James Wyille


Ja[me]s Wyllie


John Muir


[letterhead]Aug 14th 1912.My Dear Mr. Muir,Your interesting and welcome letter of June 25th came duly to hand. I was gratified to find that your journeyings throughout a portion of Southern and Eastern Africa had proven of such an interesting and instructive character, and that you arrived home in good health. I was sorry when we arrived at Cape Town (where we have had our home for over 30 years) that I was unable to devote some time to you in showing you a number of beauty spots in the Cape Peninsula which you were unlikely to see alone. As you are, however, aware, my sprained foot prevented me from doing so.Mrs Wyllie and I have often wondered whether you would find the pleasure and gratification you anticipated from a Botanical and Geological point of view.We were quite sure, however, that you05250

[letterhead]2would find Africa a country of great interest.I have myself travelled in a good many countries and somewhat extensively in Africa and the conclusion to which I have come is, that Africa is the most interesting country in the world. I also think the least known to the civilized people of the world.From what I know of this country I venture to assert that the future (It may be the far future) of this unknown country will not only become increasingly interesting but the surprise and amazement of millions of human beings yet unborn.That this huge continent is capable of yielding everything necessary to meet the physical requirements of God's wonderful creation and the teeming multitudes of human beings that must ultimately possess it, is as yet only realised by a few.The time in my opinion will come when Africa will compete with America for first place with regard to numbers05250

[letterhead]3of human beings and probably outstrip America in its infinite variety of animal and other living structures; while at the same time, it must alway provide a wide field for intellectual gropings, with regard to the psychology of its varied peoples and their destiny in the social fabric of humanity.My foot is now almost better and I can walk with freedom again.Rheumatic Gout had given Mrs Wyllie much trouble and pain of late. She is happily a good deal better, the last two weeks, but I am afraid the trouble has become chronic.Miss Wyllie is A. 1. She has taken up Golf seriously, in fact she seems to have got the fever badly, and wishes to devote more time to it than her mother thinks she should. Any aid to robust health is a good investment, and I am incluined to condone the offence if fault it be05250

[letterhead]4I have been wondering if your first hurried visit to Africa satisfied your curiosity, and inquisitive research into Botanical and Geological matters, or whether you may not be induced to pay another visit to the unexplored regions of Africa. If you should come to Cape Town I will promise you a hearty welcome if I should be at home.I sincerely trust that your health continues satisfactory and that your Daughters with their families are enjoying a similar blessing.And now with our united kind regards I remain your trulyJas Wyllie.


Cape Town [S. Africa]

Date Original

1912 Aug 14


Original letter dimensions: 25.5 x 20 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 20, Image 1191

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.


4 pages


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



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