P. C. Renfrew


P. C. Renfrew


John Muir



literally glorious in May and June with rhododendron and other flowering shrubs. Your second question is have you been on the Three Sisters. Yes on the centre & north – the former on July 28th the latter on Sept. 10th 1875. 3d How many glaciers are there on these flanks. Yo my position knowledge these are three acive ones each sending its stream of “pulp” (they would say in N[illegible] to the lowlands east and west. I do not say there are not other active ones but these I have visited; the largest four times. Now, allow me to ask you the cost of an aneroid faronetes suitable to [in margin: 366] take altitudes, gier size in diameter inclus with piece. Don’t forget that I promised you any data I possessed [underlined: if you came here]. Come. Respectfully & Truly P.C. Renfrew



McKenzie Bridge Oregon Feb 26th 1879

Mr. John Muir

Dear Sir,

There are occasions in my life as there must be in that of every man “who, in the love of nature holds communion with her—“ that may be called epochs; when, overawed by her majesty I am lifted out of myself and individuality with all that encumbers it is for the moment extinguished. This I just experienced on the deck of a Pacific Steamship witnessing sunrise on a perfectly waveless sea, Next on viewing from above, a fog=filled valley of the southern Sierra at Sunrise, again, on my first sweeping view of the Yosemite Valley and last when standing on the north western glacier of the volcanos known as the “Three Sisters”.

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The gist of these love=feasts is now and then resurrected by less striking views strewed at intervals along the pathway of a life abounding (I sometimes think) in hard tasks and small rewards. Yet more frequently they are recalled by etchings from the pens of those devoted men who “make themselves free” to woo from bounteous but ever bashful nature her rarest gems. Need I say that many times I have risen from the perusal of articles closing with your name with “thank you” in my heart or that it now lifts itself in thankfulness to [underlined: one] yet greater for the lieve to express it on paper and for the hope that I may soon clasp your hand and let you hear it from my lips? Your kind response of the 2d is before me and the question about conifers brings me face to face with the fact (which honesty

forces me to acknowledge) that I have never had a treatise on botany in my hand that I now recollect, but [underlined: Nil desperan- dum] I will do the best I can. They comprise, in my judgement, about 75 percent of our forests and includes, in the order of their abun- dance, Yirs, white, red and yellow [ leedar?]. “ & “ Piece “, sugar. yellow: pitch and in the higher altitudes black. Hemlock ice varieties, spruce [illegible]ch, cypress, yew but no Sequoya. On bottom lands we have inter- spersed Maple in variety. Ash, cot touwood, alder & hazel. Our Legu nim- osal are in small variety, Chiukopin its chief representation. Of ericaceous trees we have a greater number and the clay hillsides where fires have swept off the fir are spangled with Ma[illegible] and bristle with [illegible]- quita & ceanothus. Our forest are made


McKenzie Bridge, Oregon

Date Original

1879 Feb 26


Original letter dimensions: 20 x 25.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 03, Image 1012

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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