John Muir


[John Muir]


[Houghton Mifflin Co.]


[Rough draft of letter][June, 1911].[Houghton Mifflin Company,s Boston, Mass.]I have been reading over my 1st vol. Auto[biography] correcting and making slight changes. Your Mr. Scaife conveyed to me that your proposal was to pay me a royalty of fifteen per cent. on the retail price, increasing to twenty after the sales of ten thousand copies. Excepting the 10,000 copies clause there terms are satisfactory. Should you feel able to assume the risk of changing the terms to 20 per cent, on all copies sold, I shall send a corrected copy of the manuscript, and sign the contract without further delay. If not, please send me the copy of the MS. left with you, and in any case, whatever luck may befall this first vol[ume] of my life story, believe me, dear sirs,faithfully yours,[John Muir]Years ago, in reply to publishers’letters concerning my Auto[biography] I promised to allow several of them to read the M.S. before signing any contract. I now regret having placed myself under these obligations, for I think that an author should select his publisher on more general grounds than a slight difference in royalty. However, I have not mentioned your proposed terms to any other publisher. As to the magazine rights Mr. Scaife told me that the Youth's Companion and Atlantic Magazine would pay about $750. This price seems far too small. I think it should be at least $l200.05029


[place unknown]


Original letter dimensions: 17 x 14.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 20, Image 0446

Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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

Owning Institution

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date



3 pages



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.