[Annie Kennedy] Bidwell
July I6th 1879.
Dear Mrs Bidwell.
This is a charming portion of Gods lovely world, such a wondrous composition of land and water- still glassy bays and inlets islands and mountains. The voyage all the way up from Victoria is through the most wonderful system of ocean inlets straits reaches and channels imaginable. It was difficult to realize that we were on salt water at all- we seemed to be sailing on a deep winding river abounding in lovely mountain scenery, snow and ice on the summits dense forests from the snow line down to the waters edge. The Numerable Cascades like silver ribbons and webs of lace pouring in through the woods on either side the water calm and glassy fenced out from the swell of the ocean.
The whole marvellous network of fiords along this Northen Coast was eroded and fashioned by the ancient glaciers, and the small waves that plash their shores have not yet appreciable marked the rocks. I had a delightful botanical ramble yesterday through a forest and a bog. My old favorites of Canada were found in bloom, heathworts Linnea Cranberry huckleberries Sedum Pyrolq, etc. The forests are impenetrably dense, green and damp and mossy. Cupressus Menzies Spruce and Hemlock, one generation falling and crumbling into humus, for the next to grow upon the decaying leaves boughs and trunks and mosses forming a mass 10 to 15 ft. deep.
I saw four trees growing astride one prostrate trunk.- such mosses and ferns!!You and the General must come to this fine wild Northland. How little it is known, I have but a moment to write and you will excuse this hasty scribble. I will probally visit the Stickine Glaciers and will be in Port Townsend in a month from
Every cordially yrs. John Muir
Remember me to your Sister and the General. The glacial phenomena are most eloquently telling.
The punctuation is as Mr. Muir made it, and I leave it to Dr. Bade’ to properly place it. We are searching for Mr. Muir’s letters to General Bidwell, and will forward copies of some when found. As I have reported heretofore, my husband tied his letters in bundles convenient to handle, which have to be untied, and Mr. Muir’s, segregated. In these bundles, or packages, are letters of great value to us, but hundreds of packages, in many boxes, have to be examined to find what we wish.
Annie E. K. Bidwell
1879 Jul 16
Original letter dimensions unknown.
Muir, John, "Letter from John Muir to [Annie Kennedy] Bidwell, 1879 Jul 16." (1879). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 496.
Reel 03, Image 1118
The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, click here to view the Holt-Atherton Special Collections policies.
The Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.