Jeanne C. Carr
[J. B. McChesney and wife]
(Original letter in possession of Mrs. J. B. McChesney)
Marysville, April 85, '77.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. McChesney:
Ever since my return from Oakland I have been thanking you and all the other precious friends who lightened our grievous burden with their loving kindness, but "my days go on" into profounder grief as the loss of our son sinks deeper into our consciousness. The blow was too sudden, too appalling, and needlessly made too cruel to be realized. He was so much a blessing to us - so bright, sweet and faithful, that we had unconsciously leaned upon him. His orderly methods, industry and aptitude for business made him invaluable in the office. When the day after we returned from Oakland I opened his desk and took up the pen which he had laid down, I said no one shall ever make an entry in those clear pages except myself, everything was well and perfectly done to the last hour.
But it is not from the life alone. John had a rarely sympathetic and sensitive nature, and for the last two years has given me much more than he received. His reading in the last two years has been comprehensive, his mind was marking out original paths. While I was at Pasadena he wrote me every other day, the brightest and most inspiriting words from home. We were going to YoSemite together. I wished to see him once under the full impression of natural grandeur. As Emerson says, in losing him I mourn "not what I made, but what I loved." I should have loved John if he had not been given to me
We have tried to shorten the days with work, but the work is poor - the spring seems wanting. We both find it hard to live without our happier child. For we doubt not he is already wiser then we, and understands the reason of what seems unreasonable enough to human vision.
I began to thank you both, dear and true friends, but the uppermost thought has run away with my pen.
I "lecture" tonight for the Inst., Prof. Allen tomorrow night, Dr. Carr on Friday night. Just an Institute exercise. I could not go into the church. The Marysville Institute both this year and the last has been less interesting than others; there are good teachers here, I do not understand why it is so.
Tell Mr. McChesney that I hope he will take very positive ground in favor of Industrial Ed. in the coming discussions of Grangers and afterwards of teachers. Neither Dr. Carr or myself can controvert Prof. Hilgard's positions, but they are to be met with strong counter arguments and more solid proof.
I go home in the morning. With many tender thoughts of you all, and especially of the suffering mother,
JEANNE C. CARR
1877 Apr 25
Original letter dimensions unknown.
Carr, Jeanne C., "Letter from Jeanne C. Carr to [J. B. McChesney and wife], 1877 Apr 25." (1877). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 365.
Reel 03, Image 0531
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