John Muir


[Mary E. Newton]


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And is little Elmer really dead - seemingly so well and happy upon my knee and so soon away to the tomb. I sent you a picture my boy just a few weeks ago. I thought of you as the same gleeful little fellow in the parlor with Willie, or receiving your fond mothers kisses. Ah, little did I think that the chill winds were then heaping the frozen snows upon your grave. Yes, your little boy is dead, Mrs. Newton. The silver cord is loosed, but, as you have said, ΓÇÿall is well.ΓÇÖ He is plucked away in the very morning of his life, but he is pure and unsoiled. There are streams which but spring from the fountains and are at once lost in the sea. They meander gayly in the summer give way to corroding grief but rejoice inasmuch as your boy is alive. He lives in your memory and was endeared by his gentle and confiding nature, but above all he lives in heaven in the home of the Redeemer where a parents tears are never shed. Heaven will now seem nearer and the grave cannot be dreadful wherewith contains so much of innocence. I deeply sympathize with you. May you always be comforted and sustained by the God of all consolation. You are known and loved by the blessed Saviour who is ΓÇ£acquainted with grief.ΓÇ¥ May you always be enabled to lean upon him. I beg pardon for not writing sooner. After reaching home I worked all day in the field and analyzed plants every evening until past midnight so that time hasted away unobserved. I received the newspaper but thought it was from Mr Abbott and in cursorily glancing over its contents did not notice the sad announcement which it contained. I shall always receive letters addressed to Midland wherever I may be. The lines which were to have been forwarded to Pr[airie] du Chien were so well hidden by the [thief] that she could not find them herself till too late. I shall leave home in the spring but can hardly tell what would most profitably engage my attention in so doubtful a time. Remember me to all my friends especially to Mr Newton as a sympathizer with him in his affliction. Tell Willie that I often think of him and that he will see Elmer again. Truly a friend JMuir


[Fountain Lake, Wisc.]

Date Original



Original letter dimensions: 20 x 25 cm.

Resource Identifier

MSS 307 Muiriana

File Identifier


Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see

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.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date


Page Number

1863 JM to Mrs. Newton undated p1


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