John Muir

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John Muir

John Muir was born on April 21, 1838 in Dunbar, Scotland. In 1849 the Muirs moved to the U.S. and bought farmland near Portage, Wisconsin. Muir invented a machine that dumped him out of bed at one in the morning, so he could read before he had to go work on the farm. He entered this and other inventions at the Wisconsin State Fair in 1860. He then later entered the University of Wisconsin to study science. In 1867, he started "to study the inventions of God" instead of his own. For most of the next six years of his life, he explored Yosemite Valley. On all of his explorations, he wrote down his scientific and personal observations, and pencil drawings. Glaciers soon caught his attention, and he started contributing his skills to discover an explanation of the process by which glaciers formed. He went on various expeditions to Europe, Asia, and Australia. In 1890, a law was passed making Yosemite Valley a national park, thanks to Muir's argument in Century magazine in 1889. His creation of the Sierra Club, helped as well by its dedication to the preservation of other wild lands such as Yosemite. Muir served as president of this club until his death. John Muir died in Los Angeles, California, on Christmas Eve in 1914.


"God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools." "A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.""I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do.""In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." - John Muir