J[ohn] M. Vanderbilt


John Muir



Sitka Alaska May 5th 1881

Dear Mr. Muir

Have just returned from our second trip to Chile at this season and I am very glad to say that business & prospects are better than we anticipated. We have given up on [Iakatat?] trip owning to the amount of work we have to attend to this season besides we learn that the [Iakatat?] Indians are expected to come down to Cross Sound to trade at our Hoonyah stove. The next steamer from Portland will bring boiler &c for our oil works which we will establish in Cross Sound. A Capt Almy has arrived here from Newport R.I. to [illegible] the same. We have now six stores in operation – the east one established is at the new town of Harrisburg or Rockwell in the Auk country about 8 miles below the Auk Glacier – the


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town contains about 50 houses & a white population of some 200 – very rich looking rock has been found in that vicinity, new finds are daily made & there is every prospect of that section being well prospected. I met Mr. Young about three weeks ago at the new town – he was on his way to Portland where he intends placing a number of indian boys at the Government School. Young said he would take a dun down to California to see you if he had time. The Glaciers are looking fine this spring and I am sure would be pleased to see you – I anticipate a fine trip this month up Glacier Bay Cross Sound where I will remain with the steamer eight or ten days prospecting the [hair seal ground?]. We have had a good deal of lovely weather this spring giving our numerous passengers opportunity to admire the beautiful scenery and above all


the noble Glaciers invariably enchanting all beholders. About a month ago I was down in Icy Straits near Cape Spencer with a party of mining expects on board who wanted to see Dick Willoughbys locations of ledges in that direction. We went up [illegible] for about twelve miles I estimated; the Inlet is about eight miles north of Cap Spencer. U.S. Signal Stations have just been established at our posts with one at Sitka – a man came out from Washington exp[illegible]dy for that purpose. I am very sorry that Mr & Mrs Lyons have left Sitka for Oregon we liked them & thought that they would always remain here, Mrs Lyons health failed so much that they were advised to leave this climate. We miss them greatly. It would give us great pleasure if you rcould come up this season with Mrs. Muir we would endeavor

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to make the time pass pleasantly for Mrs. Muir. I send by this mail a few bracelets which please accept from Yours truly

J.M. Vanderbilt

Mrs Vanderbilt joins me in kindest regards to yourself & Mrs Muir —

[in margin: 161]

[in margin: 1 St Mich June 20 4 East Cape Jul 1 2 Metc[illegible] June 27 3 Cape Serdze June 29 5 St Laurence July 3d 6 St Michaels July 8th,

[in margin: Jeanette Search July 31 1 [illegible] Aug 16 2 [Illegible] Land Aug 17 3 Out of Arctic Aug 25 5 In Plover [illegible] Aug 26 6 Perils of Whaling Aug 18 4 Icebound Shore sep 3 7 Homeward Bound Oct 4, 8]


Sitka, Alaska

Date Original

1881 May 5


Original letter dimensions: 25.5 x 40.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 04, Image 0528

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.


3 pages


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



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