Image of William Henry Harrison Murray


Lifetime: 1840 - 1904 Passed: ≈ 120 years ago


Auhtor, Clergyman


United States

William Henry Harrison Murray

William Henry Harrison Murray also known as Adirondack Murray, was an American clergyman and author of an influential series of articles and books which popularized the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York. He became known as the father of the Outdoor Movement.

Born in Guilford, Connecticut, he graduated from Yale in 1862 and then served as a minister in Greenwich, Connecticut and Meriden, Connecticut. He also served as pastor of Park Street Church in Boston from 1868 to 1874. He also delivered Sunday evening lectures about the Adirondacks in a Boston music-hall that proved highly popular, and he published a series of articles based on the lectures in a Meriden newspaper. In 1869, they were published as a book, Adventures in the Wilderness; or, Camp-Life in the Adirondacks.

The literary tone of the book made it extremely successful; it went through eight printings in its first year. Murray promoted New York's north woods as health-giving and spirit-enhancing, claiming that the rustic nobility typical of Adirondack woodsmen came from their intimacy with wilderness. A subsequent printing, subtitled Tourist's Edition, included maps of the region and train schedules from various Eastern cities to the Adirondacks.

Although the book was to become one of the most influential books in the conservation movement of the 19th century, paradoxically, within five years it led to the building of over 200 "Great Camps" in the Adirondacks; "Murray’s Fools" poured into the wilderness each weekend, packing specially scheduled railroad trains. The book is cited as changing common parlance to use "vacation" instead of the British "holiday" for people vacating their city homes.

Books by William Henry Harrison Murray

Daylight Land Cover image

Daylight Land

Twentieth Century Family Action Mountains Fun

Mr. Murray takes us on an adventure that he has recorded as payment to his family in exchange for their permission to embark upon it. In this trip, he travels by train across Canada all the way to Vancouver. He details for us the immense beauty of th...

Murray's Adirondack Tales Cover image

Murray's Adirondack Tales

Adventure Fiction
Action Travel Life Forgiveness Bravery

Two delightful tales surrounding the adventures of John Norton, the Trapper. He gives us a good glimpse into life in the deep woods, and how he deals with those who would disturb him or others with their, "diviltry." John Norton gives us all a great...

Short Stories Of William Henry Harrison Murray Cover image

Short Stories Of William Henry Harrison Murray

Murray (1840-1904) was a sometime clergyman, journalist, and purveyor of the outdoor life. His books did much to popularize the virtues of outdoor experience, especially in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. Here are stories, some humoro...