George Hansen


Geo[rge] Hansen


[John Muir]




April 3d., 1903.

Dear Friend,

It has been many a day since I have had SO unexpected and such sincere pleasure as a little item in the paper gave me. It may be silly some to express such to you. But I am nothing if I cannot follow the instinct of my heart, and I do such not then I tell you about it. Then you, alone with our so much admired President go into Yosemite and under the done of domen, it is to me as if the man was taken by the highpriest into the presence of the most High. It is not only that your guidance of that one man,-though he be the chosen of the land-shall be productive of a wonderfull and lasting impression with him. No, to me, it is the touch in the innermost of thousands of men and woman that shall be given through this example. I am a fortunate man for having drawn breath under the shadows of some of those majestic piles of living fibre, and it was with true religiosity that gain today took up your chapter on the Sequoia and read and read, slowly and piously what God dictated to your pen. I sat in the bright sunshine on outporch, and forgive a human the vain failing that he felt selfishly happy for being called your friend. - I cut out the clipping and pasted it in my book.
Is it not queer how things happen and coincidences



play with us? - The moment that I wrote the letter to Charles Murdock (though unknown to him) to officiate at my burial, his well beloved wife pressed husband and children for the last time to her was heart. And now that man of years in left alone with a babe of two years. Wished that his children lived next door to ours. I could help open almonds for there and drawing ships for them.
And the little birds sing just as street today as yesterday, and the little humming jewel flits back and forth before my eyes his bill filled with their and threads in build his heavenly Haven.
I wish I could listen-to one of those concerts of blackbinds that I attended in Cancord. When you hear them again, member how appreciatively a listener I have been.
Wished that the resident' would be able to withdraw every section from settlement. I think he would of he could.





The "Bell of Hope" from off the neck of a sturdy billy-goat feeding on the matten, below Mont Blanc, and the "Bell of Love" from off her who gave us the first bucket of milk when we set up housekeeping, these two were hoisted in the belfry of ours.
It was the "Bell of Faith" that was lacking, and was yet ringing on the thyme-scened pasture of the little hamlet where I was farmed out" as little boy when things at home didnt go just right.
Bell of Faith, SO indeed it was. Did not the little boy look-in faith at everything he then beheld? And did not those cows walk by faith? Kind hands opened the gat for them, and as they singly turned down the lanes, they met their shepard at the end of the hamlet. What of it if the road was dusty, the sun hot, and but cockleburns along the way? Faith told them that their shepard lead them to green pastures besides still waters, and as the eye lost sight of them, the ear caught the music of a heavenly chorus in God's own cathedral.
34 years have passed, and my ear needed attuning to this chorus. I wrote to the postmaster of the hamlet, and he was happy to acquire the Bell of Faith and start it across lands and oceans to our belfry out here. But he also published the letter of the writer in their county paper to tell the mountaineers of the warmth with which a far-away man thought of childhood days and their hills.
And it so happened that the innkeeper read the letter and besought himself of a bell that had been a keepsake in their herd for all of one hundred years and none. "This is one of the bells of faith that yonder boy listened to, he said to himself, and he took if off his petcow and



and send her out with a new bell, saying "go on Betsy, let us part with, our bell, and bless its new owner.
And so it comes that our belfry has four bells, for deep and rich rings out the call of a Vesper Bell. And invisibly to the blind eye there [illegible] written on its WOrn sides these words.
Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love of brethren, be pitifull, be courteous.

Sent with the faith of a child to our friend [Contre Costa?] by The [Biffy?] Man


Berkeley, Calif.

Date Original

1903 Apr 3


Original letter dimensions: 28 x 21.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 13, Image 0394

Collection Identifier

Online finding aid for the microform version of the John Muir Correspondence

Copyright Statement

Some letters written to John Muir may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Owning Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.


4 pages


Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters



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