Sallie J. Kennedy


John Muir



for nearly the whole has been spring I gathered a spray of fragrant flowers yesterday blooming out of doors, but the blossoms have become detached The parks and grounds are crowded with industrious chubby birds full of song even while engaged in the serious occupation of selecting material for little homes. The trees are many of them in lender leaf, and crocus borders have been brilliant for weeks. I hope you will be able to run up to Chico this Spring. It is nearly a year since we started from here. Annie is particularly in love with the Valley in Spring time. I am much obliged for the sketch of Cinder Cone and the figures in regard to it. Hugh [illegible]illers life I have, but my Mother concluded she would enjoy

00777 [1]

Washington, March 5th, 1878.

My dear Mr Muir.

Your letter I was very glad to receive and know how you were and where, and where going. I envied you the proposed trip. How enchanting must Tahoe be in Spring when its surrounding is snow from peak to base, so brilliant but calm, while its water is all life. I hope you will some day tell poor humanity what it was to you. The article in the “Overland”, was charming. Your description of Canon Creek where your precious Ouzel is recalled made me close my eyes and with the world shut out, revel in the memory of what I had seen and in efforts to imagine Low many many times you had

[Page 2]


been refreshed by beauty as great and frequently greater. I have always been sorry you did not see the identical little fall we saw, when in search of Bumpees; the one where the wild little stream fell over and down the red rock, the channel in the fall preserved by little moss walls. You may have seen the same a hundred times, but to me it was the first and last, I found, and it struck me curiously, that sweetest melody was made by the bare [ names?] of Pinus flixelis; Pinus Con- tosta; Pinus ponderosa; - Flowers have always been sweetly associated and bring a world of happy thought, But trees, and great pine trees, I never dream- ed I could learn to love them. So many lovely pictures I would like to refer to which you “By-ways,” brought


vividly before me. Suffice it that they all gave sweetest pleasure and did me good. Your allusion to sleepy eyes amused me, and I would be happy under most adverse circumstances even to imagine [illegible] suggesteded most r[illegible] any thing so peaceful as the “lakelets”, I can imagine some things, but alas! not this. Do you recall what Thosean says of Lakes, “The landscapes most beautiful and expressive feature, earths eyes look- ing into which the beholder measures the depths of his own nature. The fluviatile trees next the shore are the slender eye lashes which fringe it, the wooded hills and cliffs around are its over-hanging brows. I am writing the following opinions to some body else; - If you wish to find greatest pleasure in Thoreaus writing read his before those of Mr John Muir. Our [illegible]al winter is over.

[Page 3]


reading it, so I am to wait until she shall have finished it. She occasionally gives me a treat by reading aloud some particularly forcible passage I have had a friend with me for five weeks and they are both at a matinee, but slanting shadows warn me it is almost return time, and that my letter is assuming too large proportion, so good bye. Hoping that Tahoe gave you all you longed for, and that you are safely home and cheerily pursuing your allotted path. I am your friend Sallie J. Kennedy.

If you wish me to return the Overland Monthly will you tell me?




Date Original

1878 Mar 5


Original letter dimensions: 18.5 x 24.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 03, Image 0726

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

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


3 pages



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.