John Muir


[John Muir]


[Frances N.] Pelton


[3] and Cob restalled while the ribbons and feathers were being reboxed Silly Life most nectarous Angel envied deliciousness! What need of heaven But more of this since I've begun A few days after I became a Hasting they had a "party" in honor of the second wife wedding The table, after some weeks labor labor and study and pecuni- aryism assumed the heavenly form of a farce beautiful in nearly all its borders but the favored notissed ones came and the frail fringes were in ruins. 'Twas interesting while the company cracked their cookys to see so much watchfulness and care evidenced by the faithful servants. I thought they were coated with as much thrice extra earnestness as were the Mondells while feeding

1. Maggie a favorite sister To Mrs Pelton the [first?] of his letters [illegible] [J M.?] mislaid. to tell all things coming into my mind now But we must see Maggie, that house by the by the apple trees I almost dread seeing her though she is not sentimental You certainly must not come in now O Maggie Maggie ............................. Ill go with you now. Down here across the little ravine is the best place but we'll go this way first In this great field is where Ive sweated and played worked and rejoiced There - is the garden where Maggie and I have lavished away many joyful hours, And away down this slope and over the level prairie is where we have taken hundreds of long walks and talked of earth and heaven

[4] now if you are not too tired I'll take you to two places more. just by that great oak is where in the moonlight evenings I used to spend hours with my head up in sky I soared among the planets and thought. One place more that "best place" I spoke of that is accross this ravine and up the opposite hill a little bit in that thick little grove is where I used to (pray) Over in that direction is where Sarah lives Is there in the world a more affectionate Sister But - I must must leave all for Madisons icy mountains and you are not accustomed to so much walking and you would almost like to get back to Fannie Well goodbye I am in Madison Mrs Pelton is in Pr du Chin

[2] On my arrival here I was made a stool for the cigar insurance man I was a humble stool a week or so when Mr Haste and I dissolved partnership The chain which bound us had never grown cable like He at first proposed taking Wisconsin by the ears and leading it thither and hither for my advantage I think however Wis will be left where it is I was with Mr Haste about one week Mrs & Libby used to say Now John if you'll get the team We want to make some calls So Nig and Cob were ready and wouldtrot us quite accross the street, then John like a man would hold them steadily 'till Kum 2 T was prettily pronounced and then would nig and Cob stylishly recross the street Then by John were Nig

J M this weighty affair was consumated that terrible snow storm night when I saw Mrs Pelton Pure and John of course had to drive some of those home I could not but think while facing the tremendous drifts of those storys of burried travelers and also of those poor wormy widows How many of them might have been blest by what chased sleep from those ---------- For a week or two after leaving you all I often felt rather lonely perhaps gloomy though I am always happy in the centre - I was plunged through the ice but those just shocks are gone and now I almost feel first rate The dear folk at home wanted me to come home awhile I felt like pushing everything away and complying Joanna looked down Hickory hill many times The dear sweet little lady, she wrote one another long letter I sent her some Pr du cedar which I suppose she places beyond price

I lately received a box of Hickory hill moss per post office Here is a specimen I have been boarding with Mrs Varnel she does me a great many little Maggie things - You say Fannie "sends me many kisses' I'm afraid I have more of this kissing temperament than enough after all when I came first Master Harry Varnel was directed by his mother to kiss Mister Muir, he did his kissing duty with alacrity and of course I had to kiss him I'm glad your didn't C me Emily I blushed badly 'twas the most awkward affair of the kind I guess since Massasoit kissed the pilgrims. But how many was A many kisses six? I don't know whether to tell you about this or not Well don't tell anybody excepting perhaps Miss Merrill she will exercise mercifulness towards my case or sentiment- -alism or love or whatever it may be Within a little while after I left I dreamed 6 times

about Phanny I was kissing her and calling her my dear this and sweet that with much seriousness For the first time or two I thought nothing of it but another time and another and again and again I began to philosophize nearly thus Well now! Why surely these are sentimental [fumes?]. I never dream of anybody else even Joanna thus, but maybe it is natural after all. Ive been carring for her and funning with her. Yes but this will not do Well then the poor little dears troubles have attached you to her, Well maybe but this affair is streaked sentimentally after all Im sure Fannie let me tickle your hand I wish I saw you again I do see you shame fan, As puckered a thing as that for a laugh come Mrs Pelton let me take her awhile she wants me to carry her. Bye, bye Fannie

now I am going to make a com- position There is a tree of goodly form, and tall Among its every shapen boughs of strength should frailest zepher venture, sounds of might sky rending; quick, would rise; oer all Upon the hills, she shouts her songs of worth To small eyed trees, and brambles far below 'Twas thus I heard her sing when long ago I sought and hour of rest beneath her shade "O God of trees, Ye vines and brambles all I pray you listen List I beseech you O listen listen listen Lend your ears I do implore you listen, listen, listen And now, ye God of trees, brambles and vines Give heed I king of trees I'm good Ye brambles I am good, Im good Ye vines and God of trees. ----------- Im loathe to speak my praise Im good Fruits of all hues, are on me, and arround I bless forever always and every fruit is on me, to help mankind, and brute This celebrated tree is never the less-common 'tis always found on uplands, where are also found coarse grained 'plause and poplar breath upon the high banks of the great river famecheap the best specimens are found Several attempts have been made to introduce it among the groves of noncheery wormwood and light stomach growing on the Lowlands of short mean and death trode But all were unsuccessful as they inverrably drooped and died

4. our devotion ever sharpened ought not Christians to place the money in the ministers hand without this sinful artifice The minister has got the money and sunday has come so he has to thank them all in church Dear congregation your festival was a complete success. Your pastor thanks you much and hopes by this care for him to be more zealous then ever "With such sacrifices God is well pleased" Though you have given me more then you were able God will supply all your want - to hear so many groaning with aches "Ive got a devil of a headache" or 'gratulating themselves thus "Gola did'nt we have a darned good time", "wasn't the icecream right though", And then hear

1. 13th
There are good ministers here and bad ones, and much inconsistency among church members By a unversalist or unitarian minister satans sins are weekly strengthened but thank God, by others are his unsearchable riches faithfully preached The Methodists have a plain zealous preacher, but they had what they call a 'festival' I presume you are not as ignorant of this piece of piety as I was I'll tell you about it The minister needed some money, and said so, the city hall where spirit rappers and showman and wizards play their underground pranks, is hired. Men and

2. woman members make cakes and buy them and beg them and chickens and turkeys or money or biscuit or anything from wicked or righteous, for the festival, or icecream or oysters All is ready Tickets are bought, Much of societys very dregs are there (for godliness is not necessarily connected with love of icecream and cookies) But here is "midnights holy hour" (Bobby aint you sleepy?) but oysters are still to be eaten and also other blessings The Don't Muzzle the ox bill, is not passed yet ------------------- Next morning God is mercifully chastising many of his saints and the same loving kindness is shown the sinners, sister

3. F and mother M and some of the brothers and all the lambs are sorely tried with sick headache rheums and other ails How often is "Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth" piously ejaculated "The will of the Lord be done Brother A Is it not wrong for Christians to hurt their health and encourage the ungodly by those festivals? (A) Why no, Guess not, the min- ister must be paid and you know by thus tickling the senses of the ungodly we get them to help support Gods people and assist in the glorious work of converting the heathen - Ah but are not our own senses tickled, is

[5] sacrifices God is well pleased Was not this Mrs Pelton most prodigeously unreasonable and incon- istint I declare when the venerable man of God was delivering this long touching sermon with that text and so solemnly pouring on this pious sauce I could not but wish myself above him with a barrel of icecream and oysters to pour on his head I would have done it O God how devoutly to I abhor this I know I am not unblemished here but if anything could tear those priceless joys and experiences from my breast 'twould be this of Christians waltzing with the devil

[6] Now Mrs Pelton I did not intend to write but one sheetful when I began and here I have strode far accross all bounds right or wrong and we have not had half a chat, You must not say anything about it this time and Ill never write you as long a letter again all my life I would like very much to talk awhile about the love of Jesus but I cannot take another sheet Ill write again someday, give my respects to all and be sure to write very soon and now I pray God to bless you and by his Holy Spirit make you more and more like his son our saviour will he take you to himself


[Madison, Wisc. ?]

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 01, Image 0265

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, click here to view the Holt-Atherton Special Collections policies.

Owning Institution

Wisconsin Historical Society. 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



16 pages



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