John Muir


John Muir


Mary and Anna [Muir]


[1] [in margin: I read a scotch paper] [1867] Indp'l's Feb 11th

Dear sisters Mary & Anna

I believe that of all my cor- respondents - you & Joanna are the only ones that give me more letters than I return. I read books & gather flowers & work with & think with so much machinery that I have only a little time to write even to my own dear sisters. I am sorry Mary that your letter together with your photograph was lost. I guess that the Mr John Muir who lives here had opened it, and when he found so good a scotch face with his own good name of Muir, he said, 'Stay with me sweet lass' You will go [illegible] farther, but you must send another Mary & I will send mine soon as I can sit still long enough


to have it taken. I do not know Mary that I was ever celebrated in song before, but everybody has heard of "Highland Mary". I used to write rhyming letter but now that I am becoming practical my metre would [illegible] like this "Mary pary rix tix tary" I believe it is natural for all to speak in verse some time or other in life. You remember that earn our pladding, pract- ical, [illegible], Dave used to write love & soft sentiment, in gentle song when enjoyed in stable duties or "cutting grub or when enjoyed in [illegible] shrewed & [illegible] house & [illegible] trades with father, - But all fun aside I really think that for people who are not born [illegible] to spend much time in making verse is unwise - , still some good results from it for people thus

[in margin: Mary you must excuse me for not sending you rhyme for rhyme. Yours is firstrate.]


learn the use and scope of words and also acquire a habit of steady continued thought. You will find that now is the golden time for gathering stores of knowledge. it is improb- able that at any other time of life you will have equal opportunities, make yourselves acquainted with all the leading facts in the worlds history & do by all means begin & personeringly pursue the study of natural science, especially of botany. Your range of pleas- ure will then grow wide & most [illegible] everyday, and a [illegible] & intelligent love for the Creator will become more & more in- tense ------------------------------ Do not fret, Anna about spend- ing a prof[illegible] life, have patience and do not fear that the

[in margin: [life?]. Joanna I will send you a word or two some day. My [fondest?] love to all who [illegible] home. [illegible] John]


future will not be rich in satis- faction and grant you ample scope for activity, & usefulness. You are now remote from the j[illegible] & fever & wickedness of the world where Nature has spread a table of beauty sufficient to ravish the eyes of angles. You little know the depth & intensity of that beauty & grandeur that is coming to all the undisturbed hills & meadows of your home. In all of my wide journeys I have never seen a place or section of country so rich in sweet wild flowers wealth as your own. Mary you say in your poetry how great a blessing is [illegible] & [illegible] but dear we it might be greater for here is the bottom our sheet now that we have just begun to speak & I have scarce [illegible] left to wish comfort & all good things


Ind[iana]p[oll[i]s [Ind.]

Circa Date

[1867] Feb 11

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 01, Image 0928

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



2 pages


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



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