Pugh John Muir 1998 First Day Cover
This first day cover is accompanied by the following educational insert covering both Muir biography and the story behind this cover, reprinted here by permission from Julian Pugh:
Celebrate the Century - 1900-1909
John Muir, Preservationist - Scott 3182j
"Often referred to as a father of national parks, John Muir was a naturalist who championed the wilderness and its preservation."
John Muir (myoor [1838-1914]) ws born in Dunbar, Scotland and migrated to the United States with his family when he was 11. He grew up on a farm in Wisconsin and developed a strong love of nature from an early age. As a boy he attracted attention with his inventions and entered the University of Wisconsin at the age of 22. Muir supported himself by teaching and doing farm work during the summer and one of his major interests was botany.
Quite an explorer, he was also a writer and very much a naturalist, and combined these talents and his interests to campaign for forest conservation throughout the United States. His efforts, almost single handedly initially, began to influence a belief in conservation long before the general public became aware that the forests in the nationa faced a future problem of monumenal significance.
Ultimately his efforts influenced Congress to pass the Yosemite National
Park bill in 1890, which established both Yosemite and Sequoia National
Parks. Additionally, he persuaded President Theodore Roosevelt (see
Scott 3182b, our Item 98-0050) to set aside 148 million acres of forest
A redwood forest near San Francisco was named Muir Woods in his honor in
1908. Known as Muir Woods National Monument, the forest is one of the
states most famous redwood groves. William Kent, a California
statesman, donated it to the United States.
Muir tramped through many regions of the United States, Europe, Asia,
Africa, and the Arctic and spent six years in the area of Yosemite Valley
alone studying just this one area. He was the first person to explain
the valleys glacial origin. While some were skeptical of his analysis
of Yosemite, in 1879 he discovered a glacier in Alaska which now bears
his name. When his detractors surveyed his Alaska findings it ultimately
led to the acceptance of his theory about Yosemite as fact.
Muir referred to California as "the grand side of the mountain," and for
years owned a large fruit ranch there. In 1892, Muir founded the Sierra
Club, which became a leading conservation organization that survives to
this day. Muir wrote The Mountains of California (1894), Our Nations
Parks (1901), and The Yosemite (1912).
As virtually everyone in the hobby who knows either Dave Fletcher (FIP
Covers) or Sharon and me are aware, the Fletchers and the Pughs have
developed a close relationship that was founded on our common interests
in first day covers. For a while Dave and his wife Pat, lived in the San
Francisco area. When the AFDCS 40th annual convention was scheduled at
Irvine, CA (1995) we asked the Fletchers for some advise as to the sites
we should attempt to visit on our combined annual convention/vacation
trip. He mentioned, among other sites, the Muir Woods, Yosemite, and the
Sequoia National Forests. Neither Sharon nor I had ever been to any of
these sites but had written about them based on our research for these
stuffers (see Scott 2280, our Item 8826). We took him at his word and
spent time at all three locations. After the visits we had a whole new
appreciation for Muir, his conserva-tion efforts, the three forests, as
well as Dave and Pat. If you've never been to all these sites, make it a
point to do so. We can assure you the visit will not have been in vain.
Our cachet for Scott 2280 (referenced above and issued in 1988) had a
whole new meaning for us and helped inspire us for this cachet design as
well. But no cachet design can adequately portray the splendor of any of
these three great wonders, particularly Yosemite. You just must see it
to truly appreciate the wonderment in the creations of God and gaze upon
the worlds oldest living things.
First Day Cover by Pugh Cachets, Inc.,
P.O. Box 8789
The Woodlands, TX 77387-8789
Muir was previously honored with a 5 cent postage stamp in 1964.
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