A. H. Sellers


A. H. Sellers


John Muir


Hotel Metropole

CHICAGO Sep't 11th 1904.

Our dear Mr. Muir:-

Just as we were about to leave our old house on Michigan Ave, the last of June, we received your splendid letter of June 16th last from Martinez, and I hurridly answered it.
Yesterday, Fay, in handing ire the wail, said "here is a newspaper sent you by Mr. Muir". Glancing at it I saw it was post marked "New Castle N S [illegible] and said "well this explains why we have heard nothing from Mr. Muir. he has gone back to Australia". Tearing off the cover. I saw it was the "Daily Telegraph" Sidney Jug 6. 1904. It contained a marked 3 column article on "Our vanishing brothers. Northern tribes of central Australia- Messrs Spencer and Cillen's book- A valuable and interesting record."
Afterwards, looking the paper over, I found on the first page in red pencil "Marked copy F. W. G." which explained who it was from. F.W.G. being Fred. w. Coding, Mrs Sellers' cousin, who is the U. S. Consul at New Castle New South Wales. He is quite a naturalist, and has sent me some valuable books on the aborigines of that country.
Now, to show you how natural it was for my wife and me to be misled by the address on the cover of the paper, I send it to you, with the envelop of your letter showing my address as written by you, from which you will see that the similarity in the handwriting is certainly remarkable.
We were all interested and delighted with your letter, and were astonished at how much you told us in the four pages. It gave us a splendid idea of your great travels, and what you saw, in a very few words.




Now, for fear you did not get my best answer to your letter, I must, at the risk of repetion, tell you why we sold our house. Last year we were only in the house about two months, the winter being spent at Coronado Eeach California, and the following summer at Oconomowoc and Fuckawa lake. Returning from there Nov 15th we left on Jan'y 15th last for "Southern Cal," returning here about the first of last May. Soon after our return an "Israelite" commenced negotiating with we for the house, and inasmuch as we were about the only"Gentiles" left in the block- balance all Israelites- I finally sold to him the place, realizing $50.000.00 in cash, being all that it had cost ire more than 15 years ago. It took about two months to consumate the sale, get rid of our surplus "truck" (giving away six wagon loads) and pack up and store the balance in warehouse. We then took rooms in the "Hotel Metropole", a very fine family hotel at the corner of 23rd & Michigan Ave. We did this because we had no time to look up another house, and wanted time to carefully consider before building another home. We cannot, at present, give much attention to our future plans, because Mrs. Sellers' dear old mother is very ill, and at her age, 82, is in a very precarious condition. We cannot now make any plans for this coming winter, because if she continues as she is now, Fay will not want to go very far from her. We have been in the city all summer, and expect to remain, tho1 we hope to be able to spend a couple of weeks or so at Puckawa lake, near your old home in Wisconsin, sometime next month.
Frank and his wife took dinner with us today, and we talked much about


According to the [illegible] of things literary

CHICAGO(3)you. Frank said"I do hope Mr. Muir will now settle down to write, and give the world the benefit of the great knowledge he has acquired, in his own beautiful language", to which I say "amen". Frank has just returned from New York. He has been working for a long time on a bier street railroad subway scheme for this city, hut finds it hard to float just now. I think he feels, after this last trip to N. Y., quite discouraged, as he begins to talk about trying to get into something else. This, I fear, he will not find easy to do in these times. I told him that if he was not married, I would send him out to California, or the coast generally, to see what he could do out there.
He, and Fay join me in kindest regards, and best wishes to you all.

Sincerely yours

AH Sellers

Sep. [24?] You say you thought I had gone to [Australia?] & I began to think you had all gone [illegible] Sellers [illegible] The June letter you refer to [illegible] kind letter of Sep. 11th is the first I have received from you since my return. I got [illegible] the one you sent in June must be lost [illegible] from my big ramble. [illegible] Now that yr fine [illegible] house is sold you must al come to Cal as soon as you can build your next home here & be my neighbor. [Then we?] can grow old (or young) [illegible] together - the high Sierras will then be our glorious backyard, the Pacific our pond [where we?] can sail when we like, for [illegible] Alaska to the Andes for exercise & [illegible] of the noble aboriginal [forest?] [illegible] to South Africa & Madagascar to see the Grand [illegible], etc etc etc and we can go [illegible] anytime to India for another look at the Himalaya [illegible] you on yr footloose freedom I can't help feeling a little sad at the loss of my home The only home I ever had in Chicago. I'm [puttering?] a little with my pen trying to write another little book. [illegible] that it seems hardly worthwhile spending precious [illegible] on them. When if ever I can get [these?] off my hands I don't know




Date Original

1904 Sep 11


Original letter dimensions: 28 x 21 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 14, Image 0526

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

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.


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