W[illiam] P. Gibbons


[John Muir]


Alameda 11/9th 1894

Dear John

Here I am again in my old quarters, where my brain has been so long absorbing nutriment from surrounding books, like a calf
sucking milk from its mothers udder. There's plenty of milk left, but somehow or other the apparatus for taking it in, is not in such complete order as in days past, & may be, the mental appetite is not so ravenous, as when the arguments of Knowledge brought in their precious freights during the noonday of manhood.
What think you? A month ago, after winnowing out most of the chaff from the Ms. which was returned to me from the Century Mag. with a polite note that they had "the pleasure of reading it" but--etc. I mailed it to Scribner & like the prodigal son, it came home again last week, accompained with the usual "but." Those publishers must have some pretty good goats' foreheads. Now I know there's not a line of nonsense or chaff in that paper, & I would not have been ashamed to subject it to the criticism of the lamented Dr. Holmes or any other master spirit of the literary world & more than that, its all new matter. Well, I own to be disappointed, es-


[es-]pecially now when the nettles of necessity are impinging on the sensitive membrane of feeling. Well now, my dear friend, I want your counsel. Is it worth my time to be spending time on these subjects? I have enough for two papers on Oregon trees:--a paper on the Redwoods--one on Oaks & other of our [illegible]inal.--One on deserted mining towns, without illustrations: & lots of unassorted notes of early Cal days. Also, an interesting paper with illustrations on the struggles for life under difficulties among trees. If I could turn them to some account, I would be glad to do it.
As soon as I can find a niche of time I proposed making a short visit to you. Give my kindest regards to the family & believe me as ever

Very truly yours



Alameda [Calif]

Date Original



Original letter dimensions: 27 x 20.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 08, Image 0501

Collection Identifier

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

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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.


2 pages


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



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