Harry Fielding Reid


John Muir




Cleveland, O. Feb 19, 1891

My dear Prof. Muir,

I have been at work all the winter, giving all the time I could to preparing a report of my last summers’ observations. My map is finished, my photographs are now being printed and I am writing our my report, which I hope will soon be completed. Prof. Wright has sent me a photograph which he took of the ice front in 1886, from a point some two thousand feet above it. It shows the great


central point, he has figured in his map, projecting about a quarter mile beyond the sides; so we shall have to concede considerable changes in the form of the ice front; in fact after you left us last summer, the ice of the eastern part of the front fell away so rapidly that it produced a bay about a quarter mile deep. But what is more interesting still; on comparing Prof. Wrights’ photograph with my map, I find that the ice-front has receded about




Cleveland, O.

a thousand yards in the last four years. This brings up another point: Capt. [Carroll?] made several soundings last summer. I unfortunately failed to record them; but as I remember, the first was some two or three hundred yards from the ice and showed a depth of 680 ft. The second was quite near the ice and showed 720 ft. Now as all this space was covered by the ice four years ago, this difference of level, 40 ft, could not


could not be caused by sedimentary deposit since then; therefore there must be a depression in the bed of the glacier, which would be a lake basin if above the level of the sea. This lake basin, however, may not be in solid rock, but may be in glacial till, & present a rising front just as the present deposits under the [wings?] of the glacier. If you have or can get me the actual soundings and just how far from the ice front they were made, I shall be greatly obliged. I shall soon be able to send you some photographs.

Yours truly sincerely

Harry Fielding Reid.



Cleveland, O[hio]

Date Original

1891 Feb 19


Original letter dimensions: 21.5 x 14 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 07, Image 0085

Collection Identifier

Online finding aid for the microform version of the John Muir Correspondence

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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.


3 pages


Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters



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