On 15 March 1913, John Muir’s ‘The Story of My Boyhood and Youth’ was published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston and New York. It has constantly been available in the 100 years since. It tells of his early years in Dunbar and then, from ages 11 to 22, of growing up in the wonderful Wisconsin countryside. His love of nature, awakened in East Lothian, was nurtured in Marquette County and inspired him to change the world’s view of wild places.
Our [Atlantic crosssing] was six weeks and three days. But because we had no lessons to get, that long voyage had not a dull moment for us boys. Father and sister Sarah, with most of the old folk, stayed below in rough weather, groaning in the miseries of seasickness … But no matter how much the old tub tossed about and battered the waves, we were on deck every day, not in the least seasick, watching the sailors at their rope-hauling and climbing work; joining in their songs, learning the names of the ropes and sails, and helping them as far as they would let us; playing games with other boys in calm weather when the deck was dry, and in stormy weather rejoicing in sympathy with the big curly-topped waves.