James D[avie] Butler


John Muir



[in margin: This hotel was built by Henry & his partner.[illegible] they are lawyers. They put it up as a speculation]

Sept. 20 1889.

Mr John Muir,

My dear friend of all times. I was very glad that you at last gave up [illegible]. More than that you gave me a map of your life such as I demanded. Besides, you ask whether you have sent me photographs of your girls. No you have not at all, by any manner of means. Pray fulfill your promise of those presentiments which I know are no counterfeits, and that right early. Address Madison, as my hope is to be in my own cottage soon. In all that street I am


now the patriach. No man has been there so long. - no woman but Mrs [Vilas?]. Most of the housesalso have risen since I settled there. Death has struck all around us while we have borne charmed lives. My wife has here become so well that she has already gone to N. England with our Anna. As, all last year, she seemd in the jaws of death, her rejuvenation is a miracle in our eyes. You must tell me the names and ages of your girls and all about their Mother of whom you have not written me one word. Doubtless you think me informed of a deal of your history that is unknown to me.



I think that you have likenesses of my girls since they have grown to womanhood. If not, I shall be glad to send them. I would like to see your slope again. - and indeed my stomping-ground in all the continents. Nor am I too poor for such a tramp. Could either of my girls go with me I should be off at once. But one feels tied to her mother - the other to her brothers. I say to them daily. "Quarrel! Turn your backs on each other. Then you will marry, and give hope to continuators of Butleriana. Cease to sit like cherubims that shadowed the mercy-seat: gazing at each other in mutual admiration!



I enclose an account of the University at the era when you knew it. This paper was prepared by request of the students - to insert in a memorial vol. They also asked me to sit for a portrait in oil which they hung in the Library. Another likeness repeating the blunders Nature made has been painted for the Hist. Soc. which has now a separate art gallery. I hope you keep up acquaintance with Wm Alvord in Frisco. A son of the gen'l's is a Prof. at West Point, and I have exchanged letters with him. But old friends cannot be extemporised. Jones you know is no more. Sorry that we embrace only from the ends of the opposed winds.


James D Butler



Superior, Wis

Date Original

1889 Sep 20


Original letter dimensions: 23 x 14.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 06, Image 0253

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.


3 pages


Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters



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