The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Muir, John (naturalist)
MUIR, John, American naturalist and explorer: b. Dunbar, Scotland, 21 April 1838; d. Los Angeles, 24 December 1914. He came to America in 1849 with his father, who settled near Fox River, Wis.; entered the University of Wisconsin when 22; and after a special course of four years commenced his lonely journeys through Canada, Eastern and Western United States, the West, and the South, that made him a botanist and a geologist. In 1868 after visiting the Yosemite Valley, he made it his main central camp for 10 years while studying the forests, glaciers, etc., of the Sierra Nevada. He discovered in the High Sierra 65 residual gladers. He made his first trip to Alaska in 1879, discovered Glacier Bay, and Muir Glader, named after him, and explored some of the upper courses of the Yukon and Mackenzie rivers; in 1880 accompanied the DeLong search expedition to the Arctic, and in 1903-04 traveled in the Caucasus, Siberia, Manchuria, Japan, India, Egypt, Australia and New Zealand. He has written much for newspapers and periodicals, urging the formation of national parks — both the Sequoia and Yosemite are in great part due to his efforts — and has published ‘The Mountains of California’ (1894), and ‘Our National Parks’ (1901). He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and received honorary degrees at Yale and the universities of Wisconsin and California. Among his works are ‘Stickeen’ (1909); ‘My First Summer in the Sierra’ (1911); ‘The Yosemite’ (1912); ‘Story of my Boyhood and Youth’ (1913); and the posthumous ‘Letters to a Friend’ and ‘Unpublished Prose and Letters’ (1915).