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Letter to Joseph Hooker, October 20, 1904

by John Muir


Martinez California Oct 20th 1904

Dear Sir Joseph,

When I got home from my long journey abroad, none of the letters awaiting me gave greater pleasure than Mr Nicholson's, which assured me that you were again in your usual good health. How sorry Prof. Sargent and I were on leaving London last year without seeing you, you must know. We had an interesting trip, though far too short, through Southern Russia - the Crimea - along the Black Sea, to Batoum and Tiflis and across the Caucasus by the Dariel Pass and North to Moscow.

Thence across the Urals, through vast fertile Siberia and beautiful Manchuria. We saw a good deal of Manchuria about Lake Baikal and Harbin, the Kingdom Mountains, the Amoor and Vladivostock. I wanted to see more of the Ural mountains and their dense forests than could be seen from the railroad; but Prof. Sargent would not stop even for a day. Leaving Siberia and Vladivostock we sailed to Shanghai, where we separated, Prof Sargent going for a few days to Pekin and thence for a short visit to the Botanical gardens at Batavia and thence straight back to Boston - while I, free once more went on alone to India and made short trips in the Himalaya at Darjeeling and Simla. Thence to Egypt, Ceylon, Australia, New Zealand and the Phillipines; and home by China, Japan and Honolulu.

You were so many times in mind when I was in India and I often thought of the pleasure you must have had as a young, enthusiastic naturalist in the magnificent New Zealand forests. Your long life Sir Joseph has been truly noble; and I am, with sincere respect and admiration- faithfully yours,

John Muir.


Source: Kew Gardens archives, London, England; transcribed by Graham White

Acquired November 11, 1999



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