Henry Fairfield Osborn


John Muir


850 Madison Ave., New York,
June 18th, 1913.

Dear friend Muir:

Your "Boyhood and Youth" and your last photograph are giving us great pleasure, and I have been on the brink of writing to you over and over again. Now, Providence has housed me for two days with a very slight operation and my first letter on recovery is one to you.
My better half had a sorrowful time in April in losing her father, and Mr. Morgan to whom she was much devoted. She became quite run down, but is now if possible more herself than ever, and she is the synonym of good health and unlimited spirits. All the others are well, and at Castle Rock.
We are enjoying a glorious June. Your artistic comment on the east side of the Castle - too much road, too little lawn, sank deep, and all this spring I have been adding lawn and deducting roadway with my Italian workmen. The effect is charming. The practical results are to be experienced in the next storm, for one now leaves the carriage 60 feet from the front door.
We constantly think of you,and your arboreal and glacial philosophy has given us all a new footing, for our religious beliefs. I was reminded of you also the other day in meeting Johnson of the "Century" at the Columbia Commencement. It is, as I had feared, that he has practically retired from the great magazine for which he has done so much, apparently to make way for a more commercial or money-making spirit. I do not certainly know, but I fear this is the case. It is evidently a severe blow to him, for I could see that Mrs. Johnson (a really devoted wife) tried to keep him off the subject. He will probably write you, confidentially, the real inwardness of his resignation.
All who have read your book are delighted with the 'Boyhood'. I am giving it to some boys I know, because its purpose is so fine under the adventure.
Far as conceivable from this is the work I am now giving all my time and thoughts to the 'Litanotheres'. Chapter after chapter is rounding to and I feel sure it is worth the thirteen years' work, because it is really new, and what it is more important, true. I may be oversanguine, but it appears to give for the first time a real picture of how one animal transforms into another, totally unlike it.
There would be a chorus of greetings to you, if all knew I was writing, but Loulu is the only one hear, and she sends a hearful of affection. When shall we see you again?

Always your devoted friend,
Henry Fairfield Osborn


New York

Date Original

1913 Jun 18


Original letter dimensions: 17 x 30 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 21, Image 0522

Collection Identifier

Online finding aid for the microform version of the John Muir Correspondence

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

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.


5 pages


Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.