Annie K[ennedy] Bidwell
fess to a joy experienced in again breathing the free air of heaven, and beholding the light of the sun. We went through the Ophir & Consolidated Virginia, and I presume you know what we saw as well as I could tell you; There were seven of us, Prof. Gun- ning being of the party. And here I want to ask you your opin- ion of that gentleman. I promise not to betray confidence, for I am really anxious to know something about him. He had letters to General and myself, and expects to visit Chico ere returning east. Is merry and amusing, but I do not believe a word he says, scientifically, and I will tell you why. First, because he con- fessed to having deceived persons rather than confess his ignor- ance. Second – because he always evaded, or deliberately im- povised answers which I knew incorrect – when cornered. An instance – He insisted that “the whole scientific world with- out exception, admits that man is evolved out of a lower ani- mal”. I replied that Dr Gray does not, [underlined: for he had so told] me. (Prof Gunning at first declared Dr Gray does, but when I added “he told me he does not”, then Prof. Gunning replied “ Well Gray does not, but he is the only one”.) To prove his theory he would constantly twist everything [underlined: twistable] into harmony with his theory. A passing drove of hogs was turned to the same account, but seemingly un- intentionally. “I notice that in California and Nevada the white hogs are giving way to the black, the black are evolved from the white: (you can see it in these hogs, they have mostly become black”. I replied “yes, but in the cause you are mistaken: The Chester white is too delicate a hog for this country’s mode of treatment, requiring great care; while the Essex & Berkshire, both black hogs naturally, [deleted: would] thrive under the hearding system and grow fat on grass, & can bear exposure to the weather, hence are the only hogs which our people can afford to keep.” This annoyed Prof. Gunning and he replied
Rancho Chico, [Calif]
1878 Jan 21
Original letter dimensions: 21 x 27 cm.
Reel 03, Image 0673
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