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Muir Family Papers: Finding Aid
mssHM 57349-57497  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Indexing: Subjects

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Muir Family Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1860-1906
    Collection Number: mssHM 57349-57497
    Creator: Muir (Family)
    Extent: 155 pieces in 3 boxes
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains correspondence and some ephemera of the family of naturalist John Muir (1838-1914). The correspondence largely deals with family affairs dating between the early 1860s to early 1900s. Many of the letters mention John and his activities at different points in his life.
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    Restrictions: Researchers wanting permission to quote from or to reproduce any of the John Muir letters in this collection must contact the Muir-Hanna Trust, via the University of the Pacific, to inquire about possible restrictions on the John Muir material.
    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Muir Family Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Gift of John C. Bell, September 1987.

    Biographical Note

    John Muir's family immigrated to the United States from Scotland in 1849, when he was eleven years old. The Muir family made their home on a farm near Portage, Wisconsin. Muir (1838-1914), after attending the University of Wisconsin, traveled around the United States for several years. He came to California in 1868, where he became a naturalist and an avid supporter of the Yosemite Valley, helping to establish Yosemite National Park in 1890. He wrote numerous articles and books concerning the environment and the importance of nature. Daniel H. Muir, Jr. (1843-1923), the recipient of the letters, and the younger brother of John Muir, became a medical doctor in 1870, and married Emma Kinaston in 1872.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains correspondence and ephemera from John Muir and his family. The family members represented in the collection are John Muir, his parents, his seven siblings, two of his sisters-in-law and two of his nieces. The letters largely deal with family affairs, and give a detailed account of the family's daily life. Many of the letters mention John and his activities at different points in his life. They often discuss Muir's location, his publications and the family's trips to California to see him, his wife Louie, and their two daughters, Wanda and Helen. Several of John Muir's letters are written from Yosemite Valley; these letters give detailed accounts of Muir's activities at Yosemite as well as physical descriptions of the valley.
    Correspondence: All but one letter (John Muir to Anne Gilrye Muir, HM 57467) are addressed to Daniel H. Muir Jr., or his wife Emma Kinaston Muir (eleven letters are addressed to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. and Emma Kinaston Muir). One-third of the letters are written by John Muir's mother Anne Gilrye Muir. One letter is written by E. C. Love, a friend of the Muir family. The correspondence includes the following members of the Muir family (list shows relation to John Muir and number of items written by each family member): Joanna Muir Brown, sister (6); Anna G. Galloway, niece (1); Sarah Muir Galloway, sister (16); Mary Muir Hand, sister (7); Anna Muir, sister (4); Anne Gilrye Muir, mother (68); Daniel Muir, father (6); Daniel H. Muir, Jr., brother (1); David G. Muir, brother (9); John Muir (28); Katie Muir, sister-in-law (1); Margaret Muir Reid, sister (1); and Anna Reid Waterman, niece (1).
    Ephemera: The ephemera consists of six folders and contains calling cards, a Christmas card, envelopes, wedding invitations, mementos from John Muir, and miscellaneous printed ephemera, including newspaper clippings.


    Correspondence arranged alphabetically by author, followed by ephemera at the end of Box 3.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Muir family.
    Muir, John, 1838-1914.
    Conservationists -- California -- Correspondence.
    Naturalists -- California -- Correspondence.


    Letters (correspondence) -- California.

    Alternate Authors

    Brown, Joanna Muir.
    Galloway, Anna G.
    Galloway, Sarah Muir.
    Hand, Mary Muir.
    Muir, Anna.
    Muir, Anne Gilrye.
    Muir, Daniel.
    Muir, Daniel H., Jr.
    Muir, David G.
    Muir, John, 1838-1914.
    Muir, Katie.
    Reid, Margaret Muir.
    Waterman, Anna Reid.

    Indexing: Subjects

    Agassiz, Louis, 1807-1873.
    • Subject in John Muir, 1838-1914, letter (1872, Sep. 27) to Anne Gilrye Muir. HM 57467.
    Sierra Club.
    • Subject in Sarah Muir Galloway letter (1901, July 29) to Emma Kinaston Muir. HM 57368.
    Yosemite Valley (Calif.)
    • Subject in John Muir, 1838-1914, letter (1872, Sep. 27) to Anne Gilrye Muir. HM 57467.
    • Subject in John Muir, 1838-1914, letter (1869, Dec. 3) to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. HM 57483.
    • Subject in John Muir, 1838-1914, letter (1870, June 21) to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. HM 57486.
    • Subject in John Muir, 1838-1914, letter (1870, Sep. 22) to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. HM 57487.