Charles H. Shinn
Robert Underwood Johnson
Niles, December 30, 1900
Mr. Robert Underwood Johnson,
My Dear Sir:-
your recent letter asking about the condition of the supposed Armstrong forest and our duties as trustees was duly received, but I could not at once reply, because, although I presumed as you did that the death of Colonel Armstrong ended the whole matter, I still thought it necessary to ascertain the facts.
I was in Santa Rosa a few days ago (the county seat of Sonoma), and there examined the history of the redwood land in question. I found that in 1892 a deed was recorded transferring this valuable land to the five trustees. This, with several other transfers, made it seem as if something tangible, not before known to me, had occurred, creating or tending to create, a trust which bound us and to teich we were bound.
I then went to Cloverdale, saw the Armstrong family and, returning to Santa Rosa, verified the truth of their statements by having the records searched.
Briefly, the story is this;Colonel Armstrong secured several transfers from his wife and others, which were really in the nature of quit-claim deeds, preliminary to a final deed from himself His own signature and Kate Armstrong's only missed going on one of these deeds by a slight illness of his (which [w'd] [would] have made the Trust secure) As it stands, a successful contemt on the part of the widow (who was his second wife), & who had limited her own interest
1900 Dec 30
Original letter dimensions: 28 x 21.5 cm.
Reel 11, Image 0499
Copyright status unknown
Some letters written to John Muir may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
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.
John Muir, correspondence, letters, author, writing, naturalist, California, correspondent, mail, message, post, exchange of letters, missive, notes, epistle