Mary [Muir Hand]
March 4, 1903.
Dear brother John,-
It was not my intention to be so very long in writing to you. - - With pencil, I wrote quite a letter for you, when on my way coming from Chicago - - but a letter written in a railway care is not always satisfactory - this was not -
The second evening after reaching home I was taken with the "grippe" - Its grip was neither very gentle nor kind - - I am not yet well - but hope now to gain faster
my eyes are still very sensitive - most of the time the eyeball ached so - I could not think of writing-
A letter came from Joanna a few days ago in which she mentions two week of sickness - and two or three of her recent letters tell of sick times - so I fear she is far from well. -
David's letter telling his thought also yours and Maggie's - in regard to the division of dear Annie's property — is perhaps night - - - We may agree that money in the house was Scotch money that never
was divided - and should be-
but I do think and have so said to Willis - - that Annie's own share of the scotch money that she received and has been using - and part of which she has expressly given to Joanna - - we have no right to touch - - Annie's "will" is not legal, but we should respect her will as to this part of her property - just as much as if the law guarded it - and some way I cannot believe that as a family we will see this in any other light - or will
wish it otherwise -
Before packing or disposing of any of the house-hold goods I waited to hear from Sarah wishing final - to know her wish
Sarah wrote me that she was so far away and is so unsettled - and shipping goods is so expensive - that some pictures and photographs, and the nice mirror - was all she wished to mention.
I sent the pictures also some other things - to her - putting them in a trunk -
A friend of hers, then in Portage would start for
Scappoose in a few weeks - the trunk could go to Sarah without expense to her -
Dan, had spoken for the nice mirror also for mother's big easy chair - both of these Dan had given to mother many years ago - and I knew it was right he should have them - and Sarah would not object - -
Joanna mentioned what to send her - and after seeing Annies "will" made little change - and expressed herself as very glad that Dan. and Sarah had
mentioned what they wanted
She named some things for me to take - - the organ a chair - the wheel - ("if still of value" - she said) - I brought also two little stands and a trunk with a lot of trifles - and some nice things too - not knowing what to do with them. I will wait till I hear from those who may want them
— - I sold some pieces - amounting to $8.15
Gave away some things no one could sell - and left some to be given away.
The stove remains where it was - Miss Owen, who rents may buy it if she can dispose of one she owns. - I could not sell it.
The two little rooms were emptied, or nearly emptied and when stopping to think how cheap and almost valueless every thing is that made the rooms seem some-what cosy - - I say again to myself - that only the fact that they so long belonged to dear mother and twin sister - and were in a way precious to them and
gave them comfort - makes it seem at all wise to ask for them or care to pay expense in getting them to our homes.
We hardly would consent to sell them for little or nothing and let them all be scattered among strangers.
The Dunbar chest containing some things I did not know what to do with remains in a store-room up stairs - for who ever may ask for it.
Mother's old old wooden rocking-chair - I left in care of Mrs. Owen - Mother
always liked it and never set it aside -
This may not all be of interest to you - but if Maggie and David may read this letter they will understand — and I want all to know just what was done. - I cannot see that I have made any mistake for I waited until hearing both from Sarah and Joanna even after they saw a copy of Annie's "will"
- - We are anxious to hear again from David -
and if it is the wish of the family that Willis may see to the legal business -all right, and if not he will promptly send the papers where they are wanted —
With love and good wishes to you and your family - and hoping to hear from you soon I remain,
1903 Mar 4
Original letter dimensions: 20 x 12.5 cm.
Hand, Mary Muir, "Letter from Mary [Muir Hand] to [John Muir], 1903 Mar 4." (1903). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 2544.
Reel 13, Image 0230
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