John Muir, 1838 - 1914

John Muir was a botanist, mountaineer, glaciologist, ecologist, naturalist, and conservationist whose views were closely aligned with American Transcendentalism.  Influenced heavily by the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, he shared their regard for the unity, order, and harmony of nature, their trust in nature's power to illuminate the higher laws of the mind, and their pantheistic approach to imagination and transcendence.  Although their ideas were by no means the same as his, Muir devotedly carried and marked copies of Emerson's and Thoreau's works on his hikes and climbs in the Sierra Nevada and elsewhere in the west.  In May 1871, Emerson visited Muir at Yosemite in California and the pair quickly became friends.  Emerson admiringly listed him in his journal along with Thomas Carlyle, Thoreau, and several others, among those he called "My men."