Ruthven Deane


Ruthven Deane


John Muir


Copied from a letter by Mrs. R. L. Waterston – datedYosemite Valley, Cal.,July 4th, 1870.We found fair accommodations at Leidig's, the first house you reach in the Valley. Mr. Bacon’s party and ourselves are the only travellers in the house. (There are three hotels in the Valley. We walked through a pleasant path last evening, the little moon looked over the great Yosemite cliffs very much as she does at Quincy. This A.M. I took a walk of four miles with our Guide to the Yosemite Fall — a scramble, but the scenery worth it. We stopped at a sawmill where I had a pleasant talk with a handsome young Scotchman.* His love of nature and the study of Botany is very great and after receiving an education at one of the colleges (I was going to say Western colleges, but in California I must say Eastern) he came to California and supports himself by working as he goes, camping out alone, or rather living with Nature. He is a remarkable man — has read and studied Botany well. His love of Nature, who is "his mother and divine" casts out all fear. He told me of valleys lying far beyond this, hidden away among mountains, exquisite in their beauty, filled with lovely flowers and trees and all untrodden by man — "only God is there", he said. He told me that those desolate plains we passed over between Stockton and Mariposa blossomed like the "Garden of the Lord" in the spring, worlds of beauty and flowers. "I was keeping sheep all winter there, and in April it was more beautiful than words can tell". Indeed Mr. Muir was so eloquent, so unexpected, and so charming that he seemed well in harmony with the Valley. He is at present running a saw-mill for his daily bread and living in a little hut beside which a stream flows and flowers bloom. This description of the plains made me quite wish for a winter there, but think I am not well fitted for a shepherdess. Aunt Anna says in this note. “Mr. John Muir, since well known as a writer on the subject of the Yosemite, and other scenes in California.”(See letter of Mr. Ruthven Deane, June 9, 1914)



Date Original

1914 Jun 9


Original letter dimensions: 14 x 22 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 22, Image 0383

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

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.


5 pages



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