David M. Galloway


John Muir


[4] John you seem to have good times among the Belles but I guess you have not yet felt that in- [illegible]pressible something, or you would never call those sinners who play at "Blind mans Buff" [in margin: Please address to me Roslin [P.O. Marguette Co?] & also please date your letter & sign it M[illegible]] [illegible] or who have so far cast off all natural coldness & sulleness as to kiss each other [illegible] miscuously. I will not at this time consure you for your stiffness, for I know you are bashful, & I spare you; I will leave S. to tell you all the particulars of the late affair at Hickory Hill etc; & how it was mooted that you were to be neat; and I wish John from the very innermost corners of my heart that you may have good luck in this as in every other under taking, & to borrow a few words from my favorite poet which fully express my mind I will conclude "May plenty to you f[illegible] "And [losses?] & [crosses?] "Near at your hall[illegible] And last though not least may He who alone is able to keep you from falling, guide & direct you through all the thorny ways of this life & bring you to that Heaven of rest that is the sincere wish of your aff. Brother David M. Galloway 00250

[1] Buffalo 21st Dec. 1860 My Dearest Brother John we received your long book's for letter three days ago & were very happy in particular to know that you enjoy good health. You "de- voutly desire" me to write you a letter, but John "what under the sun" can I write you about; I can fully appre- ciate your desire, for I remember well when first I left my Father's House & Father Land how I longed & pined for news from old home; & although my longings were poorly satisfied, for the old hackneyed apology with every let- ter of nothing new to write about; still met my eye; & I wondered & was astonished how so much could be written & so little said, for myself I felt something like old Job's comforter, "full of matter" & could write a perfect streak; but my dear I guess you are about as [verdant?] now; as I was then; tickled with every new thing

[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 0121

Collection Identifier

Online finding aid for the microform version of the John Muir Correspondence

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

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.


2 pages


Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters



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