Portage, Wis., April 2 1878
My Dear Brother John
At last Iv’e got started writing to you I really do feel ashamed of myself for permitting myself to neglect answering your always welcome letters I think however the cause is hard times, unprosperous times, & the terribly hard Scratching to make business go at all Last harvest everything looked more than usually promising good crop fair prices &c &c It rained all the fall. We had no winter – mud all through the winter months. So we had no fall trade & no winter [illegible] [in margin: 00782]
& as we had a [ lage stock?] we had to pay for our goods before they were sold consequently had to borrow a great deal & then the goods sold so slowly that the profits did not half pay expenses. So Ive been blue & worried & fretted & it seemed to me that I would be glad to run away without a cent just for freedom’s sake. I wish you could find a rich gold mine so that I could get enough to pay our debts How I have envied your freedom from care & trouble & still I would not take your single blessedness Our hope is that the tide will turn & if it does I’ll get out of this as soon as I can do so write a whole [ hide?] We have an expensive establishment, in good times it pays & in bad times we lose
Money & lately we have had worse times than usual, but the last fall & winter cow’s [illegible] My folks are pretty well now I enclose pictures of Willie & [ Johni?] our youngest two ‘My family are [underlined: all] at School Johnie is 5 ½ years old & a jolly chap, he is although he looks sober in the picture. Father is reported very healthy & contented in Canada Mother Mary & Annie are well Saw most of them yesterday Joanna had a bad week last week poor girl She has been pretty well all winter & looking well most of the time. She needs lots of patience
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& deserves lots of sympathy & love Her sickness seems to make her more lovely & sweet in her disposition everyday. She has quite home & everything she needs & wants for which we should be thankful Jno Reid is on the rampage in Nebraska or Kansas. Maggie is just about her usual. looks pale & tired & yet most of the time able to be about. riding out & working too. her girls Annie & Jessie are big strong well behaved sensible girls Sarah is pretty healthy looking for her & her folk are well About money I will try to send you some in June will that do? I wrote to Dan that you needed money he answered that he would send it to me before this time, but he has not done so yet. He reports doing a large business but cant collect
on acct of the hard times Dan is doing splendidly he has a Sas[illegible] practice & is very successful he says he can book $4000. [ per?]year. I often see men from Racine who all report him very successful & in high standing in that city as a physician How I would like to see you & yet I would not like to have you here now because things are so blue & it dont seem as if I could have time to enjoy you as I would if every thing was lovely. Write soon. Your letters do me good I see all of your letters they go all the
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round of the family. As soon as a letter arrives from you all have to see & read it a great many from the country enquire for you. Most Maynard is strongly in love with you. also Mrs McRrath & David Thompson When & in what Magazine will your next article appear. I generally watch the co[illegible] & [illegible]. a copy as soon as the new monthlies arrive here the last I got was the Ouzel piece Now that the spell is broken perhaps I will be more brotherly hereafter so write again & try me & believe me always most affectionately Your Bro David
1878 Apr 2
Original letter dimensions: 20 x 14 cm.
Muir, David, "Letter from David [Muir] to John Muir, 1878 Apr 2." (1878). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 411.
Reel 03, Image 0754
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