John Muir


[John Muir]


Mary, Anna [Annie L.] and Joanna [Muir]


Trouts Hollow CW, Dec 2 '1865

Dear Sisters Mary, Anna, Joanna -

I feel that I owe you a long apology for not replying to your long good letters. I have been exceedingly busy, but this is not a sufficient excuse. My bed sets me upon my feet at five, and I go to bed at eleven, and have to do at least two days work every day, sometimes three. I sometimes almost forget where I am. What I am doing, or what my name is, I often think of you and wish with all my might that I could see and chat with you, were it not that I have no time to think, I would grow homesick & die in a day or two, my picture of home is in my room, and when I see it now I feel sorry at the thought of it being sold, Fountain Lake, Oak Grove, Little Valley, Hickory Hill etc, with all of their long list of associations, pleasandt & otherwise, will soon have passed away and be forgotten. I was glad to hear that Dan was visiting so long with you. I suppose that he told you many a surprising and funny tale of Canada, I think that he can make & enjoy a joke very well indeed I had a letter from him, he says that he has plenty of money, clothes, & hope for the future

I will write you all a long letter someday

I wish you were here. You would find queer things. We have queer trees, queer flowers, queer streams, queer weather, queer customs, & queer people with queer names, one man is called Lake, another Jay, Eagle, Raven, Sterling, Bird, Mr Jay married Miss Raven a few weeks ago, One day at the table we were speaking about names and Mr Trout said that "Rose" was a fine name, and I said that Muir was better than Trout or Jay or Rose, or Eagle because that though a Jay or Eagle was a fine bird, and a Trout a good fish & a rose a fine flower, a Scottish Muir or Moor had fine birds, and fine fishes in its streams, and fine wild roses together with almost every other excellence, but above all "the bonnie bloomin heather", we may well be proud of our name - Another story One Sunday I returned form meeting before the rest and was in the house alone reading one of the messengers mother sent, when a little bird flew into the house and the cat caught it. I chased the cat out of the house, and through the house till I caught her, to save the birds life, but she would not let it go, and I choked her and choked her to make her let it go until I choked her to death thought I did not mean to, and they both lay dead upon the floor. I waited to see if she would not receive back one of her nine lives, but to my grief I found that I had taken them all, so I buried her beside some cucumber vines in the garden. When the rest came home I told what had occurred, and Charly Jay who is if full of wit & jo- as the pond was of cold water one night said Now John is always scolding us abut killing spiders and flies but when "poor kitty" "poor puss" for weeks afterwards to make me laugh.


Trout's Hollow [Canada]

Date Original

1865 Dec 24

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 01, Image 0742

Collection Identifier

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

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

John Muir National Historic Site. 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



3 pages


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



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