Peter L. Trout
Alaska Hotel Seattle Monday 30 '97
To Prof John Muir.
My dear sir
I have just received a letter from my brother William in Milwaukee to whom I sent a copy of this paper of which the enclosed is a clipping. He seemed much interested and recommended me to send this clipping to you as you would also like to see it. Accordingly I enclose it. He also gave me the following assurance that you are just the same John Muir that I had knokwn thirty years ago notwithstanding the magnificant success that you have made of life; and that you have not forgotten, nor do not wish to forget your old friends. I am certain that I have never wished to forget you. I only feel proud to be able to say that I ever knew you. If I had followed my own inclination I would certainly have been a student
of nature like yourself; and I have just about egotism enough to believe that if I had worked as patiently and industriously as you have done in studying nature I might have been pretty near your equal in some respects by this time. I had thought that I could endure about as much privation, starvation, and hardship as any living man; but if the account I saw in the Century some years ago is not exaggerated, I am certainly not in it with you. Is it really true that you spent ten years in the mountains without seeing any human beings except a band of Mono indians. Such an ordeal, I firmly believe, would make a raving lunatic of me. I remember one time when I had to spend a week all alone in the mountains under a tree on account of the snow and rain and before that time was up I got to
thinking that my friends and the world generally had gone back on one and concluded that if I had to stay much longer my reason would be completely unbalanced. I have spent a considerable part of my time in the mountains always alone during the last ten or twelve years, and know exactly what it is. I was not looking for plants and flowers although they always interested me but for mineral wealth and studying rocks, geological formations etc and although I say it, my opinion on these subjects is generally treated with respect. I have generally been employed by some mining company as I could not afford to spend my time without being paid for it. I will not attempt to give you a history of my life as it is not worth telling. I have accumulated considerable property in the way of mines, mining stock and a farm or ranch
William, I believe told you that I held down my ranch at one time with a pistol, I do not know know where he got his information but wherever obtained it is grossly incorrect. I have had some trouble about the ranch; but never at any time have I used or threatened to use a revolver on any one.
I have lived so far and expect to live without resorting to violent measures.
I do not know that I can say anything more that will be of interest to you and do not not know that what has been said will be interesting, but I have determined, if possible to do something to see if I cannot renew our old acquaintance. And it also may be possible that you would like to know something further of my experiences. Where is your brother Dan and what has he made of himself?
Yours very truly
Peter L. Trout
Alaska Hotel, Seattle, Wash.
1897 Jan 30
Original letter dimensions: 20 x 13 cm.
Trout, Peter L., "Letter from Peter L. Trout to John Muir, 1897 Jan 30." (1897). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 2132.
Reel 09, Image 0673
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