[David and Sarah Galloway]
This doubtless caused the [illegible] to fall with move extreme force As far as vision is con- cerned here is all for two or three days it was quite gone. then a little came which increased for a few days, which amount remained unchanged for about three weeks, it then increased and is increasing now I can recognize my friends and even read two pages of poetry this afternoon. I keep it shut and shaded yet, but hope to see a good deal with it yet when the [illegible]ation is quite away I had a second doctor said to be very skillful who told me that the iris was injured and that my chances of distinct vision was not good Now Sarah & David if last you are the only ones who have got a full copy of this sad chapter of my life -
Ind' Apr 12th 67
Dear Brother and sister
Your precious sympathy reached me last Tuesday I am now fairly above water again. I got well all at once a week ago, and am now gaining strength very fast This week I have been up town, out in the woods, and among the shop machinery and have invented & made another original clock for a society of boys who read to me in my darkness I also read several books All in these last four days so you see I may report myself well I hope to work in a week or two
now that I have fairly come to my senses, here is my case. I pierced my eye to an unknown [drawing of an eye with writing: position & [illegible] size of wound outer angle of right eye] depth just where the transparent & [illegible] parts meet about a half teaspoonful of the aqueous or [illegible] fluid escaped At the time of the accident I could not feel any pain or any faintness for the tremend- ous thought glared full upon me that I had lost my right eye I was before a window. I closed my left eye and opened the injured one with my fingers. The fluid fell on my hand and I saw the light slowly & utterly leave it as I thought forever. I could gladly have died where I stood because I thought I never would have heart to look at the flowers & fields
again. I was begged a ride home but I walked about 1/4 mile. I kept up about four hours. The doctor came & pronounced the eye lost . I was borne down at last and went to bed where I had to remain four weeks My days were terrible be- young what I can tell and my nights were if possible more terrible, frightful dreams, exhausted & terrified me every night without exception . I could scarce feel more com- pletely a new man than now had I arisen from the grave but the cup is removed and I am alive For some weeks before I was hurt I worked very hard and read & studied till about midnight or beyond it
Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25.0 cm
Muir, John, "Letter from John Muir to David and Sarah Galloway, 1867 Apr 12" (1867). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 1231.
Reel 01, Image 1006
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.
University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.