Julius C. Birge
December 1, 1913.
Mr. John Muir,
My dear Mr, Muir:-
Your valued favor of November 22nd is received, and I take pleasure in mailing to you a copy of the book referred to. I was almost tempted to wait a week or two, at which time I would have been able to mail you a copy of the second edition, but that is not material. I do, however, enclose with the book a Foreword with my picture sent as a proof, and it is the only material change to be made.
If you have a copy of one of your books which you could conveniently mail to me with your signature in it, I would highly appreciate it, chiefly because of the signature, and will promptly remit for the same. I remember reading your book, "Our National Parks", but do not think I have any in my library except your last book on your "Boyhood Bays In Wisconsin"; so either book would serve my purpose.
My impression is that you were born in 1838, and if so, are a year older than I am.
Charles Birge, to whom you refer, was my cousin and died many years ago in Iowa, leaving a widow still in Whitewater and a son, who is now an architect in New York City.
Pitt Cravath, as you may have learned, committed suicide in a dramatic manner at his home in Whitewater many years ago. He shut himself in a tight room and, I believe, started a charcoal fire and remained until poisoned with the gases, and during the time that this process was going on wrote as long as possible concerning05321
Mr. John Muir. 2.
his sensations and the effect of the gases upon him. He was really a "brilliant, though erratic, young man, a fluent writer and I believe a very good scholar. I knew him from his infancy.
I have travelled very much not only in foreign countries, but in our own, and have therefore been particularly interested in your writings not only concerning your observations in the West, but also your boyhood days in Wisconsin, both of which seem to form a bond of sympathy between us, although to my recollection it has never been my privilege to meet you. It is not my understanding that you were born in Wisconsin, but would really like to know what was your native place.
I spent the last four winters in Pasadena, California, and am planning to leave here with my wife about the tenth or twelfth of January next for Pasadena, where we plan to spend the remaining part of the winter at the Raymond Hotel. If you should chance to be in that part of the state during the winter, I would regard it an honor and a pleasure to meet you there, and I believe I could make the meeting mutually pleasant.
Trusting that I may hear from you previous to that time, I am
Very sincerely yours,
St. Louis, Mo.
1913 Dec 1
Original letter dimensions: 27.5 x 21.5 cm.
Birge, Julius C., "Letter from Julius C. Birge to John Muir, 1913 Dec 1." (1913). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 4176.
Reel 21, Image 1026
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