Henry [S. Butler]
awhile and in an hour or two I found myself at work in a large steam factory, where waggon spikes, and hubs, and many other things are made. This is a large and beautiful town but not so beautiful as Madison with its lakes and hills, & blue prairies I suppose that [illegible] this your will have gathered some handful of An[illegible] and spring beauties for yourself & little Agnes, & Anna and mother. The first four days of Apr' were very warm here and made the [illegible] anemone, & [illegible]nger of spring and Dutchmans brushes, come up among the withered leaves the pop[illegible] hung out their c[illegible] more than a month ago and a large apple tree that holds its wide branches over our well here opened its blossoms last Saturday. The bluebird & [illegible] have come and sing sweetly in the woods and gardens - I dreamed a few weeks ago that was walking by a deep clear stream that flowed through a field of hay that was waving in the wind and changing in the light and all [illegible]- amented with gorgeous flowers Beautiful dream was it not? Tell me in your next about your best dream. But I must bid you goodbye I wish I could see you Henry you will be taller man and shall soon be a good scholar I fondly hope that you will be spared to become a good and useful man I feel lonesome and will look anxiously for your letter my love to your little sisters & father & mother Remember me to Allie Carr and all my friends Yours affectionately John Muir
Indianapolis, Ind' Apr 22d /66
My Dear little friend Henry,
It is a long long time since I heard from you -, more than a year - I answered your last letter of Apr'/65 in a short time after receiving it and waited & waited to receive your next containing your photograph, but have now concluded that one of your letters must have been lost, I am truly anxious to hear from you for I never forget my little Henry and never will in all my life, and surely you will reply to this as soon as you receive it You see that I am now in Indiana - and here is the reason You know that I loved the peaceful hollow in Canada, & so I contracted
with the firm there, to invent a lot of new machinery - the "hollow" was so sequeatered and calm that I got along first rate and before winter was done had accomplished far more than I expected, but about the first of last month we were awakened near mid night and on looking over the pond saw that the mill was all afire, and in a few hours it was all burned, and all the tools and machines too - It was a grand sight although so sad, "the hollow" was full of strong glaring light that gleamed & sparkled in the snow and made the tall elms & maples cash deep heavy shadows upon the slanting hillsides all around --------------- I was very sorry for my employers because they are good young men and could not well been so
great a boss I do not feel dis- couraged about my machines being burned because I can invent some other ones, after the fire when the people said to me Mr Muir, where are you going now? I said, I don't know - but in a few days I bade goodbye to the friends that I found and went to Buffalo to see my brother Danie who works in a machine shop there, we enjoyed the visit exceedingly in talking of friends and home, & in examining the great foundries & machine shops of that big town. Then I looked on a map & thought that instead of going directly home I would bear off to the left through the states of New York, Ohio, Indiana, & Illinois I visited the machine shops of Columbus Ohio, and other places of interest there and when I got to this town I thought I would stop
Please tell Mr Sterling that on account of the fire it is unlikely that I shall be able to attend the university. I am afraid my boy that I have not written you a good letter It is full of business & troubles and very unlike happy little [illegible] I have almost forgotten how to speak to little people but will perhaps do [better?] [illegible] time
1866 Apr 22
Muir, John, "Letter from John Muir to Henry S. Butler, 1866 Apr 22" (1866). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 1189.
Reel 01, Image 0806
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