John Muir

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John Muir
BirthplaceDunbar, East Lothian, Scotland
Engineer, naturalist, writer, botanist, geologist
Known for Founder of Sierra Club

Muir, John

Muir, John, 1838–1914, American naturalist, b. Dunbar, Scotland, studied at the Univ. of Wisconsin. He came to the United States in 1849 and settled in California in 1868. In recognition of his efforts as a conservationist and crusader for national parks and reservations, Muir Woods National Monument was named for him. He made extended trips throughout the country, often on foot; he also traveled in Alaska (discovering Muir glacier) and in Russia, India, and Australia. His books include The Mountains of California (1894), The Story of My Boyhood and Youth (1913), Steep Trails (1918). John of the Mountains (1938; ed. by L. M. Wolfe) contains his journals.


See biographies by W. F. Bade (2 vol., 1924, repr. 1972), L. M. Wolfe (1945, repr. 2003), and D. Worster (2008); study by R. Silverberg (1972).

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Muir, John

(1838–1914) explorer, naturalist, conservationist; born in Dunbar, Scotland. Brought by his family to Wisconsin in 1849, he grew up on a farm; he studied at the University of Wisconsin (1859–63; no degree, as he refused to take required courses). He was an ingenious inventor of mechanical devices but he lost an eye in 1867 in an industrial accident and so turned to his other interest—natural history. He had already walked through parts of the Midwest and Canada, and in 1867 he walked from Indianapolis to the Gulf of Mexico. In 1868 he moved to California and for the next 12 years he studied the natural world he saw on his extensive travels—going up to Alaska (where in 1879 he discovered Glacier Bay and the glacier later named after him) and to South America, Africa, and Australia—but with a special concern for California's Yosemite Valley. In 1880 he married Louie Wanda Strentzel, the daughter of an Austrian who established the Californian fruit and wine industries, and he spent the next 11 years successfully engaged in growing fruit trees. Meanwhile, he led the campaign that culminated with the act of Congress establishing Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks (1890). In 1891 Congress also passed a bill authorizing the setting aside of forest preserves; opposition by commercial interests forced Muir to continue campaigning, through speeches and magazine articles, to save the forests, but it wasn't until he persuaded President Theodore Roosevelt that any substantial acreage was set aside. In 1892, Muir had also founded the Sierra Club and was the first president of this leading conservationist organization. In addition to his many articles, he published several books during his lifetime—The Mountains of California (1894), Our National Parks (1901)—while others were published posthumously—Travels in Alaska (1915), A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf (1916). A sequoia forest near San Francisco was named Muir Woods in his honor, and the John Muir Trust to acquire wild land in Britain was established in 1984.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
While in practice the movement was plagued by the divisions that mark American Protestantism, their anti-sectarianism and desire for Christian unity contained the seeds of John Muir's radically open, inclusive faith.
(1) University of the Pacific Library, Special Collections, Holt Atherton Collection, John Muir Correspondence, p.
The development office is also trying to spread the message that the hospital's Walnut Creek campus is the designated trauma center for California's Contra Costa County, even if a person chooses not to go to John Muir for their general healthcare needs.
According to AT&T, the OPT-E-MAN managed, switched Ethernet network service will provide economical and secure communications between John Muir Health's main campus and the remote location.
The Spirit of John Muir flies at nearly 600 miles per hour, enabling the converted B747-400 to reach any mission in the western US in fewer than three hours, and any mission in the world in fewer than 20 hours.
Laura with John Muir, left, and councillor Ian Miller
Written and packed with over 2700 full-color illustrations by naturalist and educator John Muir Laws, The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada is a pinpoint-accurate (through rigorous field testing) guidebook to the wide variety of Sierra natural life, including trees, wildflowers, ferns, fungi, lichens, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals, insects, and other small animals.
Pupils from South Bank Primary School have received the John Muir Award to recognise their "outstanding conservation achievements".
of California, Davis) compile 12 papers on environmentalist John Muir (1838-1914) that were presented in 2001 at the John Muir Institute, a conference held every five years at the U.
The group of cyclists and walkers are raising money for the conservation charity John Muir Trust.
The bedlam began as Deer Park Golf and Country Club owner, property magnate John Muir, and his clients arrived at the eighth tee.