Sarah [Muir Galloway]


John Muir



My Dear Brother John as Sarah wants me to write to you, I will more for form than anything else try if I can scrawl over this page I feel in no great humour today, I was in Portage yesterday and most of the way home it rain’d like “[siscly?]” and at night when “tired natures sweet restorer” should have embraced me I was wrestling with the toothache; I have had a very busy spring; one month from the time I commenced to [sow?] I had all my corn planted, the fact is John I have barely time to keep track of passing events, & my very intellect is [dosend?]. But “never despair”, “hope alway” “O ye of little faith” and a good many such curative pills are administered occasionally to convince me that I have already reached the “earthly [illegible] so that I am just getting into that quiescent state now to look upon the “thousand ills that flesh is heir to” as a something to expect. Life seems to be made up of “cross purposes” you see it daily in a political view, you realize it within yourself every hour, an eager yearning after something, which when attained, you are disappointed, and grasp at something else and so on it will be I suppose till we “shuffle off this mortal coil”. John may we be ready for that time and endeavour to act our part well while here, knowing that there is a rest for all who are found worthy to enter into it. I rejoice with you John that you are happy, & more comfortable than you used to as I cannot call this a letter I cannot call on you to return an answer, but trust to your generosity & benevolence to write us soon & possibly the sunny side will be uppermost with me when I write again trusting you are in good health I remain as ever your affectionate Brother David M Galloway


Fountain Lake

My Dear Brother I dare say you will think we have not received your letter but we have and right glad I was to see it I am glad your health is so good I hope it will continue so, I was very sorry indeed when I heard of your wearisome journey and you must be pretty stout to be able to bear so much, you give us a fine description of your room I should like very much to pop in some time and peep over your shoulder before you knew David gave me a description of your desk legs it must look very cunning I think I would like to see it I would like a little bit of supper with you too you seem to live so well now , I have not seen Maggie since I saw her with you I expect to see her very soon now, we have just got the crops in I heard to day she is gaining strength her little Annie is fine thriving well. David saw mother yesterday she is not very


Fountain Lake 23d May 1862

Latest despatch 5 oclock Friday morning.

Dear John Sarah’s letter has [lain?] 5 or 5 days on me going to Portage, and as I am going in today and it looks as if it would be sunny I feel disposed to write a few lines; you must tell me in your next when your vacation is and if you are coming up to harvest, Sarah & I have talked long of coming down to Watsons [marginalia]


[2] stout she is wearying for a letter from you she says she has not had a word since you left do write her John I let David M see you letter to read when he was over he read along finely till he came to "Kate and cash" and then you should have seen his face, he thought himself it was a good [hit?], Twenty four John I am more than that and how has so much time been spent I am afraid we could give in but a poor account and Time is worth so much more than we act as if we know "Millions of Money for an inch of Time" was the exclamation of Queen Elizabeth as she lay on her dying bed, how many inches have we wasted O John how careful should we be if how we spend our Time, I sent you two Papers did you get them, Anna & George is well and so is David but I have been very [smiling?] for a good while now I keep much about the same yet David has brought one home a little Keg of Beer, now dont laugh John but tell me if you think it will do me any good how beautiful it will look around your fine

[3] Lake now with all the grass and tree's and flowers budding out so fresh and green, who can look at them and not think of Him who made them all, or see their order and beauty and say they came there by chance, the closer you examine them the more perfect they seem while on the other hand the more you examine the work of man the coarser they show. How is your Prickly Pear growing. As few day after you went away I noticed eight or nine little ones on mine they grew very quick till there were some of them three or four inches long and only about half an inch b[illegible] I think they grew so quick on account of being up by the side of the chimney / I then took them down to make them hardier and the big ones that had them on began to fall off and the others too till instead of all you clusters around the original ones there is only Two on one and one on the other but there is some fine ones growing on them David is going to write a [piece?] now and may you be happy happy happy

write soon John I like a letter from you
May God bless you John Sarah here is some more of my [scrap?] 00295

[6] and if we could arrange it so to come at that time when you would be there; we were over at John Reids yesterday, Maggie is a little better the rest are about their usual; Dave has sold this land over here to a young man working to your Father, and has sent away an offer for Mr Everests place (late Mr Reids) so you see John there is nothing but changes, excuse h[illegible] today I am in a hurry good morning John, write soon to tell me if you are coming up to harvest & when; D.M.G.


Fountain Lake [Wisc.]

Circa Date

[1862 May 18]


Original letter dimensions: 19.5 x 26.0 cm

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 01, Image 0379

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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