Biography: The Life and Contributions of John Muir
This section features articles, essays, chronologies, books, an atlas, and other
resources written by others about John Muir. See also our Bibliographic
Resources and the Writings by John Muir.
Introducing John Muir
- Chronology of the Life
and Legacy of John Muir - from his birth to the present day (1838-2016)
This detailed chronology offers a year-by year timeline of Muir's life, followed
by the ongoing - and increasing - interest in Muir down to the present. Many
links will lead you to various fascinating parts of the John Muir Exhibit.
Scotland - Muir's Birthplace
Wisconsin Boyhood and Inventions
Muir in Canada
Muir in Yosemite
Hetch Hetchy - Muir's Last Battle
Alaska - Exploring Glaciers
Family and Ranch Life
- The Muir Family in Arizona by Lilian Whiting
"John Muir in Oregon"
, by Ronald Eber
"John Muir in Russia, 1903"
, by William H. Brennan
"John Muir on Alaska Gold"
"John Muir on California Agriculture"
John Muir and William Bartram
- "John Muir's Photograph Collection"
by Janene Ford
"John Muir in the Amazon Basin"
, by Laurel Bemis
- Muir, Michaux, And Gray On The Roan By Bob Fulcher - reprint from The Tennessee Conservationist, September-October, 1998, about Muir's 1898 botanical excursion to Roan Mountain
- Jeanne Carr on Shasta, by Jeanne C. Carr
"John Muir and the Desert Connection"
, by Peter Wild
- Tracking John Muir to the Monkey Puzzle Forests of Chile by Bruce Byers (off-site link)
- fascinating article and photos tracking Muir's visit to Chile in 2012.
John Muir Reminiscences
by those who knew him
visit to John Muir in his dorm room, ca. 1862, by Grace Sterling Linseley.
Recollections of John Muir, 1935. .Original manuscript in the Wisconsin
Historical Society Archives (SC1912). (Off-site link)
- Camping with Burroughs and Muir by Clara
- With John o' the Birds
and John o' the Mountains by Clara Barrus (1910)
- John Muir by Bailey Millard
- John Muir: An Appreciation by
President Theodore Roosevelt
- Academic Honors Given John Muir in his Lifetime
- John Muir by John Swett
Muir- Address Delivered by Charles R. Van Hise upon the Occasion of the
Unveiling of a Bronze Bust of John Muir by the Sculptor C. S. Pietro at
the University of Wisconsin, - December 6, 1916 (offsite link).
- A Conversation with John Muir from World's
Work [London, England] Nov. 1906 - a humorous Interview with John Muir
covers his travels around the world and adventures on California's Mount
Shasta, Arizona's Petrified Forest, and trips to see trees in Siberia,
India, Ceylon, and Australia.
of John Muir" by Myra Honegger
- Glaciers in Alaska: An Enthusiastic
Report of John Muir's Lecture at Vancouver by O.O. Howard (January
- John Muir by Ernest Ingersoll
(The Mentor, June 5, 1919)
- To the Memory of John Muir by
C. Hart Merriam
- A Tribute to John Muir: Naturalist,
Writer, and Man by George Hamlin Fitch
- A Parable of Sauntering by Albert
W. Palmer - Including a conversation with John Muir showing how Muir hated
"hiking" - both the word and the thing. (excerpted from The
Mountain Trail and Its Message (1911) .
- Tributes from Those Who Knew Him -
excerpts from essays below
- Complete book: Alaska
Days with John Muir by S. Hall Young (1915) - available in various
digital formats from archive.org (offsite link)
- Sierra Club Bulletin John Muir Memorial
Number - Volume 10, Number 1, January 1916 (includes the following
Modern Essays About John Muir
- See our page on Tributes to John Muir for
other kinds of honors and tributes to Muir. This section features only written tributes.
First Environmentalist, John Muir by Dr. Jim Butler (offsite link -
currently broken )
- John Muir and the United States
National Park System - a speech by former Sierra Club President Lawrence
- John Muir, the Sierra, Yosemite National Park & the Sierra Club by Bonnie J. Gisel, Ph.D., Curator, LeConte Memorial Lodge, A speech presented on the Occasion of the Sierra Club Resilient Habitats Campaign Retreat March 26 â€“ 29, 2012, Clair Tappaan Lodge
- John Muir by Lawrence Clark Powell - "If
I were to choose a single Californian to occupy the Hall
of Fame, it would be this tenacious Scot who became a Californian during
the final forty-six years of his life."
- A Visit
to John Muir's Wisconsin Farm by Bill Tweed
- Triumph For Man and Nature: The American Wilderness and John Muir: Part
1 | Part
by Shane Mahoney, in Bugle:
The Journal of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
(Vol. 22:3 May/June 2005 & Vol. 22:6 Nov/Dec. 2005 [Off-site links]
the (Low Carbon) Footsteps of John Muir by Greg Haegele, Sierra Club
on Treehugger.com (April
18, 2008) - "Muir was a visionary who worked hard to protect land
even when there was plenty of open space around. Sometimes he was a lonely
voice, because not everyone around him understood or supported the need
to conserve magnificent places for future generations to explore and enjoy.
Kind of like being a global-warming activist in places that still deny
it's happening. Muir persevered, and we're all better off for it."
Cool things About John Muir by Greg Haegele, Sierra Club on Treehugger.com (April
- Thank You John Muir -
poem by M.P. Khan
- Saint John Muir by Harold Wood (June 29, 2014)
- All the Colors of Nature by Michael Brune (November 12, 2015)
- The Light at the End - and Beginning - of John Muir's Journey by Barbara Mossberg (December 20, 2015)
About Muir's Books and Articles
Importance of John Muir
- "John Muir's Public Service" by
William O. Douglas (excerpted from Muir of the Mountains)
- John Muir: The Living Spirit
and Founder of the World Conservation Movement by Graham White (1996)
- John Muir: The Wilderness
Journeys - the Introduction by Graham White (1996)
and Meadowlarks: Two Muir Letters Rediscovered"
Mania: A Legacy with Legs by Kit Stolz, Sierra Magazine,
November-December, 2001) (off-site link)
- Muir Set the Pattern for Those
Who Followed by Robert Michael Pyle
Muir and the 1906 Antiquities Act by David Blackburn (off-site link)
- Seventeen Years to Success: John
Muir, William Gladstone Steel, and the Creation of Yosemite and Crater
Lake National Parks By Stephen R. Mark, Historian, Crater Lake National
Park, U.S. National Park Service
- John Muir's Defense of Wildlife by
- John Muir on Caves by Jennifer Ong
- A Note on John Muir and the Appalachian
Mountain Club by Richard Fleck (Muir's advocacy of preserving the White
Mountains of New Hampshire).
- Letter to John Muir - To the Glory of
Nature, John Muir, Eternity by Rex Burress
- Prizing the
Power of the Sea by Michael Russell, Scotland's Cabinet secretary for
education and lifelong learning, and former minister for the environment.
Russell argues that "John Muir would have been excited by the prospect
that the natural resources around us may actually be the key to solving
the climate crisis
Muir's Legacy Lives On - by The Scottish Government, News Release,
April 9, 2010. Michael Russell is quoted about Muir's inspiration to combat
climate hange today, and the Sierra Club stated: "The Sierra Club
is honored to share John Muir's legacy with the John Muir Trust and the
Scottish Government. Together, we can face the greatest global challenge
of our generation. Together, we can bend the arc of history and beat climate
change." - Carl Pope (April 9, 2010).
- John Muir's Legacy is Alive and Well in a World that is "One Great Dewdrop" by Harold Wood (November 22, 2014)
- Remarks by Spencer Black to the Natural Herigage Land Trust at the Celebration of the Purchase of Fountain Lake Farm (October 15, 2014).
- Remembering John Muir on the centennial of the National Park Service by Mark Stoll ( August 27, 2016) (off-site link)
- John Muir: The Celebration of
Wilderness by Richard F. Fleck
- Sermon: Easter People: John Muir by
Rev. Virginia Pearson and Bill Hanna, John Muir's Great-Grandson
- "The Nature Mysticism of John
Muir" by Larry Gates
- "John Muir's Menu" by
J. Parker Huber, Sierra (Vol. 79, Issue 6, p. 66, Nov/Dec 1994.)
- God and John Muir: A Psychological
Interpretation by Mark R. Stoll
into Wilderness: A Christian Perspective on John Muir ,
a book review
- "Why climb mountains? John
Muir and Clarence King at a historical crossroads of American mountain
climbing" by Erica Goldman
Muir and the Feminist Movement" , by Ronald H. Limbaugh
- Zen Buddhism
in John Muir by Michelle L. Dwyer
Muir and the Modern Passion for Nature" by Dr. Donald Worster,
featured as the Lynn W. Day Distinguished Lectureship in Forest and Conservation
History for 2004 (off-site link).
Transcendentalism: Emerson, Muir and the Experience of Nature by James
that's wild: It's spring in Yosemite and I can hear John Muir calling me
-- time to head for the mountains by Gary Kamiya - Salon.com May
15, 2007 (off-site link)
- "John Muir and the Poetics of Natural Conversion" (PDF) by John Tallmadge, North Dakota Quarterly 59::2 (Spring 1991), pp. 62-79. Discussion of My First Summer in the Sierra as a conversion story. Includes an insightful analysis of why Muir's regard for plants and animals as "people" and our 'horizontal brothers" is not an application of the so-called "pathetic fallacy." This article provided for the John Muir Exhibit by the author, John Tallmadge.
Articles from other Sources
Digital Books or Book Chapters about John Muir
- Bibliographic Resources -
the library is still the best resource for John Muir! Use our annotated bibliography,
book reviews, book jacket summaries, and press releases to find the best
books! Also check out the best
bookstore for Muir books!
- Crossword Puzzles - Printable Puzzles
involving Muir's life!
- Pictures - Historical
Photographs, paintings, sketches of Muir
- Related Resources -
- Writings by John Muir - Nearly all
of Muir's books and many of his other writings are available online.
- 1980 - The University hosted its first John Muir Conference, which are now held about every five years. A monograph series based on the conferences began in 1981 with the publication of The World of John Muir.
- 1985 - The papers from this conference were published the same year in John Muir: Life and Legacy, in The Pacific Historian, Vol. 29, Numbers 2 & 3 (Summer/Fall 1985).
- 1990 - The publication of conference proceedings continued with the 1993 publication of John Muir: Life and Work, by the University of New Mexico Press.
- 1996 John Muir Conference Abstracts
of Papers - by University of the Pacific
John Muir Conference Abstracts of Papers - by University of the Pacific
- 2006 John Muir Conference - Abstracts
of Papers- by University of the Pacific
- 2010 John Muir Conference - Conference Summary
- 2014 John Muir Symposium - Announcement
- New California Hall of Fame