John Muir


John Muir


[Robert Underwood] Johnson


Martinez Feb. 24, 1894

My dear Mr Johnson

In my haste yesterday to get off the Alaska M. S. I forgot the maps. I have no good map of the territory, Glacier Bay, or the Muir Glacier, but you can get all those through Miss S[cud?]more. A general sketch map of Alaska may easily be found, but the only maps for Glacier Bay & the Muir Glacier are those of Prof. Harry Fielding Reid. He worked two summers with good instruments borrowed from the Coast Survey in making them. I think they were published by the Appletons. You can easily find them through Miss S[cud?]more. I made rough sketches, but Reids are infinitely better than mine.
In looking over the M. S. as I have arranged it you will see that the first article is a general view of the Territory & a description of the steamer trip through Southeastern Alaska as seen by a tourist. The overabundance of material in my mind in going over the route made it difficult to keep from saying too much & to keep from repeating what I had already written on the subject. Still I think you will now find it a fair picture of the trip. Anyhow I have carefully revised it & done my best. This kind of touch-&-go writing is hard for me. Women do it best.
The 2nd article--Glacier Bay reads well I think & is not blurred by anything not belonging to it. Your will notice that I have added two pages of introduction



which if you don't like you can easily leave out, and if you wish to add the notes on the Indians they may be placed either as a head or tail to the article under a subtitle. But as I suggested in yesterday's letter if used at all they should with such additions & the setting I can give them from a 3d article.
I'm sorry this cold M. S. should have given you so much trouble. I thought at first the article was to be one published in two parts like a combined story, & and writing it I tried to fancy myself on one of the pleasure steamers with a crowd of tourists talking to me. This accounts for the desultoriness you complain of. If your readers would only stand still & listen how gladly & easily I could give them a score of articles instead of two, taking up one subject at a time & staying lovingly with it as if nothing else in the world existed.
As to the illustrations, they seem to me generally good. But the grand frontal discharging wall the only part of the Muir Glacier that most of the tourists see, is shown in only one picture



& this one is a view from the west shore of the inlet where not one tourist in a thousand ever goes. Besides the picture seems to me singularly dull & untelling. I called Mr. Frazer's attention to it on my return from Europe but I see nothing has been done on the matter. Therefore I now send you some photographs to choose from, hoping there may still be time to make a better picture of the great wall & the ice-cliffs. Please return when done with them as they belong to a set I want to keep.
Tell me in your next about Teslas plans if you have anything new. Who published his book?
Mrs. Muir says try to make Mr. Johnson come with Tesla. I devoutly wish you would We will try to keep the Yosemite dogs off you. How different were my experiences in New York from yours in California. I'm ashamed of my country--the Irish of it. Every truly

Your friend John Muir



Martinez, [Calif]

Date Original



Original letter dimensions: 26.5 x 20 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 08, Image 0139

Collection Identifier

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

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

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.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date



3 pages


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



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.