[The following is the first rough draft of a letter to Mr. Kent]
Dear Mr. Kent,
[It] was a surprise of the pleasantest kind seeing my name in the tender and deed of the Tamalpais Sequoias, copy of which you sent with your letter of January 17. This is the very best monument to a tree-lover's memory that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world. You have done me a great enduring honor and needless to say I am proud of it. Long ago Asa Gray named several plants for me, the best of which, the most interesting, is a sturdy frost-enduring daisy that I discovered on the shore of the Arctic Ocean near Icy Cape. Schools here and there have planted Muir trees in their playgrounds; a Sierra peak and also one of the Alaska glaciers bear my name, but these aboriginal woods saved from man will outlast them all, even the mountain and glacier. Compared with Sequoia glaciers are young and fleeting. Mountains great and small, thousands of them, have been ground down, weathered, washed away, and cast into the sea since the first Sequoia forests lifted their domes and spires to the sky, and two of the many species have come safely through all the geological storms that have fallen upon them since the cretaceous period, surviving even the crushing, destroying ice sheets of the glacial period.
Saving these woods from the axe and saw, from money-changers and water-changers, and giving them to our country and the world is in many ways the most notable service to God and man I have ever known of since my forest wanderings began -- a much needed lesson and blessing to saint and sinner alike, and credit and encouragement to God himself. That so fine [and] divine a thing should have come out of money-mad Chicago, wha wad a thocht it.
Immortal Sequoia life to you,
Of course I'm with you in your all-embracing Mt. Tamalpais park plan. I have been away in the Mohave desert with my daughter Helen, who is convalescing from pneumonia. Hence [the] delay in replying to your letter of Jan. 17.
1908 Feb 6
Original letter dimensions: 18 x 20.5 cm.
Muir, John, "Letter from John Muir to [William] Kent, 1908 Feb 6." (1908). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 5263.
Reel 17, Image 0148
The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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, see http://www.pacific.edu/Library/Find/Holt-Atherton-Special-Collections/Fees-and-Forms-.html
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.
Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters