John Muir Timeline

1838

John Muir born April 21, Dunbar, Scotland

1849

Family emigrates to Wisconsin farm

1860

Leaves home; inventions win state fair prize; meets mentor Jeanne Carr

1860

Enters University of Wisconsin; Civil War begins

1862

Postpones studies to teach school; Thoreau, author of Walden, dies

1864

Moves to Canada; botanizes; works in sawmill. Man and Nature by George Perkins Marsh published

1866

Civil War ends; moves to Indiana; works in carriage factory

1867

Factory accident damages eye; takes 1,000-mile walk, Kentucky to Gulf of Mexico; writes first journal en route. His journal of the trip was published after his death

1868

Moves to California; first sight of Yosemite

1871

Finds glacier in Yosemite; meets Ralph Waldo Emerson there

1872

Begins writing for Overland Monthly magazine; Yellowstone National Park established

1874-76

Begins study of trees; advocates federal control of forests

1879

Travels to Alaska

1880

Second Alaska trip

1881

Alaska travels on the ship Corwin

1888

Health poor; climbs Mount Rainier; wife urges taking up conservation writing again

1889

Campaigns for a Yosemite National Park

1890

Writes Century magazine articles; Yosemite National Park established (without Yosemite Valley); explores what is now Muir Glacier in Glacier Bay, Alaska; U.S. census notes end of frontier

1892

Helps found Sierra Club; elected as its first president; forest reserves established in three western states

1893-94

Visits Europe; first book published, The Mountains of California

1896

Serves on Forestry Commission; honorary degree from Harvard

1898

Honorary degree from University of Wisconsin

1899

With scientific Harriman Expedition in Alaska

1901

Our National Parks published

1903-04

Camps in Yosemite with President Theodore Roosevelt; makes world tour; the first federal wildlife reserve established

1905

California cedes Yosemite Valley back to the federal government

1906

Explores Arizona and Petrified Forest

1908

Muir Woods National Monument established; begins fight against damming Yosemite National Park’s Hetch Hetchy Valley

1909

Stickeen published

1911

My First Summer in the Sierra published; travels to South American and Africa; honorary degree from Yale

1912

The Yosemite published

1913

The Story of My Boyhood and Youth published; Hetch Hetchy battle lost; honorary degree from University of California

1914

Dies December 24, age 76

2000

Creation of Sequoia National Monument continues Muir’s conservation agenda

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