Louie W. Strentzel
[Jeanne C.] Carr
Alhambra, March 21, 1875.
Dear Mrs. Carr,
Your letter was duly received, but I waited for further ac- counts of the situation (political), and then expected that mother and I could go to Oakland last week, and so see you there; but as we failed in that, I hope it is still not too late to say I am glad that you declined the nom- ination for School Director. I feel more and more sure that it is best for you to avoid, at least for the present, all [underlined: possible] political com- plications; and so remain untrammeled, 06387
and ready when the call comes for continuing your life work in the true Education. You have already learned how slow and weary a task may sometimes be the striving in behalf of the theories and ideals most dear to you, though you have the comfort of many earnest friends and co-workers. But in truth, it can only be harder still to deal with professional politicians and their greater cunning in crediting themselves with the good results, and their opponents with all mistakes and wrong-doing. And beside this, the probability of being continually out voted and overruled by a majority who deny even a woman’s eligibility to votes and offices! Am I wrong in regarding the risk as too great for a most uncer- tain result?
So much is vanity: and thinking over what we said that last Grange day. I listened to the lecture on Charles James Fox, and wondered if you too would consider, and remember to give to Newton Booth, Senator though he is, the pity that he needs from us all. But why should we fret our hearts for such prizes [underlined: now] and leave unheeded the song and bloom of the rejoicing Spring who would fain share with us her rarest treasures. When you utter the longing cry “Homesick for the hills”, have you any right to forget that the hills also wait and long and have need for the coming of all the friends who love them? As for wild flowers and trees, however one may interpret “letting
[in margin: 568]
them alone judiciously” it has always been my opinion that they are at all times glad to see good people; and that they are sometimes even a little bit lonesome when no appreciative human beings come to visit them. Be that as it may, whenever in my wanderings I look upon rare and perfect trees or flowers, or mayhap the trembling spray of ferns over dewy banks of emerald moss, and the thought of their loveliness helps and comforts me all the day. I feel quite sure that in some unknown way they understand, and are hap- pier too for the added blessing remaining with them. I hope though that recognizing the kinship of floral with human life to this degree does not oblige one to
[in margin: [Louis] letter to Mrs Carr]
accept as solid truth, all those accounts of insect-devouring plants narrated by Prof. Bessey, and also several blood-curdling stories with similar ideas, appearing in recent papers, which beset me to considering the doctrine of total depravity to a most uncomfortable extent as I am not yet able to believe the vivisection- ist theory that insects and animals suffer no pain but rather enjoy the processes of being cooked, eaten, or tortured alive. So if Mr. Muir should write for the Horticulturist, a description of that “carnio- orous Darlingtonia”, I must beg you to see that he makes the account no more dreadful than is actually necessary. Well no matter, ignorance being blissful, I will just continue as heretofore, in loving my flower-darlings and believing them to [ bathe?] one relic of Eden’s garden brought
down to us with no taint or stain of the orthodox Adam’s Fall. I scarcely think though that the ancient gardener grew a Camellia quite so exquisitely beautiful as the Camellia Wilderi that bloom- ed for me the past month. C. Turman has two magnificent blossoms almost twice as large but not so perfect in form as the other. My ferns are all beginning to send up their new fronds, even the tiniest and most pre- cious of all my pets, Adiantum Farbyense. So you see the Springtime is with us: Mount Diablo, and the green hills and flower decked valleys are ready for your coming. We want so much to have you here in April with the moonbeams and apple- blooms. The twentieth of the month will bring to them the fullness of perfection. Faithfully Your friend, Louie W. [ Strentrel?].
1875 Mar 21
Original letter dimensions: 35 x 11.5 cm.
Strentzel, Louie W., "Letter from Louie W. Strentzel to [Jeanne C.] Carr, 1875 Mar 21." (1875). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 311.
Reel 03, Image 0279
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