[Daniel H. Muir]
Near La Grange Nov 15th
Your first from the stinking halls of surgery found me here in the sunshine of the sweet autumn days of our foothills I suppose that I should write now of what most concerns you - not of mountains & flowers & waterfalls, not of the walks of a botanist but of the walks & pathways of epi- dermics of the provinces of king- doms of fevers, mortuary re- ports & all manner of diseases & sickness among the people Well let me see what can I say upon these sickly themes which I have catalogued here The small pox came this far last year. It radiated from San Fran- cisco in all directions like the spokes of a wheel. Fevers
follow the rivers in level place here, wending along among reed & willows like a snake in the gra[ss?] [&?] their pathways are narrow & crooke[d?] here but in Florida they occupy broad sheets of districts notched & dotted like prairies & islands upon a map. I have a sore throat always sorest when I swallow. The parotid or carotid or some other glands are swollen. I had a debate with a man who lives over the Tuolumne river upon the causes of insanity, he hild that all forms of insanity p[illegible]ded directly from a disorder- ed stomach, nerves & brains had nothing to do with it. He have it as his experience that the stomach was the first to feel bad news & fear of death also that the ole factory & optic nerves connected directly with the same important [sack?] as proof of these original views he made his wife bring Camphor & Amonia
for me to smell & asked me if I did not feel these vapors go tickling & tingling downward rather than upward I admitted that the stomach was the great centre of gravity - the recover & dispenser of our daily bread to all the other organs. At once master & store house of the com[illegible]ssary department but that the brain was more than a watch man over its dispensations Well I suppose now you are saying that this is a mixing a has[illegible] of medical questions without any law or science Perhaps it is better to have your knowledge of medicine meas- ured & weighed, but [push?] is all I can give you. the room is full of noisy people, suffering from the most malignant & loudest forms of lingual disease some are narrating thrilling stomach stir- ing [illegible] adventures with Piute Ute Indians. Others are trading horses, making [illegible], & courting the ladies [illegible] [illegible]. Therefore
Address Snellings as before
I pray [thee?] have me excused Postscriptum. I have the toothache
Your letter reached me in eight or nine days with your everlasting shades. I think that you look [their?]. Do not allow your efforts to cure others bring disease upon yourself Do not study too hard. Now that you have a sweetheart advise of this kind is necessary Why did you not send her photo also I would like to see her give her my best wishes & tell her to veto all overexertion & haste on your part to go into business. I am not going to leave Cala.' till the spring. Tomorrow I start for the Mountains Yo Semite I am enchanted & cannot leave them. I want to hear some of the winter sermons preached their. Farewell Tomorrow I will be trudging up the mountains burdened like Christian in pilgrims progress. Success for you brother Goodbye JM
Near La Grange, [Calif. ]
Original letter dimensions unknown.
Muir, John, "Letter from John Muir to [Daniel H. Muir],  Nov 15." (1869). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 1318.
Reel 02, Image 0175
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