John Muir


John Muir


[James Davie] Butler


Martinez Feb. 18th 1888.

Prof. Butler,

My dear old friend steadfast & true. I am delighted to see that with steady heart & hand you can still seek & find the friends who love you. No sloth, no rust. Still pegging away at Greek by the thousand pages & getting from side to side of the continents & seas with the gazing ardor & enthusiasm of Youth Happy man. Ever deep in the blessedness of action, & so ever Young; the light of Youth & the light of age & the light of all the years between blending together into one serene glow, & like the sunshine of a summer day becoming more beautiful more divine as the evening draws near.

And Mrs Butler is "in far better health than [in?] years" and all the children are well and the boys regard frozen mercury as a warning that they must seek a colder climate


good news all & I must keep those boys in sight good fire in them. My love to them all.

I am busy now with "Picturesque California" - something like Picturesque America You will soon see it. The ranch & grapes also take much of my time.

My feeling your presence as you entered Yosemite Valley while I was seated sketching on the summit of the North Dome is the one marvel of my life. After coming around the base of El Capitan you might, if you had had a good field glass & had known where to look, have seen me suddenly drop my work & rise up & gaze into the alley towards you, & then run down to the verge of the cliff trying to go to you direct. Then realizing that it would be impossible to find a way down before dark I turned toward my camp thinking


about you determined to seek a way into the valley next morning & never for a moment wavering in my determination to find you though up to the monument you came into the valley I had not been thinking of you at all, & my days were going smoothly bye without human incident or variation such as would tend to set in motion new trains of thought relative to humanity I had been coming & going to & from the North Dome & camp for many days. But Ill get my old notes & give you the particulars soon.

With love to you old friend & to all yours I am ever cordially yours John Muir


Martinez [Calif.]

Date Original

1888 Feb 18


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 05, Image 0992

Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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, see

Owning Institution

Wisconsin Historical Society. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date



3 pages



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