James D[avie] Butler


John Muir



March 15 1886

John Muir, Esq.

My dear Friend.

It is too long since I have heard from you - longer than I would formerly have believed possible.

Some outline of my life I send you, and am confident I shall have yours in return and that right early. I live here, just as when you were last here. and have all the same family. My boys are both away. Jamie in Iowa railroading._Henry at Superior on the Great Lakes. _ a lawyer and building up a city. "Hatching [illegible] empires." My wife is no more an invalid.

Twice have I been abroad._taking Anna on one journey and Agnes on another. We returned on the Oregon-[illegible] yesterday. _when the Northern Packcig opened I was at Portland._ and then went on into British Columbia. _The same season four of us slept 3 nights on the tentless ground among the Yellowstone geysers._It is but about a year since I last returned from Europe._and that year I have been studious here.

Greek and Shakespeare are my special pets._but just now I have a cruse for ascettaining the true inwardness of famous Bridger_the great pathsfinger from the Missouri is thr [illegible] . Tell me some char- actristic incident about him.

The deaths of my life-long friend Gen Alwood I heard of when I was lingering in Vienna._

I was with Emerson who told me of his forsaking you at the Big Trees_which his party had enough of before your wonder had been fairly roused.

Give us now a leaf of your life..Tell me of wife. nice ones. in troubles.writings and studies. When shall we see you here again? Art here has advanced,_Nature could not.

It is not a year since Kate Merrill to whom I introduced you in Indianapolis_but we ought to write offe ner.

Today I am 71 years old._but am so well, that I must compute the age I cannot feel._With memories and hopes. yrs. James D. Butler.



Madison [Wisc.]

Date Original

1886 Mar 15


Original letter dimensions: 25 x 19.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 05, Image 0630

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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