James Geikie


James Geikie


John Muir


[ Perth?] March 1 1979

Dear Sir

I am glad that you found my paper on the glaciation of the Outer Hebrides of interest. I quite agree with you that so many details as I find are not needed to convince any one who is conversant with the mode of glacial action that these is lands have been glaciated from the South east. But the prejudices if I may be allowed to use so hard a word of English geologists in favour of icebergs are hard to overcome, and one can only hope to do so by piling up the evidence that tells against that tells against that most inept and unsatisfactory iceberg hypothesis. I have long wished to see your Sierras and have had with the liveliest interest what you and Clarence King and others have written about them. Certainly their glacial phenomena must be very grand, and some day I hope to make some ac- quaintance with them. But my time is much occupied, and when I shall be able to go, I do not know. I send you

[Page 2]

by this mail, copy of a paper on the geology of Gibralter, which may have some interest for you; in asmuch as it proves that the cold & the glacial epoch had so decided an effect so far south as the South of Spain, and at a comparatively low ele- vation. I believe similar breccias on “glacial agglomerates” occur in many other regions in the South of Europe, and there I hope some time to describe. In short the more I study the Pleistocene deposits of our continael the more am I impressed with the wide spread influence of frost action during our glacial period. By & by I shall hope to send for a little work on which I am now engaged, & which will give an outline sketch of the physical and chemical change which have taken place in Europe since the earliest known appearance of man. Hooker has just published a work on Morocco & the great Atlas, in which he makes mention of the remains of consider- able glacial action in the valleys of the Atlas range. He also besides, great conglomerate or gravel hills which lie out upon the plains at the foot of the

mountains — which strongly resemble the gravel & sand hills of formerly well-glaciated regions! Yet some of our geologists will main- tain that there never was a glacial period but that each particular region has been glaciated on its own account at some separate period! Mr. Campbell for example trots round the world in one year and a day, and finds no trace of a general cold period in our hemisphere! I had recently a most interesting account by Prof. Chamberlin of the glacial deposits of Wisconsin. He describes the Kettle Range of gravel hills as an immerse moraine, and seems to make out a very strong case. But I suppose you have seen his paper Excuse this rambling letter. And again thanking you for your kind letter, and for your kind offer to show me the wonders of glaciation in your splendid county — (I would fair start off now!) I am faithfully yours James Geikie


Perth [Scotland]

Date Original

1879 Mar 1


Original letter dimensions: 22.5 x 27 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 03, Image 1016

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



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.