Camping, walking, etc. [Apr. 1907]
Dear Mr Beard:
I would like to encourage walking in wild places, that so our boys may gradually grow up out of natural hunting blood-loving savagery into natural sympathy with all our fellow mortals,- plants and animals as well as men. Therefore as a so-called Top Notch I would suggest something like this-
The walker making the best excursion in pure wildness. Not necessarily the longest & most dangerous excursion up the highest mountains, through the deepest woods, or across the widest torrents, glaciers or deserts; but the one however short or long, rough or smooth, calm or stormy on which the able fearless walker sees most, learns most, loves most, & leaves the cleanest track, heart & mind growing naturally like trees, gathering inspiration from everything about him & growing however slowly up out of natural savagery into natural
all-embracing sympathy. Overcoming all blood lust, carrying neither guns or traps, drawing no pleasure from the pain of any of his fellow mortals however lowly; as for example, from the so-called gameness of terrified fishes rushing, gasping struggling for life. Whose camp grounds are never marked by scarred trees, blood sports, bones or any thing unsightly, & who learns to regard everything about him as friends & neighbors,- the stars, the earth, plants & animals as well as men-
Boy Scouts -
From Woman's Home Companion
Original letter dimensions: 28 x 21.5 cm.
Muir, John, "Letter from [John Muir] to Daniel Beard, [1904 Apr]." (1904). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 3687.
Reel 16, Image 0731
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