G. Frederick Schwarz


John Muir



Had your life's story then been written I should have wished to ask you more about those wonderful mechanical inventions, which then I only knew of in the vaguest way. Now, as I read about them more fully, I am surprised at this novel expression of your life and its interests; and my surprise is the greater because, surely, it is only rarely that literary mastery and poetic


Brookline, Mass.

December 2nd, 1913.

Dear Mr. Muir:

When I sent you a letter some six weeks ago I did not foresee that I should so soon have occasion to write to you again. I have just finished the first volume of your autobiography and I cannot help telling you how much it interested me, for the



reading of it seemed like listening to the intimate and chosen conversation of a friend, though which there constantly ran an undertone of comment on life's lessons, though never insistently expressed. And surely some of the experience was deeply and sternly acquired and makes us wonder how great must be the natural buoyancy and hopefulness of spirit and the love of life's wonderful pageant to have withstood so many buffetings of the body and sore trials of the mind. Let those who complain under the weight of lighter burdens take heart in the assurance that, so long as we keep courage and look up, much can be endured.
When I spent a day with you, August of last year, at Martinez, we talked of a number of things.


after long perseverance and patient labor.
With many good wishes for your health and welfare, believe me

Faithfully yours,

G. Frederick Schwarz

Hetch Hetchy is uppermost in the minds of your eastern friends during these stirring days. Am sending a number of "night telegrams" to Senators this evening, hoping that justice and right may previal.



imagination are found united with an inventive genius for mechanics in one and the same person. Then, also, I should like to have known more of the habits and appearance of the Indians in your boyhood days, and of the marvelous passenger pigeon, and one or two other things that you speak of in your book. Not that anything lacks a



clear and sufficient explanation, only one is inclined to talk over and discuss such interesting matters at leisure.
When your second volume appears I hope it may reveal as fully as can be the secret of how you acquired your literary style. There are passages in some of your earlier books that I have read repeatedly and always with the same pleasure; they never seem to lose their freshness. Such results can be accomplished, I suppose, only through a deep interest in and clear knowledge of the subject matter and a real love of the art of writing, sometimes gathered lightly, but more often gained only


Brookline, Mass.

Date Original

1913 Dec 2


Original letter dimensions: 18 x 28 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 21, Image 1030

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.


4 pages


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



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