Clara Barrus


John Muir


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424 Seventh Avenue, Pelham,N.Y.May 25,1913Dear Mr.Muir,My thoughts have gone out to you many times since two weeks ago when I received Edna's message that our dear Mr.Browne has gone from us. We were indebted to you for knowing him,and to know him was to love him almost instantly,and ever since I have held him in my inmost circle of friends,and am proud to believe he felt the same to me. Since those happy days in Pasadena,and our memorable ones in Yosemite,his friendship has been one of my dearest treasures.I have been living over again those days in the last two weeks,and thinking of our other meetings and of the comfort his letters have since been to me he of the understanding and tender heart.He and Mr.Burroughs were here in my little home for several days last September-an unforgettable experience.How often we talked of you,and summoned you in our midst! I am so filled with a painful regret that I had not written him for the last two or three months,and his last letter to me had begged me to write.I could see from it that he was ill,and fagged and rushed with the re-writing of his book on Lincoln,but I was so rushed myself and strung up to anervous pitch with my multiplicity of work- keeping house,taking care of my patient,and my little nieces,who live with me, having loads of company ,and ,with it all,writing a book, and so I kept putting off writing to him,thinking soon to finish my writing,and send him a long letter of cheer soon-and just the day before I finished my Ms. the news came of his passing! If I had only dropped all and written him! Edna says one of the last things he did was to have the nurse take down my address and send word to her,Edna, to write to me.I am so glad you obeyed the promptings of your heart and wrote him,as Edna says you did,a beautiful letter which cheered him greatly. He so loved his friends-it meant so much to him to be remembered, he who was always thinking of others.The sea and the sky and the rocks and the trees all remain,but where is he who so loved them,and us,and all life? We ask and no answer comes, and all we have is his blessed memory.Mr.Burroughs is much cast down by his death,and has the additional pang which I must always feel,that he,too,had neglected writing him for some months past.Mrs.Ashley also. But what beautiful memories we have of him.Was there ever a more lovable man? If only I had done ever so little to cheer those last hard months of his over-burdened life! Such idle regrets serve no purpose,unless they make us cling with greater fondness to the friends who are still left to us.I hope you received The Craftsman which I sent you last winter,and that you were not displeased at my characterization of you. I am reading your boyhood story for the third time,this time to my nieces,ages 11 and 10.They wonder what little Sarah was doing all the time in the Wisconsin wilderness, when you and your brother were having such fine times. I wonder what you are writing on now.Last week I sent my Ms to H.M.and Co.of Boston,and met Mr.Burroughs


Pelham, N. Y.

Date Original

1913 May 25


Original letter dimensions: 28 x 21.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 21, Image 0449

Copyright Statement

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.

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 1


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