Sarah [Muir Galloway] and Annie [L. Muir]
Live Oak, Fla., Nov. 22, 1898.
My dear Sisters Sarah and Annie:
I am now on my way home by New Orleans and the Southern Pacific after one of the most mazy, wriggling, roundabout wandering trips through the forests of the East side of the Continent I ever made, yet, strange to say, leaving out Wisconsin, Indiana, and Illinois where you and many of my friends are. I've been twice in Canada since leaving home and in all the New England and most of the southern states. I have been down the east side of the Florida peninsula along the Indian River, through the palm and pine forests to Miami, and thence to Key West and the southmost keys stretching out towards Cuba. Returning, I crossed over the west coast by Pilatka to Cedar Keys on my old track made 30 years ago in search of the Hodgsons who nursed me through my long attack of fever. Mr. Hodgson died long ago, also the eldest son with whom 1 used to go boating among the keys while slowly convalescing, but I learned that the rest of the family and Mrs. Hodgson were living at Archer, Fla., where I found them yesterday. They, especially the old lady, were very glad to see me, as they had long thought me dead. Mrs. H. was in the garden and I recognized her, though she was so gray. I asked her if she knew me. She said, "No, I don't. Tell me your name." "Muir," I replied. "John Muir! My California John Muir?" she almost screamed. I said, "Yes, John Muir, and you know I promised to return and visit you in about 25 years, and though I'm a little late - 6 or 7 years -I've done the best I could."
I stopped at Archer about four hours, and the way we talked over old times you may imagine. Of course the children are mid[dle]aged men and women. One a farmer, the other boy "the baby" a storekeeper., the girls married. The eldest boy and girl remembered the stories I told them and reading about the Muir Glacier, "felt sure it must have been named for me.
I parted from Prof. Sargent yesterday. He has gone home to Boston, and so I'm alone. In about ten days I hope to reach home. Will stop over a day or two at Mobile and New Orleans to see the fine trees there with the botanists Mohr and Mellichamps; then make straight to Martinez. I seem to have been gone years and years so often and far I have dodged about from forest to forest, magnolias to tamaracks, pines to palms, from climate to climate. I've seen but few people comparatively. Spent an evening with Tesla and three with hero Hobson in New York. Spent a night at the home of the Editor of the Atlantic at Boston, a good many at Prof.
Sargent's fine place at Brookline, several days with Johnson of the Century, and three days with the Editor Gilder at his country place in the beautiful Berkshire Hills, and four on the Hudson with Prof. Osborn's family. Saw the famous lawyer Choate and dined with him at his country place at Stock-bridge, said to be the finest village in New England, etc., etc., etc.
I hope I'll be able to see you ere long, though ± have failed this year.
Heaven bless you.
Ever your affectionate brother,
Remember me to the children with best love.
Southern Blue Jack or water oak plucked this morning from tree on the side of a street here.
Live Oak, Fla.
1898 Nov 22
Original letter dimensions: 24 x 15 cm.
Muir, John, "Letter from John Muir to Sarah [Muir Galloway] and Annie [L. Muir], 1898 Nov 22." (1898). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 2313.
Reel 10, Image 0505
The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see http://www.pacific.edu/Library/Find/Holt-Atherton-Special-Collections/Fees-and-Forms-.html
University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.