reading [public?]. This M. S. was sent you in the place of what you returned, and which I sent to William, and, of course, I do not wish it returned. I always had it in my head that you were a bug-ologist. I remember seeing an account of you, a long time ago, that said that you would spend hours or days, - I don't know which in watching a [butte?] or grasshopper. I think it was in the Century.
I did not know that flowers are plants and it seems to me somewhat doubtful if any but a high-grade botanist would notice anything seriously wrong in the statement "bugs, plants, and flowers". However, everything has to undergo revision, and I shall endeavor to make this and everything else right; and you can be assured that nothing that concerns yourself in any way will be put in print that I have any reason to think that you would be likely



to object to in any way
The reasons, that I have given, for going to Alaska are absolutely correct, as it was the desire for wealth and fame that caused me to go; and I would not have the least objection that my best friends should know it, although, as you intimate, it might be imprudent, and be the means of defeating my purpose: and for some such reason as this, I shall probably leave it out or modify it to some extent, but I do not imagine that I shall ever be able to look at things just as you do. The hard knocks in life that I have had, have convinced me that the first and most important thing for a man to learn is how to make a good living for himself. That is the first and most important thing that a man can think about who is not financially independent and if I should go to Alaska



just for the sake of studying the country, when I had not the means to afford such a luxury, I might well be called a crank.
I am afraid that you do not realize the fact that it is not every man that can afford the luxury of high principles. However the suggestion is a good and I am glad that you called my attention to it, as the more I think about it, the better I can realize that, although I did go to Alaska to acquire wealth and fame, there is nothing to be made by telling people about it.
I shall probably stay here about ten days longer. Then I will go to Sanfrancisco, and about the first of April I will start north for Seattle. I am glad I came down here as I feel that I have been very much benefitted. And the time has not seemed long.

Yours very truly Peter L Trout.



San Jose, Calif.

Date Original

1907 Mar 11


Original letter dimensions: 22.5 x 14.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 16, Image 0673

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University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.


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