Jos[eph] D[alton] Hooker
Feby. 2, 1902.
My dear Mr. Muir:
I have reluctantly refrained from writing to thank you for your most acceptable present of "Our National Parks" till I had read it through. This I have done, and I cannot express to you my delight with every page and every picture. Nor can I tell you how much I have learned from it, while appreciating to the full the truth and picturesqueness of your descriptions of mountain, forest, bird and beast. You may indeed be proud of your labor, and far more for your patriotic endeavors to check the wholesale destruction of a vegetation that has no rival on the globe. That your little volume will further this great cause, I do not doubt, and old as I am, I look forwards to good progress even in my short and precarious life time. Surely your present exceptionally good President will put his shoulder to the wheel, and organize a forest service for the state such as India now enjoys and profits by.
Any criticisms of mine must be microscopic. 1. There are certainly two species under P. ponderosa,- the typical, with the bark in great buckles, and the other, which we call jeffrayana, with a smooth bark, larger more glaucous foliage, and some characteristics in the buds and male flowers which my fading memory will not recall in detail. If I remember aright the latter was common about Lake Tahoe. We have both at Kew. The latter long bore the wrong name of P. Californica in the garden (true Californica is insignis(?)).
2. One of the most striking beauties of the sugar pine as I recollect it was the diamonds on the cones, due to the high refractive power of the gum-drops, and which I could see from a great distance, sparkling in the sun.
3. I was greatly interested when on Shasta, in finding the trunks of the dwarf pine (I forget its name) which grew above the timber line, barked and the wood (as hard as iron) eaten deeply into by sand-blasts. I think I observed the ? on the Sierra above the Yosemite Valley.
I am still a fixture at "the Lambs” and go to them once a week or oftener, as I still do a little botany. My eyesight is as good as ever, but I am getting deaf. Lady Hooker keeps well and active. Perhaps you remember Joe. He went into the Army, and after serving in this ? war, has gone to India. His younger brother, now 17, is going to be a surgeon. Lady Hooker joins me in kind regard to yourself and best compliments to Mrs. Muir. Shall you not bring her to England? I should like to know if you have a family, for my memory of you is very strong and durable, and that, of our days in the forests is inextinguishable.
Very sincerely yours,
Jos. D. Hooker
P.S. The Sequoia gigantea grows at an enormously faster rate with us than in the Sierras, I have one near my house planted in 1882 which must be getting up to 40 ft, high, and I have many young ones growing quite as fast.02948
1902 Feb 2
Original letter dimensions: 17.5 x 22.5 cm.
Hooker, Joseph Dalton, "Letter from Jos[eph] D[alton] Hooker to John Muir, 1902 Feb 2." (1902). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 4607.
Reel 12, Image 0191
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Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters