James D[avie] Butler


John Muir



Henry sends you his best fellow feeling in your suffering, and only mourns that you are so far from his soothing and sympathizing words and deeds. He begs me to inclose you a photograph and a flower hoping your eyes may may bear to look on them by the time they greet you. Fearing you may not be able to read my lines I will inclose them to Miss Merrill, who has volunteered to see that they come to your ears. With prayers that the stroke now so grievous may move in the end joyous. I am, as ever, yr friend. Jas D. Butler


Madison, Wis. March 20th 1867.

John Muir, Esq.
My dear Friend, We are with you in spirit and in sympathy. Our mutual friend, Miss Merrill has informed us of your oad, and irreparable loss. Such a stroke - like the death of a friend who is as our own soul, is beyond all consolation, beyond all thinking of with composure , beyond every thing save reflecting that such is the will of God. Incousolable we well might be did affliction comeforth of the dust and trouble spring out of the ground. But the cup our Father - our Father who is in heaven, that is infinite in all perfections, - shall we not drink it?


house while you convalesce, and repeat your walks around our peerless lakes. Henry and I join with her in hopes you will so do. For several weeks past I have suffered in both lungs and liver. On one day, the only time in my nine years here, I was utterly unable to climb the University hill. My health in now much improved, and I am spending much time on books of travel hoping I may some time cross the broad water yet once more. Nothing has varied the routine of our quiet life since I wrote you before. We have a new Minister and my wife is killing herself at a festival to raise him money.


I know well it is one thing to reason - and quite another thing to feel as one knows he should in pain, darkness, and gloom hovering over the future. In all the blasting of your hope may you find Christ to be more precious than you right eye! Be assured He knoweth our frame, and pitieth the souls he hath made. I have now a double joy that you are known to the Merrill brotherhood, for I know that some of your sorrows will be hence alleviated. May no sympathetic evil afflict your other eye! May light dawn for you on a dishensation at first so dark! My wife bids you as you get better to come and see us, - making our house your


Madison, Wis[c.]

Date Original

1867 Mar 20


Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25.5 cm

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 01, Image 0952

Collection Identifier

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

Copyright Statement

Some letters written to John Muir may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

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.


2 pages


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



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.