Mary M[errill] Graydon
[Marked "Indianapolis letters"]
288 Central Ave., Indianapolis,
Feb. 18th, '93.
My dear Mr. Muir,
I was glad to get the very nice letter Wanda sent me, because I thought you might all be dead, so long has it been since any word came from you! and also to hear the children received their book.
There is no more delightful reading than a well told child's story. In Nov. I sent East for a book I wanted for the little girls,but it was so delayed by the crowded Ex[press] that it did not get here in time to send, so I bought that "Rhymes" of Riley's, and it is pretty good reading too.
I am so sorry you did not see Mr. Riley (the poet) when here.Next time we hope for better success. There are others, too, who were disappointed in not meeting you. You are to come again next summer, and I am planning for that now. You are to come in Oct. and we hope can bring the children - Wanda at least. Helen would be a young traveller, and I cannot urge that. I believe the suffering Prof.Anderson's family have endured is the result of fatigue. They were 10days from Andover, Mass. to Palo Alto.
You ask of Janet. Her trouble is the result of Grippe. There was a gathering in her head, and the inflammation reached the brain.Everything has been done for her here, at Cin[cinnati], and she is now at Philadelphia. The result of all this is inconceivable suffering and enormous expense. I am afraid the verdict is "no hope." This is awful on Merrill and Charles in every way, but as for Sister Julia - one would have supposed a year ago she could not have lived a week under this strain. Charles is about right when he says, "Mamma intends to live 100 years."It is a cruel blow to Mrs. Moores. Sister Kate and Mina are well - so is"Miss Eliza" [Hendricks]. The youngest daughter of Col. Hendricks has just died, aged 18. Perhaps you saw her as an invalid when you here - so pure, so lovely was she that I see no reason for death for her. She might have entered the Gates and walked the golden streets, as she might have gone through an open door into another room.
The Hendricks family through and through are the very best. Miss Eliza is worrying "awful" that your book doesn't" come out." So am I - I just seize each Century, with the hope I may find something from you.You have the power of giving such exquisite pleasure. Your visit here was a delight to us all - now come again, before we die, or lose our minds,which is certainly the most awful calamity. The day you left us, Mr.Riley, your old friend, called. He just revelled in remembrances of you -how you had taught him to be a skilled laborer and how consequently instead of getting $1.50 a day he had never made less than $3.00. He has long been foreman in a shop that employs 300 men and old Mr. Jackson says,"his devotion and admiration of you are one of the good things he has seen in human nature."
If Kate were not so homesick I think she would be happy at Oakland. Everybody there is kind to her. I thank you for your kindness to her. I thank you again for your "Picturesque Cal[ifornia"], and more than I can tell you for your visit to us. Come again soon. We have still a few cans of your fruit which are too precious to eat. I suppose I'll keep them till they spoil! Katie loved your children. Helen she called "a pearl," "a treasure," etc. She will be home in June and I fancy will find work nearer home.
Sincerely your friend,
Mary M[errill] Graydon
1893 Feb 18
Original letter dimensions: 22 x 14 cm.
Graydon, Mary Merrill, "Letter from Mary M[errill] Graydon to John Muir, 1893 Feb 18." (1893). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 239.
Reel 07, Image 0810
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