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John Muir: Family, Friends, and Adventures

Edited by Sally M. Miller and Daryl Morrison

Book Cover of John Muir In Historical Perspective Edited by Sally M. Miller ( from the book's dust jacket )

John Muir: Family, Friends, and Adventures
Edited by Sally M. Miller and Daryl Morrison
(Albuquerque, University of New Mexico Press, 2005)

Since 1980 California's University of the Pacific has hosted the John Muir Institute dedicated to promoting the legacy of the famed environmentalist. These essays are papers presented at the John Muir Center's institute in 2001.

Ruth Sutter explores the friendship between John Muir and his neighbor, John Swett, the innovative California educator. Daryl Morrison considers the role Muir played in the lives of children and they in his. Ronald Limbaugh provides two essays: one describes the dispute about the publication of some of Muir's most personal correspondence, while the other presents the friendship of Muir and landscape painter William Keith.

Ronald Eber focuses on Muir as the national spokesman for American wilderness and forests. Char Miller highlights the interplay between John Muir and Gifford Pinchot in America's nineteenth-century environmental movement. Daniel Philippon examines how Muir's later domestic life changed his rhetoric and how he promoted the preservation of wilderness. Barbara Mossberg presents an overview of Muir's vision of the value of wilderness necessary for America's physical, spiritual, economic, and cultural survival.

James Perrin Warren describes how a shared experience on the Alaska Expedition could bring naturalists Muir and John Burroughs closer in their approach. Bonnie Johanna Gisel provides an account of an 1873 trip through the Tuolumne Canyon by John Muir and his friend and mentor, Jeanne C. Carr. Corey Lewis studies Muir's methodology to understand and experience his fieldwork approach. Michael Branch focuses on Muir's final journey to explore South America and Africa. Each of these essays will bring new ideas for future study of John Muir.

"Muir's orientation toward plants and trees, what we might call his plant-mindedness, suffused all he observed and experienced, as nature and wilderness revealed to him the interconnectedness of all life, woven in a carpet of transfused cells that glorified each other and in so doing manifest the work of God.

"Let us then examine Muir through a lens ground here at the beginning of his journey in the Calypso borealis and, at the terminus, in the beauty of the Araucaria imbricata, to which he instinctively gravitated high on the western slope of the Andes. We will explore the intervening years during which Muir experienced his path-filled pathless journey. Muir, as did his mentor and lifelong friend Jeanne Carr, would germinate friendships like wildflowers and would grow his family, whom he carried in his heart wherever he went. Through this lens of friends and family let us examine Muir as he wandered, cultivating awareness of wilderness and the preservation of wild, healthful, and scenic places as he grafted new plants, people, and places onto his person."

- from the Introduction by Bonnie Johanna Gisel

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


Meeting John Muir's Family, Friends, and Adventures
Between the Calypso borealis and the Araucaria imbricata by Bonnie Johanna Gisel


PART I: Family and Friends

Chapter 1: John Muir and the John Swett Family by Ruth E. Sutter

Chapter 2: John Muir and the Bairns: Muir and His Relationship with Children by Daryl Morrison

Chapter 3: California's Kindred Spirits: John Muir and William Keith by Ronald H. Limbaugh

Part II: Controversies

Chapter 4: Pride, Prejudice, and Patrimony: The Dispute Between George Wharton James and the Family and Friends of John Muir by Ronald H. Limbaugh

Chapter 5: "Wealth and Beauty: John Muir and Forest Conservation by Ronald Eber

Chapter 6: With Friends Like these: John Muir,Gifford Pinchot,and the Drama of Environmental Politics by Char Miller

Part III: Literary Aspects

Chapter 7: Domesticity, Tourism, and the National Parks in John Muir's Late Writings by Daniel J. Philippon

Chapter 8: If Trees are Us: A Relativity Theory Showing the Genius of John Muir's Domestic Vision of Nature for Public Policy and the National Ethos by Barbara Mossberg

Part IV: Adventures

Chapter 9: Near and Far: Burroughs and Muir on the Harriman Alaska Expedition by James Perrin Warren

Chapter 10: "Those Who Walk Apart but Ever Together Are True Companions" Jeanne Carr and John Muir in the High Sierra by Bonnie Johanna Gisel

Chapter 11: Meeting Muir's Mountains by Corey Lewis

Chapter 12: John Muir's Travels to South America and Africa by Michael P. Branch



SALLY M. MILLER is the former managing editor for publications at the John Muir Center for Regional Studies and professor emerita of history, University of the Pacific, Stockton, California

DARYL MORRISON is head of special collections at the General Library at the University of California, Davis.

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