Abba G. Woolson
I propose to take life easy "and then to begin again my trade in the "journal" I have not yet written upon the Yosemite. I dread to do it, lest I should fail; and then there was so much of my family to write that I grew tired of it, and wound off when I reached San Francisco. One of these days, however, my audacious pen will proceed to desecrate the glories of you valley. I have had for some months thousand's "Walden" and his "Excursions", as also [Ja?] Ingdon's] last poems piled up together on my book case for you, and have long ago lost all patience with my husband and Prof. Runkle that they give me no chance to send them. They are yours, and shall reach you sometime, but I regret that you [will?] not have them these long winter months. This hastily written letter will go where its writer would gladly follow it, even if she had to plunge through snow-drifts as high as those on the Glacier path; for the sight of all those splendors on which you, almost alone of all men, are privileged to look. Seems to be worth any hardships to obtain. Write to us when you can, and tell us all the great news about yourself and the valley.
[in margin: With kindest regards, [illegible] Your friend Abba G. Woolson] Boston. 64 Boylston St. Feb. 4, 1872
Dear Mr. Muir: Your letters produced a [illegible] in the Wo[illegible]son family yesterday, and the little sprig of cedar, so fresh and green, looked as [illegible] in their eyes as if it had just fallen from the [battlements] of Heaven. What great tales you tell of the forty cataracts pruning over the walls, each larger than Nevada fall when we behold it! It made me impatient of all things about me, and set me to longing more f[illegible] then ever for the wings of a dove, that I might drop down among them and hear and see them for myself. One of these days I pray that it may be my portion to spend a summer and a winter, - a full year; in the Yosemite. Nothing else
will content me; nor reconcile me to leaving this earth at last, for another and an unknown world. I was pleased that Mt. Clark should remind you of me, though I fear the [illegible] I applied to it was first used by Byon in speaking of Mt. Soraete. How approporiate it is to the Italian peak. I know not; but it is certainly an exact description of Mt. Clark-, which is the only mt. with that shape I have ever seen. I remember well that glorious panorama of the Sierras from Glacier Point. - the grandest view of a mountain world I ever saw. All other points in our California journey fade a little in my mind, as time wears away, but the Yosemite seems to grow, rather, in splendor and distinctness every time I think about it, and that is every day, nearly. I hope to see
your account of the great storm, in the [Overbend?]. Here, what a different life I lead! I pass my days in attendance upon "Womans' Club" meetings, (you know I am one of the strong minded,") "Radical Club" discussions, Woman Suffrage Conventions, and exciting intellectual talks at the houses of friends; and if it were not for a broad glimpse of sky and of the tree-tops of Boston Common from my window, I should almost forget that there was any other world then that of gas-lighted parlors and halls. We at the "Hub" have to super[illegible] the crank of the [illegible], and of [course?] we all have our theories about how it should be turned. I am not writing just now, as my health, weakened by last summers' journeyings and by too much exciting life since, seemed to require me to rest. In two months, therefore,
1872 Feb 4
Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25.5 cm.
Woolson, Abba G., "Letter from Abba G. Woolson to John Muir, 1872 Feb 4." (1872). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 1424.
Reel 02, Image 0671
Copyright status unknown
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.
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.
Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters