O. C. Haslett


[O. C. Haslett ?]


John Muir



Oct. 18, 1907.

Mr. John Muir,

Martinez, Cal.

Dear Sir:-

I wish to impose on your good nature to the extent of settling a little dispute. To begin with, I want to any that I feel as though I were acquainted with you through reading some of your works on California and its forests, more particularly our National Parks", and through the medium of an acquaintance with Miss Ellie Mosgrove who is a friend of my family's and who has often told me of her trip with you. Also Mr. C. F. Some, our former bookkeeper and quite a student of botany, has often [illegible] to no about you.
The matter in dispute came about in this manner. I recently made a trip over the Hcoloud River Limber Company's property with come of their [illegible] owners and while going through the timber they and their Manager continually referred to the Red Fir. I remarked that I thought the trees in question were Douglas Spruce and their Manager Disputed me quite vigorously. Later on we drove down Soda Creek, which you may recall ompties into the Sacramento River at soda Springs, and while driving along there were comments on the amount of "Red Fir" in this particular tract, which was then under offer to some eastern parties. In passing one large tree in particular I said "I am quite sure this is not Red Fir but is a genuine Douglas Spruce, a close relative, if not identical with, the Douglas spruce or Oregon Pine of Oregon and Washington." It had a heavy, black corrugated bark and very fine needles and was entirely similar in

2 - J. M.


many ways - even the lumber itself when manufactured has a strong resemblance. Again their Manager contradicted me emphatically, and so I determined to look it up. Later on another member of the party a California lumberman also with whom I was discussing the matter, was equally emphatic in contradicting me and even went so far as to claim that there was no such thing as Douglas spruce in the Sierra Revada Mountains, or in California for that matter. I told him that I was so positive of my position that I would bet him anything he wanted and leave it to any well known naturalist or botanist to determine, and mentioned your name as a good authority. Since then I returned home and referring to my library consulted your "National Parks" and find that you support my contention absolutely on a member of different pages. My contention is that the Red Fir does not grow at a lower altitude than about 5000 ft. and from that up to 8000, whereas the spruce grows from 5000 to 8000 ft. and it happened that we were at an altitude of less than 4000 when the discussion arose, and there is a very marked difference in both the bark and needles and in fact general appenrance of the tree closer and look something like the fronde of the palm, whereas the branches of the Spruce stand out much as they do on the Sugar Pine and the needles are smaller and tesselated. To me there is such a marked difference that I cannot see any room for dispute, but as it has arisen I will greatly appreciate it if you will be the means of settling it.
In conclusion I want to any that while my business requires me to be a fallen of trees, I am nearly as much a lover of the forests as your good self and try to study them, whenever I am in them, largely as a result of your teachings. Thanking you in advance for this information,

5- J. M.

I am,

Yours very truly,

Have you ever published anything of your trip to the Caucasus or do you intend to [illegible] I have been looking for it but so far have not heard whether you did or not.


[place unknown]

Date Original

1907 Oct 18


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 16, Image 1103

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

California Historical Society. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.


3 pages


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



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