Joanna M[uir] Brown
Portage, Wis.,Jan, 3, 1895.Dear brother John:Your generous and very acceptable New Year's gift came safely and reached me just in time to cheer the close of New Year's day. I cannot express my appreciation of your brotherly kindness; for these past few years, and especially the last, have been more heavily fraught with difficulty and trouble to us than any one, not knowing the circumstances, can possibly understand. Walter's long, hard, unsuccessful struggle, with none of the cheer and relaxation of home life, begins to tell very perceptibly on even his strong will and unflinching spirit, and I was glad to cheer him with your word of remembrance to him.Such life experiences as these are, in their effect on our characters, like the glaciers on the features of the Sierras -- grinding and chiseling out in one place, and building up and developing in another. And as the great master builder of both human character and mountain scenery fully understands his work, and the high results to be attained, we do well to submit ourselves to His Moulding, even though we feel sometimes that we shall be ground out of existence in the process.We are enjoying your book more than I can tell. Even little Bessie exclaims at the musical sweetness of some of its passages, and the call for Uncle John's book comes oftener than for any other.I am glad you had so sociable a dinner party for Christmas. Ours was very quiet. Sarah was not well and we did not go down there as usual. But I went down in the evening and Mother seemed in excellent spirits.The children unite with me in love to you and the other Cal. friends.Affectionately yours,Joanna M[uir] Brown
Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 13.5 cm.
Reel 08, Image 0693
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