W[illiam] P. Gibbons


[John Muir]


[4]The love of our family goes to your wife Mrs. Williams and Henry to the Doctor's household * I am as ever Your affectionate friend WPGibbons.[1]Alamanda 12/20th.1884. Dear JohnI have long neglected the duty of responding to your kindness. The heavy burden of sorrow has been long pressing on me, & now, that the morning of a brighter day has dis[illegible] the way side darkness of the world, toward one whose [illegible] soul has clung to me with devotion & unwaver- ing love for 50 years, I am brought to a feeling recognition of those more remote ties, which should be affectionately cherished along our pilgrimage toward a better, but an unknown land.My [illegible] visit to you was the last time that I have left that dear companion. For years past,

[1]there have been foreshadwoing symp- toms of heart degeneration, & for near- ly six months I have been prepared to see the disease culminate. She has been mostely confined to her room for 4 months; & her case ter- minated by collapse on Thursday morning last; preceded by pneumonia Within 4 months, my next younger brother Charles ended a suffering ca- reer, & the day before [Mother?] [Kerry?] [word strucken] arrived in N. York, the wife of [C.?] was buried. My Mary is the fourth of our household who has departed in the above [named?] period.She always entertained an affectionate regard for you. Your name has never been mentioned with- out some kind expression of feeling on her part, & she after wished that you would make us a visit.She suffered greatly, but never a murmur escaped her lips. She[3] knew; more from increasing disability than from ought I ever said, that her end was drawing nigh. I could not bear to speak to her of the probabilites of of death.- no one was ever better prepared for the dark journey than herself. To-day I opened her scrap book & recently written with a pencil ["were" written above line] extracts from some of her favorite authors. They are on the inside cover of the first page. Here is one of them:-"A death is only to be felt never to be talked upon by those it touches. Horace Walpole. The [illegible] are her [own? or perhaps now?].But I fear to tire you with remarks which are more absorbing to myself than to any one else. Human troubles are like ripples from a stone thrown into the water. They are heaviest at the point of con- tact, & as they diverge, they become [smaller?] & ultimately disappear.


Alameda [Calif.]

Date Original

1884 Dec 20


Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 05, Image 0156

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



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