David M. Galloway


John Muir


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[2] & as you say in your letter "seeming all a dream" Ah! (my Boy) the hard, stern reality of living in this cold, cruel & selfish world, I have now experienced, I have long ago awaked. You say that you "guess you are happy". John! hear me! I am happy with my Sarah & Anna & George & you would say so if you saw me with a little one on each knee cosily toasting by the warm fire while the *"G[illegible] wife] (with her needle & shears) gars [illegible]ld clais look amaist as well as new". While this picture of happiness is before you John, it seems to me a fit place to explain a little that awful word "Grumbling" alias "Discontented". "Discontented" alias "Grumbling" you have heard so much about these few years back & I believe in Sarah's last note to you; John you have good reason to believe me a "hard case" that is if you believe all you hear; Well if shewing & stating things as they are in their ture light be grumbling; I have grumbled & (hope if called upon) will Grumble, *Burns[3] if regretting that I have not now as [wont?] sometime for leisure & reflection & social friendly intercourse with kindred spirits be discontent I am discontented & hope will continue to be; John if being contented to Grub with my nose in the dirt from day light to dark from January to January be the very [illegible] of spiritual perfection and Christian contentment then truly I am void of understanding. there is indeed no soundness within me. Appro[illegible] to this, while cutting stove wood this afternoon & being tired pounding at these old twisted knarled, knotty, thra[illegible] cross, contre, ugly sticks, I sat down a few minutes, my eyes instinctively turned towards Pr. Du Chin to John & his contrivances; & I thought you would be philanthropist in the highest sense of the word if you could invent some kind of a Battering Ram to split wood; you would indeed bestow a priceless Boon on the present & after generations but more especially on your humble servant Dave


Buffalo [Wisc]

Date Original

1860 Dec 21


Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25.0 cm

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 01, Image 0123

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 2


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