S. E. Wells


S. E. Wells


John Muir



Elizabeth. New Jersey Wed. Jan 15th. 1879.

John Muir-

For more than twenty five years, as opportunity offered, I have as- ked returned Californians, the name of a plant found in the Prayer Book of a relative who died at Sacramento. Having made your acquaintance through the fresh, poetic &, instructive articles in “Scribner”. I take the liberty to send a leaf, & imperfect description of the flower, - which is perhaps un- necessary — and must be very [illegible], having been pressed so many years, & fastened on paper. Stem woody – leaves irregular. Caly[illegible], probably these leaved. Corolla [illegible] a petalled. more than two inches in length, with

[Page 2]

[in margin: their own distinctive tones? Have often listened - but without coming to any conclusion. Trusting you will excuse the intrusion - I am respectfully & enquiringly - S.E. Wells 414 West [illegible] St.]

longitudinal veins – [illegible] nearly half the length of Corolla, both of a reddish brown. My uncle went “around the [illegible],” or rather through the Straits of Majellan in: [49?] — having a very quick passage, they were not likely to put in at any [port?] from which I infer the plant belongs to California – Of a complete outfit, all that evr came home was his Bible, Prayer Book, & in a very coarse, dirty cloth, a quantity of pebbles, about the [ size?] of & resembling leaves. many colors, but none white & a perfect arrow head – small white, I almost translucent — I mention this, as there may be some conn[illegible] between the two – so far as location is concerned – for in the short, rough life of a miner, there might not come many woods, in which he would give his time to the careful pressing of a flower, or the selection of curious stones. Swaying in the mt tops during a gale, was the dream of my youth – therefore the more enjoyed as the experience of another.- Do other trees than [illegible] [illegible] have


Elizabeth, New Jersey

Date Original

1879 Jan 15


Original letter dimensions: 21.5 x 27 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 03, Image 0970

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.


2 pages


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



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