Jan 22nd, 1890.
My Dear Mr. Muir,
I don't suppose you know that I have become a veritable Bostonian - having lived in the vicinity of "the Hub" now for nearly six months. Possibly though Miss Annie, your sister, with whom I carry on an extensive business correspondence, may have told you about me. I am living in a great hotel or apartment house. My room is at the top, a delightful room with a wonderful outlook, [illegible] & steeples for my neighbors. on one side perhaps a mile away the river Charles & beyond it the blue hills; on the other in the distance the beautiful bay. From a sixth-story window we can see nearly everything worth seeing. I think even you who scorn the city would be pleased to look out over this varied scene, above the toil & turmoil -
Last summer at Winthrop, one of the suburbs of Boston, (where I boarded for three months. I met my fate. no, not a man, but a woman, a physician, a specialist in the line of nervous troubles, a graduate of the Homeopathic School here & a student for two years in the hospitals & under the best phsycians of Paris. This little woman, the embodiment of good sense, one of the few who has a sound mind in a sound body, is treating me for "Nervous Prostration" and I have advanced so far on the road to health that I feel very sure of never going back. I have visions that are more than visions of a clear head & a strong body, & you can imagine how happy it makes me. Dr. Bruce is a companion & friend -
a comrade in fact, as well as my doctor. She lost her husband & her babies many years ago & counts her patients as her family now. She is a brave bright woman & very successful in her profession. I rent a room in a flat, am allowed the privelege of using the kitchen, where I prepare & eat my meals, unless I am so fortunate as to be invited out. My neighbors, from whom I rent my room, are cultivated people, who in days past had wealth & travel & all good things, but now are verging toward old age & toward poverty. They, Mr. & Mrs. Millard are charming people & I am fond of them. x x x I am very happy here & expect to stay some time, possible three months longer. x x x x I want to approach you on a matter of business - I hesitated for
I know how busy you always are - but I know also how kind you have always been to me & mine. I have a cousin here, Edward Merrill Coe, (his mother a cousin of my mother's) He wants very much to go to California & I told him that I would write to you for advice & help if you could give it in the shape of work. He is twenty-one, has good health, good mind, & good principles. He was brought up on a New Hampshire farm - for three years taking almost entire charge of it, that is, he was a kind of overseer, his uncle who owned the farm, running a time in the village. Ed came to Boston & learned the printer's trade, but he does not
like it, or his associates & he says there is no chance of promotion. He loves farming & thinks he could succeed at it. He comes from a good family & has sensible ideas about things. His aunt (with whom he lives in E. Boston) says that he gets along well with men. x x I remembered hearing you wish for someone to take the burden of the ranch off your shoulders. But in all probability you have a competent overseer by this time. Do you know of any one who wants such a person as my cousin? And if not - would it be advisable for him to go out with no certainty of work. Of course, he would expect to begin at the bottom if necessary - providing there was a chance for promotion.
Hope that I have not trespassed too much on your time - but I am interested in the boy & should like to see a future for him. x x x Your dear little children are standing in a pretty frame on my mantel & are admired by every one who comes in. I am so glad to have them to look at & think about. With the hope that you & Mrs Muir & the children are well & that you can find time to write me before long.
Your old friend,
1890 Jan 22
Original letter dimensions: 20 x 15.5 cm.
Moores, Janet, "Letter from Janet [Moores] to John Muir, 1890 Jan 22." (1890). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 1878.
Reel 06, Image 0337
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