R. B. Marshal


R. B. Marshal


John Muir



Washington, D. C.,
July 19, 1913.

Mr. John Muir,
Martinez, California.

My dear Mr. Muir:

Mrs. Marshall has just written of the great joy yougave them all by your visit to Inverness--her only complaintwas that you could not stay longer. I know full well thegenuine pleasure you gave all, and especially the threeMarshall girls who love and admire you to the full measureof their lovable selves. I envied them to the limit – Iwas lonesome. John Muir is nine; for with all of his numerousfriends and admirers, I am positive no one in the world has or ever will feel the same deep bond of sympathetic affection foryou that I do.
With this absolutely honest statement, you can imaginemy feeling of pain when Mrs. Marshall informed me that youeven for a moment questioned my loyalty regarding the HetchHetchy matter. I did not appear before the Committee. Ihave taken no action whatever, for to do so would, no doubt,cost me my position, which I can't afford to give up; I must05497

John Muir -- 2,

control my feelings and actions for the sake of my threegirls. If I could afford to do so, I would give up myposition and fight to retain Hetch Hetchy Valley as a parkto an extent that would startle even you. and I honestly believe I would win, hut as I said above my mouth is gagged under present conditions.
Therefore, for all time, please know that Marshallwill stand fire now and forever; he is honored by being onthe side with his good friend Muir, and even if Muir himselfShould agree to destroy the wonderfully beautiful HetchHetchy Valley by creating a lake for supplying power to San Francisco, Marshall would cross swords with him, his dearestfriend, and would fight to the last ounce of his ability. Can I state my position stronger or clearer?
This letter is personal to you, Mr. Muir, and Iask you, please, to never again suspect my loyalty to thecause, no matter how or from whom you may get your information.
I regret more than I can say that I can not, for financialreasons, remove the gag that my official position compelsme to respect. It is one of the greatest trials I have had inlife to keep still when the battle is on; under cover of05497

John Muir -- 3.

darkness when if the enemy were forced into the light theywould he routed for all time by the first charge.
Again assuring you of my utmost loyalty and desireto save Hetch Hetchy Valley as nature gave it to us, and ofmy love and respect for you, I remain

Most sincerely yours,



Washington, D. C.

Date Original

1913 Jul 19


Original letter dimensions: 27 x 20.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 21, Image 0602

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.


3 pages


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



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