James Davie Butler
June 1, 1897
My dear Friend.
It is the purpose of the faculty here to give you the degree of L L.D. at the next commencement. The idea is that it belongs to the institution where you studied so long and would gladly have studied longer, to recognize your discovery of America, that is wide areas of it that were before unknown, and that but for you would have remained so not a little longer.
By the way you have noticed,--I hope without envy--the glorious advancement of your fellow apostle or missionary Sheldon Jackson - the last Moderator of the Presbyterian church. His slogan was "wild rider of the prairies"--and "big boy of the sierras"--and so he rode to glory. No doubt you will give him an ovation in Frisco as he halts to prepare for evangelizing the rein-deer-raising dwellers about your glacier, and all over Alaska. Your partnership will be more congenial than ever.
What do you know about Mrs. Carr? It is said that she is in a Frisco insane asylum, but no particulars have come to my hearing.
My river has been a smooth-sliding current without a rapid or a mummur. Still I have been studious in my way. Two reviews the Nation has now on hand, one on Alex. Henry--1000 - 14 fur-trading from Superior to the Pacific. and True stories of Indian captives from New England to Canada 1677-1760
Agnes & co. - and Anna for seven weeks caring for household sublunaries, have left me in perfect peace in my ideal study. Many languages have blotted out the curse of Babel. My last craze is Anglo-Saxon, the study of my second childhood to which I dedicate every minute of day-light, and maintain that it is the only thing now worth living for. It is to acquaint myself with the tongue of my ancestors 1000 years ago, so that as soon as I enter heaven I can understand their exposition of my descent etc.
James Davie Butler.
1897 Jun 1
Original letter dimensions: 28 x 21.5 cm.
Butler, James Davie, "Letter from James Davie Butler to John Muir, 1897 Jun 1." (1897). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 2250.
Reel 09, Image 0893
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