John Muir


John Muir


Sarah [Muir Galloway]



I sincerely wish you all much of happiness in your new home Yours in brotherly affection John Muir

Indianapolis Ind May 1866

Dear Sister Sarah,

I am always glad in- deed to hear from you. I was not at all aware of the extent of my indebtedness or you should have had letter for letter at least, and I feel sure that you know me to well to fear that I shall ever neglect Sarah's letters; so marked as they are with warm sisterly affection & regard. I feel truly grateful for all the good cheering letters that come from home to greet me in this great tumultuous town, and I cannot feel sad or altogether alone while I feel myself to be the object

I feel bad to think of Maggies' trouble I wrote her a letter lately If she can remain there long she has more of firmness & strength of mind than I thought she had

of so much anxious & unselfish solicitude. I am glad to hear that David had bought a farm. You are now within an hours drive of a permanent market and I feel sure that you will make more money, and in an independent way on your farm. And now David if you are within hearing let me advise you to make this your fixed home & beautify , im- prove, & make it in all respects home as fast as possible. I have studied the whole matter carefully and though I have not room to write my thoughts, I will venture to say that at your time of life under existing circumstances you cannot do better, It is true that I am myself but a

You must send me a lot of these photographs you speak of


I receive intense delight from the study nature and would not sell my knowledge of plants for all the wealth in the world

wandering star and move in as crooked an orbit as any star in the sky, but I believe that you will admit the soundness of my advice never- theless.
You will have a fine flower garden Sarah at your new home, and your town carpets and furniture will be easily removed, and if your children will thus loose the advantages of a town, they will also avoid its evils. [deleted and]

I wish Sarah with more than ordinary emphasis that I could make you that long visit you speak of but fear that it is very far distant yet I never before felt as utterly homeless as now, I do not feel sad, but I cannot find a good boarding place to say nothing of a home

I have not heard from Dan very lately. He is boring easily among a lot of slow unspeculative Dutch men His boarding place is worse than mine but he does not care a bit -


and so I have not yet unpacked my trunk, and am at any mom- ent as ready to leave this house for a march as were the Israelites while eating the Passover, but much as I love the peace & quiet of retirement I feel some- thing within - some restless fires that urge me on in a way very different from my real wishes and I suppose that I am doomed to live in some of these noisy commercial centres.

Circumstances over which I have had no control almost compel me to abandon the profession of my choice and to take up the business of an inventor, and now that I am among machines I begin to feel that I have some talent that way and so I almost think unless things change soon I shall turn my whole mind into that channel

Remember me to all my friends Tell Anna & George to make a little garden w/uncle John The forest here is almost in full leaf I have found wild flowers for more than a month now

I gathered a handful about a mile & a half from town this morning before breakfast When I first entered the woods and stood among the beautiful flowers & trees of Gods own garden so pure & chaste & lovely I could not help shedding tears of joy


Indianapolis, Ind

Circa Date

1866 May


Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25.5 cm

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 01, Image 0838

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

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.

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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