Louie [Strentzel] Muir


[John Muir]


Martinez. California,
July 27, 1890.

My beloved husband,

We are expecting to see you next week on the steamer due in San Francisco August 5, so the children are not writing letters for this steamer. Helen especially is longing to see you, for she seems unable to understand why you should stay away so long looking at the ice, so she says that she "can not let Mama go away too." Oh, if only I dared take her up to Victoria to meet you, and stay awhile in that cool climate, for the cold windy weather here has been succeeded by 10 days of hot north winds, the thermometer ranging from 98° to 107º: and the nights are so sultry that we keep all the windows wide open. Grandpa and Grandma go about as usual, though very tired, and Wanda is active and thriving. Little Helen suffered sorely from the heat, but now she looks nearly as well as usual, and laughs and plays in her own cheerful way again.
Last Monday about 4 o'clock we rode over home and felt the sultry air very much. We went out under the fig tree in the yard, and Helen begged for some figs. I let her have two, although they were very warm. She slept quietly all night, but in the morning could not eat any breakfast, and we saw that her gums were swollen as if a new tooth were coming. She grew feverish and at 9 o'clock threw up sour water and the fig seeds, but still kept fretting. In about half an hour she clung to my hand and that terrible look of fear and appealing came in her eyes. Grandma and Fannie ran and filled the tub with warm water so it was ready in 2 or 3 minutes after the dreadful convulsion began. It must have been 30 or 40 minutes before there was any change for the better, and the slight tremors lasted all day, but that night she slept well and there has been no return of the trouble. O John, I do not need to tell you how we felt, while you remember that other terrible time: and now it is impossible to think of leaving Helen to go to Victoria, or even to San Francisco while you are away. I hope the Umatilla, due July 31, will bring letters from you to tell when you can return home. Do not fail to telegraph from Victoria so we and Helen can be happy waiting for you.

Your faithful wife,

Louie Muir


Martinez, California

Date Original

1890 Jul 27


Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 12.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 06, Image 0595

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.


4 pages


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



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