John Muir


John Muir


[A. H., Fay, Emma and Frank Sellers]


New York

June 24


Dear friends, I'm off today on the Etruria for Liverpool. Keith went nearly three weeks ago. He is in a fussy hurry & I dont know whether I can catch him in the European wilderness or not as I am not at all familiar with the canons there. I had no intention of staying here so long, but I couldn't help it. The Century people took possession of me & made me go to dinners, clubs, famous people, places & things without number rhyme or reason. Strange to say many of the people seem to know me well - though until now I have hidden in the deepest shadows of the wilderness. I have had a good time every [way?] have been treated in royal style, & have even gained some new glacial


gospel. Have been up the Hudson & was delighted to find fresh traces of ice-action everywhere along that historic river. It is flowing in a glacial trough & every line in its landscapes is a glacial line scarce at all modified as yet by the post glacial agents. The very first day in New York - I found all the rocks in Central park were scared by the ancient ice sheet, & in every way as glacial in form as any in Alaska. Went to Boston, Concord, Manchester Cambridge Brookline etc etc etc. Dined with Emerson's son & family in Concord. They seemed to regard me as a long lost son. Met a college mate of Thoreau. Went to Walden pond, visited Emersons & Thoreaus graves & laid flowers on them. Col. Higginson took us to the mansions of Lowell & Longfellow. unchanged as yet. Had a good time with Prof. Sargent


at Brooklin. But ah has it not been hot & choky here the last few days, not honest California heat or even Chicago's I felt smoothered & stupefied as the following will show in good dog day doggerel. O for a lodge in some vast frigeration Some boundless contiguity or frost Some boreal prarie Icy Airy Where sultry heat from old Manhattan's shore Might never reach me more. O to escape this torred tedium Gathering Thorean's cypripedium Once more a blessed crank & tramp On Waldens leafy bank. Or bathe & lave as Concord sages did In cool Musketaquid. Or use the breezes for a fan From your lake Michigan. And O for more of that sweet lovely loafing At eve & dawn On Sargent's lawn With red breast Robin & gay chickaree


And round the cooling lily pond In clouds of rhododendron That vie With sunset sky In red & purple glory Another version of Arabran story. Fairy groves & halls & cool verandas A bloom with flowers & [fern?] & s[illegible] Which to no pen of mine Will come to rhyme, or time While here I weary swoon & swelter Every day a worser melter Eking out a life precarious On scraps of have-beens odd & various Icebergs, forests, streams, auroras, glacier meadows, mountain floras All in fading memory mingled In dullest prose or doggerel jingled. My useless clothes are falling fast, Before this wilting scorching blast My broiling flesh is gone or going Like snow in sunshine melting, flowing


Wit, s[illegible] all I fear will follow, E'en now my skull sounds light & hollow Thank heaven the little left will be Soon cooling on the breezy sea Then looking back I'll blow my slogan Like that brave sailor Paddy Grogan And on every wave of the heaving ma[illegible] I'll find my friends & joys again. But now for the land of [Tom?] [O'Shanter?] "The time approaches [Tom?] ma[illegible] ride. I take with me delightful memories of my stay with you, many thanks for your uncommon kindnesses, gooodbye Mrs Selelrs Mr Sellers Emma Frank, all goodbye goodbye goodbye

Ever Cordially

your friend

John Muir

Address, Edinburgh

c/o Bank of Scotland


[Room Red?]

Barrett - Slip[illegible]

John Muir

Letters to Col. A. H. and

Mrs. Sellers,

18[illegible] [illegible]


New York

Date Original

1893 Jun 24


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 07, Image 1156

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, click here to view the Holt-Atherton Special Collections policies.

Owning Institution

Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, Special Collections, University of Virginia 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



5 pages


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



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