John Muir


John Muir


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



Indianapolis, Ind.

Date Original

1866 Apr 22

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 01, Image 0806

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

The Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley. 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



2 pages



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