J. E. Mathewson
to making him a visit some of these days, when I have nothing to do. or when I can leave my business in other hand for a few months. If such an event should happen, you may expect to see me.
I suppose you will remember Richard A. Proctor, the lecturer on Astronomy the world over. He died in 1889, I believe. His second wife (an American woman) lives here within a stones throw of us. She is married again to Dr. Smythe, an Englishman, She travelled with Mr. Proctor & after his death, lectured on the same subject both here & the states. Very likely you have met them both.
Myself & family have been in the best of health since I wrote you last. My son married some three years since & has a little girl - photo of himself & family enclosed. Our daughter
[in margin: Mathewson]
Dec. 19th 1904.
Dear friend Muir,
There is no use beating about the bush, I owe you a letter & feel very much ashamed of myself for having allowed it to remain unanswered so long. I do really think you ought to have reminded me of my negligence and so given me a chance or rather an opportunity of putting myself right a long time since, "Business before pleasure is my only excuse, I visit the Eastern states every winter but have never yet found time to go so far west as California, my brother Winchester lives at Port Angeles Washington & I am looking forward
Lottie is married & lives in [Sheffield?], but we see her every week. Some two years since I purchased this house ("Frey Bentos" named after a town in [illegible]way in South America). It stands by itself on a plot of land fifty yards square. The ground is not large, but it takes my gardener all his time to keep it in order. I often wish that I could live in an orange bearing country like California. We get your oranges here but I suppose that they are not to be compared with the fresh gathered fruit. I told you I believe that my dirt is fruit nuts & the products of the earth. From the accounts which I have read of your travels, you must be that way inclined. Certainly we were vegetarians when we were together at Madison. I have one of my letters written to my mother, from Madison in 1862 in which I mention that you & I walked cross the lake on the ice & visited the [illegible] A[illegible]. I remember it well, we could see the fish through the ice, can never forget the faces & actions of the inmates. Have never been in one since. Now I have told you a good deal about myself & hope in return you will tell me how you are in health & spirit & also all about your family. From a print in an American Magazine published a year since, you look about the same. Time must have been kind to you. Money making has not caused you sleepless nights. You have much to be thankful for, It is a pity that the ways of the world prevent nearly all of us from living as nature intended us to live. Now write soon & I will try hard to do my duty to my old friend & schoolmate.
J. E.. Mathewson.
1904 Dec 19
Original letter dimensions: 18 x 22.5 cm.
Mathewson, J. E., "Letter from J. E. Mathewson to John Muir, 1904 Dec 19." (1904). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 2919.
Reel 14, Image 0714
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