Muir Family Papers: Finding Aid

Processed by Brooke M. Black, completed July 20, 1998; machine-readable finding aid created by Xiuzhi Zhou; supplementary encoding and revision by Diann Benti in June 2017.
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
© 1998
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


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.

Access

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.

Provenance

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.

Arrangement

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.  

Subjects

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

Forms/Genres

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.

Collection Contents

 

Correspondence and Ephemera

Box 1

Correspondence, Joanna Muir Brown-Anna Muir

 

Brown, Joanna Muir. 3 letters to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. (1872-1878) HM 57349-57351. 

 

Brown, Joanna Muir. 2 letters to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. and Emma Kinaston Muir. (1872) HM 57352-57353.

 

Brown, Joanna Muir. 1 letter to Emma Kinaston Muir. (1874, May 16) HM 57354.

 

Galloway, Sarah Muir. 9 letters to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. (1863-1899) HM 57355-57363.

Scope and Content Note

With HM 57356 is a note to Daniel H. Muir Jr. from David M. Galloway.
 

Galloway, Sarah Muir. 2 letters to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. and Emma Kinaston Muir. (1900) HM 57364-57365.

 

Galloway, Sarah Muir. 5 letters to Emma Kinaston Muir. (1896-1906) HM 57366-57370.

 

Hand, Mary Muir. 6 letters to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. (1865-1901) HM 57371-57376. 

Scope and Content Note

On verso of HM 57372 are notes written and signed by Anna Muir, and Joanna Muir Brown. HM 57373 is in the form of a fable.
 

Hand, Mary Muir. 1 letter to Emma Kinaston Muir. (1889) HM 57377.

 

Love, E. C. 1 letter to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. (1900, Feb. 27) HM 57378.

 

Muir, Anna. 3 letters to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. (1865-1872) HM 57379-57381.

 

Muir, Anna. 1 letter to Emma Kinaston Muir. Also note on back - "From aunts about Grandmother Muir's illness." (1896, June 18) HM 57382.

Box 2

Correspondence, Anne Gilrye Muir

 

Muir, Anne Gilrye. 56 letters to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. (1865-1894) HM 57383-57438. 

Scope and Content Note

With HM 57396 is a letter to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. by Mary Hand Muir. On verso of HM 57405 is a letter to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. from Joanna Muir Brown. With HM 57407 is a letter to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. from Anna Muir. With HM 57415 is a letter to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. from Joanna Muir Brown. With HM 57416 is a letter to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. from Anna Muir. With HM 57421 is a letter to Emma Kinaston Muir by Anne Gilrye Muir.
 

Muir, Anne Gilrye. 6 letters to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. and Emma Kinaston Muir. (1872-1890) HM 57439-57444.

Box 3

Correspondence, Anne Gilrye Muir (continued)-Waterman and unidentified; Ephemera

 

Muir, Anne Gilrye. 6 letters to Emma Kinaston Muir. (1884-1891) HM 57445-57450.

Scope and Content Note

With HM 57448 is a letter to Daniel H. Muir, Jr.
 

Muir, Daniel. 6 letters to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. (1865-1885) HM 57451-57456. 

Scope and Content Note

Enclosed with HM 57453 are two religious tracts.
 

Muir, Daniel H. Jr. 1 note: "List of Trunk Contents." [not after 1872, Mar. 5] HM 57457.

Scope and Content Note

On verso: copy of bill to The Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Racine County dated 1872, Jan. 11, for work done by Daniel H. Muir, Jr.
 

Muir, David G. 9 letters to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. (1869-1886) HM 57458-57466.

Scope and Content Note

On verso of HM 57463 is a letter to Emma Kinaston Muir by Katie Muir as dictated to David G. Muir.
 

Muir, John, 1838-1914. 1 letter to Anne Gilrye Muir. (1872, Sep. 27) HM 57467.

 

Muir, John, 1838-1914. 27 letters to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. (1860-1891) HM 57468-57494.

Scope and Content Note

HM 57468 contains a sketch of a well on last page. With HM 57478 is a letter to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. from Anna G. Galloway.
 

Reid, Margaret Muir. 1 letter to Emma Kinaston Muir. (1903, Dec.) HM 57495.

 

Waterman, Anna Reid. 1 letter to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. and Emma Kinaston Muir. (1889, July 21) HM 57496.

 

-----. 1 letter to John Muir, 1838-1914. Incomplete. (1875, Apr. 17) HM 57497.

 

Ephemera: Calling Cards [3 pieces]

 

Ephemera: Christmas Card [1 piece]

 

Ephemera: Envelopes [4 pieces]

 

Ephemera: Mementos from John Muir

Physical Description: 3 pieces, including tree bark and a pressed leaf.
 

Ephemera: Miscellaneous printed ephemera [5 pieces, including newspaper clippings]

 

Ephemera: Wedding Announcements [6 pieces, with 5 envelopes]