John Muir in Alaska
John Muir (1838-1914) was a Scottish-born writer, farmer, explorer, and advocate for the preservation of the natural wilderness in North America. He published hundreds of articles and approximately a dozen books, and was considered a subject matter expert about nature and wildlife throughout his adult life. Among the places where he traveled and chronicled in his writings was the Alexander Archipelago, a network of more than a thousand islands. In recent years, some of his writing sparked controversy due to racial stereotyping, according to The New York Times, though his views evolved later in his life.
The Alexander Archipelago
The Alexander Archipelago would not be the same without reading John Muir’s Travels in Alaska, which you can find for free through gutenberg.org. Fantastic photos are featured in that e-book too. The Sierra Club published an excerpt online here: https://vault.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/writings/travels_in_alaska/chapter_2.aspx.
Today, it is perhaps best known as the home of the Archipelago wolf, which was once a candidate for endangered species protection. Read about this wolf breed here: https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/mammals/Alexander_Archipelago_wolf/index.html.
For more information about the Alexander Archipelago, visit the Alexander Archipelago page of britannica.com.
The legendary naturalist John Muir journeyed to Alaska for the first time in 1879, and would continue to travel there many more times, writing about the wonders of the environment in the style of observational records.
Because of these records, we can better understand what Alaska was like about 150 years ago. As you read his books, whether you travel there in person or through his words alone wherever you are, light will be shed on how different the environment was then to how it is now.
John Muir in California
In addition to this literary opportunity in Alaska, travelers can visit the John Muir home in Northern California. Read about it here: https://authoradventures.org/trails/by-state/california/johnmuir.
The Alexander Archipelago is the fourth stop on our Alaska Author Adventures Trail. Visit our California and Wisconsin pages to learn more about John Muir.
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