Richmond, Virginia, Nov. 11, '98.
The train stopped 20 minutes for supper here, and I've just got back into the car. I can't see much of this famous old town, only a lot of lights in long rows. This morning and yesterday I saw the most beautiful oak woods, some of the trees yellow, some brown and some vivid scarlet and crimson. No trees are more gloriously colored in all the American forests than these eastern oaks. All the way through Virginia thus far they are the same. The reddest of all is the Scarlet Oak, it looks red hot all over.
The White House and the Capitol and the Library are very fine and grand buildings, but the finest of all the stone things hereabouts is the Washington Monument - plain smooth marble shaft more than 500 ft. high. We saw lots of deer, buffalos, bears, birds, etc. at the Zoo in the Park, but the queerest and funniest were the kangaroos and a lot of coons. The coons were sunning themselves in the forks of the branches of a big dead tree. It's awfully trying to write on the quivering jiggling train. We are now fairly off for Florida, Mr. Sargent is seated in front of me trying to sleep. He is pretty well now. We will be in Florida - Jacksonville - tomorrow, and I hope I'll get a letter there, or at least when I come back to Jacksonville from Key West. I'll not feel that I am fairly on my way home until I am starting from New Orleans, which I suppose will be in about two weeks. Then how glad I'll be, my darling. Give my love to Mamma and Wanda and Maggie.
1898 Nov 11
Original letter dimensions: 14.5 x 9 cm.
Muir, John, "Letter from [John Muir] to Helen [Muir], 1898 Nov 11." (1898). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 2304.
Reel 10, Image 0465
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