John Muir: The Story of My Boyhood and Youth
Including "Letters to a Friend"
The Story of My Boyhood and Youthreveals the beginnings of the forming of Muir's special relation towards nature. He considered the encounters with nature as quite an adventure and at first, paid special attention to bird life. John Muir understood that to discover truth, he must turn to what he believed were the most accurate sources. In his autobiographical account, The Story of My Boyhood and Youth, he writes that during his childhood, his father made him read the Bible every day. Muir eventually memorized three-quarters of the Old Testament and all of the New Testament. In his autobiography, written near the end of his life, he described his life from childhood years in Scotland and moving to America to student years in Wisconsin. When he was a student in the University of Wisconsin he was a frequent caller at the house of Dr. Ezra S. Carr. The kindness shown him there, and especially the sympathy which Mrs. Carr, as a botanist and a lover of nature, felt in the young manes interests and aims, led to the formation of a lasting friendship. He regarded Mrs. Carr, indeed, as his "spiritual mother," and his letters to her in later years are the outpourings of a sensitive spirit to one who he felt thoroughly understood and sympathized with him. John Muir (1838-1914) was a Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, have been read by millions. His activism helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and other wilderness areas. The Sierra Club, which he founded, is a prominent American conservation organization.