There are some gems in Caliphere's latest "theme collection," The Letters of John Muir. Here you'll find important examples taken from the 6,000 pieces of correspondence sent and received by Muir from 1838 to 1914.
As a scientist, author and conservationist, Muir studied, celebrated and championed the natural world. These letters reflect his ongoing commitment to California's most beautiful (and fragile) wilderness areas -- notably the Yosemite Valley, which became an early national parks due in part by Muir's effective lobbying.
President Theodore Roosevelt was a powerful ally in the conservation movement. In May 1903 Muir spent three days camping in Yosemite with Roosevelt, whom he convinced to extend federal protection over the Valley and Mariposa Grove. Two months previously Muir wrote a graceful letter to the president saying that a prior commitment to go abroad wouldn't interfere with an invitation to go camping with TR:
Dear Mr. Roosevelt:
I sincerely thank you for the honor you do me in hoping I may be able to take you through the Yosemite. An engagement to go abroad with Professor Sargeant at first stood in the way; but a few small changes have brought our trip into harmony with yours. and of course I shall go with you gladly.
Calisphere is web portal to the University of California System's vast collection of some 200,000 digital artifacts that include "photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other unique cultural artifact." This free public resource reveals "the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history.
PHOTO CREDIT: Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir survey the Yosemite Valley in 1903. Library of Congress