Abba G. Woolson


John Muir


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[2]thus dated and signed is always welcome to me. Your descriptions are fresh and graphic; and I am not a bit surprised that you kept the Sacramento people still before you for two hours. I wish I could have been in that audience. But no description, however fine, is as good as the reality. I never lose my home sickness for the Sierras; and I am reconciled to no future that does not promise me weeks and weeks of sunny weather, with a touch of storm, in their crystal heights. Why I do not start at once for that Valley, and spend the livelong summer there, dreaming and gazing beside its dreaming river, I cannot tell; except that nobody else here understands my rememembrance or my longing for that far-off splendor, no one contemplates the possibility of my pulling up stakes for such a romantic crusade, and nothing helps me to it. So the [illegible] around me forces [3]me to seem equally so; and I have not heroism enough to laugh at barriers of straw, and to start. A friend wrote me the other day, asking me what sort of dress she needed for camping out six months in Ca.! near Mt. Shasta and in the Yosemite. “The shining robes of the righteous”, I was tempted to reply; but, instead, I specified what sort of cloth and leather she should encase her bodily frame in, saying never a word about the garb of her mind. Yet she had one; for it was Mary F. Eastman, who is invited by Dr. Dio Lewis and wife to accompany them this spring on this enticing quaint. I count the Lewis’es as old friends, and had not my evil fate had, somehow, the upper hand just then in the management of my concerns, it would have entered with the hearts of the Lewis’es to invite me also. Then should I have seen that blanched granite world again, which [6]as right formation to start with. Consequently, I am most interested than ever in the best education for all, - in bending the twigs, not the gnarled and crooked old trees. And – I am more content to do as you do, - leave the Lord to take care of his own world; only I am sure he needs me to help him do it, or he would not have made me, and given me so strong a desire to have a hand in these society-repairs. In your eternal, unchangeable rock- world, you can ignore humanity, and forget its sins and dwarfishness; but it crowds and oppresses you her con- tinually, and the rocks are not visible behind it. I long to forget the human part of the world, and to see more of the divine; this is why, for one reason, that I long to sit down for months [in margin: 69] between Washington Column & the [illegible] Dome, with Nevada thundering in my [illegible]. Be good enough to write me when you can. With kindest remembrances, Truly Yrs. Abba G. Woolson


Concord, N[ew] H[ampshire]

Date Original

1876 Feb 28


Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 03, Image 0401

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Owning Institution

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Page Number

Page 2


John Muir, correspondence, letters, author, writing, naturalist, California, correspondent, mail, message, post, exchange of letters, missive, notes, epistle