Crete, Heb., Feby. 21, 1890.
Dear brother John Muir:
Maggie received your letter a few days ago, for which we thank you very much for your kindness to us. We have thought the matter of coming to Cal. now very carefully, and think it would not be best to do [so] at present, for several reasons, 1st, the ranch --- there has been too much paid on it and also improvements made to abandon it, as the place would go to rack and ruin, I am going down there next week to see what I can do with it --- sell it, or leave it, or do something, 2nd, I have got about 30 head of horses on the ranch, big and little, and to attempt to sell them now I would not get much for them, as horses are very low at present. 3rd, our home --- to go and leave it would soon run down. Would like to sell it. Besides, we have about 50 or 60 acres of rye and some plowed land, so take it all in all, John, I think it would not be wise to leave at present,
I will have to leave my family and go off and work somewhere to keep things going, family and ranch. How would it do for me to come to Cal. this summer and work for you and see how I would suit you, and how I would like the country. I guess I could come to Cal. without costing me much.
Maggie thinks it would be best for her and the little ones to move down to the ranch and stay a little while till we see how things will turn up. I am afraid I will have to work the balance of my life as l have run behind so in money matters that if attempt to pay off my creditors they will take everything as fast as I make, so it will be a long time before I can square up. I think by coming out to you I could explain things better and we may make some arrangements so that both of us may be benefitted. I suppose there would be no chance of trading this ranch for Cal. property that would pay interest on the investment. I am getting some diagrams printed of the ranch, l will send you some. One thing that would help me to come to Cal. is Maggie's health.She seems to be going down the hill lately for some cause or other. If Harry was older and could be depended on I could put some sheep on the ranch. I would like to do so, as sheep are the only thing which there is money in. They would have to be put in his name for a while any way. If they were in my name they would be all taken away Besides, I do not feel like having Maggie end her days in that country.
1890 Feb 21
Original letter dimensions: 20 x 25 cm.
Reid, John, "Letter from John Reid to John Muir, 1890 Feb 21." (1890). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 1883.
Reel 06, Image 0369
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