son's cruise touch at such places as may be practicable on the mainland or islands where there are settlements of natives, and examine into and report upon their condition.
A letter written to his mother from Dutch Harbor, Unalaska, gives Muir's own account of his purpose in joining the expedition.
I wrote you from San Francisco [he says] that I had suddenly made up my mind to avail myself of the opportunity offered to visit the Arctic region on the steamer Thomas Corwin sent to seek the Jeannette and the missing whalers that were lost in the ice two years ago off Point Barrow. . . .
I have been interested for a long time in the glaciation of the Pacific Coast, and I felt that I must make a trip of this sort to the Far North some time, and no better chance could in any probability offer. I am acquainted with our captain, and have every comfort the ship can afford, and every facility to pursue my studies.
We mean to proceed from here past the seal islands St. Paul and St. George, then northward along the Siberian coast to about Cape Serdze, where a sledge party with dogs will be sent out to search the North Siberian coast, while the steamer the meanwhile will cross to the American shore and call at St. Michael, Kotzebue Sound, and other places, [where we shall have the opportunity of] making short journeys inland. Then, as the ice melts and breaks up, we will probably push eastward around Point Barrow, then return to the Siberian side to pick up our land party, then en-