William Reid


W[illiam] Reid


John Muir


Buffalo, [Wis.], March 9th, 1861.

Dear friend John:

I expect you will be thinking that I have forgotten you altogether by being so long in answering your letter sent to me, but you must not think so, for I have not forgotten you, nor do I think I ever will forget you. But the reason I was so long in writing to you is, when I received your letter there was some talk about your coming home, and therefore I delayed writing for a week, after that I went away from home to work out so that I did not have a chance to write, but coming home to-night I took the chance to write to you. I am well and enjoying good health. I am working at your father's just now and calculate to work there till harvest. I was glad to hear you were well. I would like very well to see you, but I am afraid it will be a long time before


that will be, unless you should chance to come home sometime. I should [have] liked [it] very well [if] I had been with you riding on the iron horse. I should not [have] wanted to be so far forward on him as to have been on the cow catcher. I should have been afraid I might have been caught myself. I should have been contented a little farther back. I have not had a ride on the cars since we came up the country. I should like very well to have one now. It would not be a very pleasant sight to see any creature run into and knocked off from the track by the engine. I guess the old cows would have thought the old horse rather saucy if they could have thought anything about it.

I want to know how you are getting on now [and] what you have got to study at the University, if it is anything like going to common school, how many goes to it, and what you have to pay


per term. You can send all the particulars about it. It may be that I might take the notion to go and try to study some, but it is not very likely I will. I do not think I could stand it for I tried to study some this winter. I was at home about 3 weeks and I was half sick almost all the time I was studying, but since I went back to work amongst the trees I feel firstrate again, so it is not very likely I will try it again for some time. Charley and Andrew taught school this winter. They do not think it is a very good job, and they were glad when they got done with their schools. They fell much better since they quit and got to work again. You said you would like to have my phiz. I have only got one, and could not get along very well without it, but if I happen to go to Portage some time I might get a picture of it and send it to you, bu it would


not be a very handsome picture. I would like to have your picture too, but would like to see you better than your shadow.

I have no news particularly to write to you. Things are going on here about the same as when you were here, only there is this difference. I have got a sister now which I have not had the pleasure of saying for twenty-four years before. Daniel got a great disappointment the other day when they got Amy's letter with the intelligence that David was to get the watch. Dan had been working for some time making [a] hickory case for it, but he says he will make it into a snuff-box.

The boys send all their best wishes for your welfare, and accept mine also. And now, John, I hope God will be first in all your under- takings. Remember, without his blessing you cannot get along so well, therefore remember him always. I am not so good a boy as I ought to be, but I can say with one of old, by the grace of God I am what I am. Goodby, John, and may God's blessing be with you.

Your sincere friend,

W[illiam] Reid.



Buffalo [Wisc]

Date Original

1861 Mar 9


Original letter dimensions: 22.0 x 40.5 cm

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 01, Image 0171

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.


5 pages


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



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