[John Muir]


[Louie Strentzel Muir]


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[4]health has been suffering the meanwhile, & today I sent him half a dozen bottles of the Doctors wine to revive him. This notable liberality under the circumstances was caused by 1st His having advised me years ago to take good care of my steps on the mountains, 2d, & to get married, & 3d, for his pictures drawn for me of the bliss of having children 4th, for the sake of our mutual friends, 5th for his good looks & bad health, & half dozenth because 15 or 20 years ago on a dark night while seeking one of his patients in the Contra Costa hills he called at the house of Doctor Strentzel for directions & was invited in & got a glass of good wine.-A half dozen bottles for a half dozen reasons, “that’s consistent isn’t it”.[1]Oonalaska Wednesday, May 18th 1881. 6.30 P.M.[in margin: This is the 5th letter from Oonalaska. Will write 2 more to be sent]Dear Louie, The storm king of the north is again up & doing, rolling white combing waves through the jagged straits between this marvellous chain of islands circling them about with beaten up dashing foam & piling yet more & more snow on the clustering cloud wraped peaks. But we are safe & snug in this land locked haven enjoying the distant storm roar of wave & wind. I have just been on deck, it is snowing still & the deep bass of the gale is sounding on through the mountains How weird & wild & fascinating all this hearty work of the storm is to me. I feel a strange love of it all as I gaze shivering up the[5] 01002 2I mean to give a bottle to the friend of the Captains who is stationed at St Michaels & save one bottle for our first contact with the polar ice pack & one with wh to celebrate the hour of our return to home, friends, wives, ba[illegible]. We had fresh baked, stuffed codfish for breakfast of wh I ate heartily stuffing and all though the latter was gray & soft & much burdened with minced [onions?], & then I held out my plate for a spoonful of opaque [oleaginous] gravy. This last paragraph is for Grandmother as a manifestation of heroic all-enduring all-engulphing health


Oonalaska, [Alaska]

Date Original

1881 May 18


Original letter dimensions: 20 x 25 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 04, Image 0554

Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see

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.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date


Page Number

Page 1


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