The New Student's Reference Work/Muir, John

Muir, John, an American naturalist, geologist and explorer, was born at Dunbar, Scotland, on April 21, 1838. He was educated in Scotland until 1849, when his father came to Wisconsin and made a farm near Fox River. In 1860 Muir entered the University of Wisconsin, graduating in 1864. Then he began the many lonely journeys throughout Canada and the United States that made him a botanist and a geologist. In 1868, after exploring Yosemite Valley, he settled there, living alone in his mill and on the mountains for ten years and specially studying glacial traces in the Sierra Nevada. He contributed to The Tribune of New York City on the subject, and discovered 65 residual glaciers. In 1879 he visited Alaska, discovering Glacier Bay and the wonderful Muir Glacier, and explored the upper courses of Yukon and Mackenzie Rivers. In 1880 he visited the arctic regions with the American expedition in search of Lieutenant De Long. He has written over 150 articles on the natural history of Pacific America; has long urged the preservation of American forests and the establishment of national parks, the formation of the Sequoia and Yosemite reservations being due to his efforts; and has published The Mountains of California and Our National Parks. Harvard has honored itself by giving him the degree of master of arts, Wisconsin that of doctor of laws. He still lives in California. See Forest-Reserves and National Parks.