James D[avie] Butler


John Muir


[in margin: Catlin's Indian portraits - are treated of on 930 pp. of a m[illegible]t Smithsonian and they are a worthy theme.]


Superior, Wis.

July 30, 1889

Mr John Muir

My dear Friend.

How busy - or how forgetful of old friends you have grown! In the winter I mailed you a "Butler family" - a pedigree for which I watched and waited long to trace, in various lines, my first Am. ancestors; - Bates and Butler to 1635. - Harris 1631, Sigourney to 1685, etc. A dozen of my books are in the hands of experts abroad. I would fair follow my lineage beyond the nightly deep, like Syracusan Arethusa beneath the Ionian to her native Grecian fountain. But you have made no sign to show that my book has come to your hands. My family are all here. Henry came here six years ago. The growth has been great. - he is an alderman, and this very hour is away at a council meeting.

My wife came here last year and was so well. that she came up again 8 weeks ago. - Jamie is in the office here - My Madison house is closed for the summer and the two daughters are here housekeeping for us. Nowhere such air -[all osone] and skies [of matchless gorgeousness in clouds) - waterview grander than Madison with bolder shores. Two books I brought, 1. the Iliad which I ran through in 16 days - 15690 lines. Turning from Greek to Italian, - I have read 2/3 of Dante. These morning-stars few nowadays get up early enough to see. I have told you my manner of life, and that hoping you will do likewise. You know that Jones with whom you found me died last year. It is only two years since I met him in N.Y. and we always talked of you. So did Alvord. How many have I loved and lost! But I rejoice in light beyond the dark valley!

yr friend

James D. Butler



Superior, Wisc.

Date Original

1889 Jul 30


Original letter dimensions: 26.5 x 20.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 06, Image 0209

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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