Cambridge, Mass., 24 Mah. 1878.
John Muir Esq. San Francisco, Cal.
I have read and reread your valuable and highly interesting article on the “Humming Bird of the Cal. Water Falls” in “Scribners” and you have indeed added a valuable contribution to the history to that interesting species which I hope some days to make the acquaintance of. I enclose a prospective of the “Bulletin” and we should be pleased to add your name to our list of subscribers -
Hoping to hear from you. I am most [ Respy.?] yrs. Luth[illegible] [illegible]
[stamped: Bidwell Papers Bancroft Library]
1419 Taylor St S. F. March 28th 78
Dear Mrs Bidwell.
I have just returned from a weeks weathering at Lake Tahoe, where I have had a fine reviving roll in the snow, & swim in the crystal water; besides a good deal of fresh lusty exercise on snowshoes on the mountain slopes to the west of the lake, & between Tahoe City & [ Trucker?] The winter beauty of the woods & mountains is fairly enchanting, & it was seen under all kinds of light, from the full white glow of clear noon day sunshine to the gray darkness of cordial snow storms. The whole was del[illegible]sly exhilarating & I came back to this dull pen life fairly awakened & sane. As I was passing the junction on the return I looked north & chicoward, terribly tempted to switch off for a week or so, but my conscience would not allow me; because I have so much of this never-ending pen work piling up against me, & summer is drawing nigh, when I must take the field again. However I shall hope to make a wee visit sometime before the orchards are out of bloom, or at any rate before all the fossils are gleaned out of the chico rocks. Two weeks ago Prof Gunning & Mr Hinton one of the editors of the S.F. Post paid me a cozy visit. I have never sought the Profs acquaintance
but he was determined to find me, declaring with lecture emphasis that there was non in Cala he was so eager to meet as Muir. After weather & compliments came evolution, rather loose & uncertain in statement though evidently meant to be incontrovertible, & I took a kind of half praise half blameworthy satisfaction in rolling blocks in his way, not that I would in any way oppose the discovered truths of evolution for I embrace them most cordially, but it is terribly aggravating to hear one claiming the office of teacher discoursing so well & so heartlessly on the glorious creation, of God. After proceeding a while with increasing caution he at length fell to [ story-telling?] in which he was quite amusing Before the Evolution period of the evening he took occasion to speak slightingly of a friend of mine, an old botanist who has worked lovingly & well in the wild gardens of God near half a century. This of course brought on a capital indulgence of opposition for me. In your letter I would infer that the Prof claimed ammonites chicocasis as a discovery of his own. It was discovered & named many years ago, together with some twenty five or thirty other cretaceous shells from the exposed beds on Chico Creek, a list of which you may find on Page 210, Vol. 1 Cal: Geological Survey. Had a letter from Gray two weeks ago in answer to mine con= =taining notes on the Generals old favorite – Pinus ponderosa. Also a letter from your sister full of pleasant memories of our fine excursion. Ever Cordially Yours, John Muir.
1878 Mar 24
Original letter dimensions: 22.5 x 14.5 cm.
Deane, Ruthven, "Letter from Ruthven Deane to John Muir, 1878 Mar 24." (1878). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 410.
Reel 03, Image 0746
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