M. S. Griswold
GRISWOLD & GRISWOLD,
LAWYERS,M.S. GRISWOLD. W.S. GRISWOLD.
SUITE 28,PUTNEY BLOCK.
John Muir,Martinez, Cal.
My dear friend of "Auld lang Syne":
- I hasten to acknowledge the receiptfrom you of a copy of your late book, " The Story of my Boyhood and Youth, " and I assure you it is many a day since I have received from any source a gift which I shall so much prize as this over your own signature. Your note on the fly-leaf so kindly remembering me I sincerely appreciate, and by it I am doubly reminded of our mutual enthusiasm over the beauties of leaf and flower, as we used often to wander together around the lakes of Madison in our days at the University.
Just fifty years next month have passed since then, and since we met last in Dr. Carr's lecture room, passing our final examination before him in our concluding studies in Geology, Botany and kindred sciences. These intervening years have brought changes, indeed, though with me nothing adventuresome. It being the fiftieth Anniversary of my graduation, I perhaps may go out to Madison at Commencement in June, and once more look over the old Campus and its surroundings and recent improvements. Yet, possibly , I may not go.
Then I last attended Commencement, it was in 1909, at the Alumni Reunion and Banquet there were but two or three present of so early a date as mine at the University, and I had really a feeling of loneliness, and unavoidably came to me thoughts tinged with a degree of sadness, as I called up to memory the faces I missed.
One thing I would give more for than to revisit the University itself, and that is to find and revisit two or three favorite spots distant some fifteen miles South West of Madison, where in my Botanical rambles in 1859 and 1860 I culled some of the choicest specimens of flowers, and withal made the acquaintance of several then new settlers in the wilderness, one of whom entertained me several times, and Whom I found to be a young Virginian just starting on his pioneer struggles and a most intelligent and genial companion. His location was an ideal spot both for beauty and wildness of scenery, and the limpid springs which gushed from the high rocks on his premises would throw into the shade the most famous springs of our city of Waukesha.
Most of our old haunts around the lakes of Madison have greatly changed, but considerable of forest and of Nature is yet found on the old cedar skirted bluff, "the Eagles' Nest" as they now call it. some three miles West of the city, and on the South shore of Lake Mendota. And this I am informed has been lately added to the University farm.
Yours of March 27th duly received and noted with interest your late visits to South America and to the Old World. My own wanderings, since settling in my professional life, have been confined, outside of Wisconsin and its adjacent states, to several visits in the East, and to historical spots in New England and in Eastern New York, where I have always found much to admire and enjoy.
Dearly would I like to join you some time amid some of the scenes of the WESTERN Coast you have often so graphically described, but I do not now think that is to be. For the Book you have sent me and the many delightful memories it revives I most heartily, most deeply thank you.
Sincerely your old friend,
1913 May 14
Original letter dimensions: 27.5 x 21.5 cm.
Griswold, M. S., "Letter from M. S. Griswold to John Muir, 1913 May 14." (1913). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 3988.
Reel 21, Image 0411
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