Mary Muir


Mary [Muir]


[John Muir]



and think I shall commit parts of it to memory. Everyone I have heard speak of it likes it well and much and beyond ordinary – Oh if I had such- or even a [underlined: little] of such mental wealth. Not for the sake of being wondered at by fellow beings – but because I want the [underlined: wealth] of [underlined: mind]. Perhaps you say – go to work – which is good advice – But it is not easy to churn butter from skim milk. Still I am glad to recognize a little butter - after my long University churning. I still enjoy study al- though my work takes nearly all of my time and



[in margin: I was quite amused in reading the letter from your friend Allen of San Jose – which you inclosed. It is quite funny and very kind.]

Portage, Wis. May 27. 1878.

My dear Brother

Your very precious envelope full come to me when I was in Madison. Annie forwarded it from here. I was very glad to hear from you and just as glad to receive your pictures. Many thanks for them I think they are very good, and it does me good and makes me happy to study your face. But O if I could only see your very own face. It does not seem that anything could do me much more

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good. I really wonder if it will ever be that we will meet again. I cannot imagine how it would seem to have you here with us. I could show you some pictures that I have made but I often wonder what you would think of my work. I wonder if you would be disappointed in it and I wonder if you would be pleased with it and all my wondering is vain and amounts to no good – for you never see any of it. But if there is any one in the world that I should like to please it would be and [underlined: is] you – for no one has done more to help me


to what I am and [underlined: can do] than your own dear self - and I shall go on doing my very best – because it is duty to do so – and because I owe it to [underlined: you] to do so. I enjoy my work and do not tire of it any more than a natural time when I do too much which is not very often. Yes – I am taking care of my health – at least I am alwas well – But your little sermon is a good warning and is appreciated whether your preaching tendency is from a “solemn old ancestor” or a merry one - I [underlined: did enjoy] your “Ouzel article” very much

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may make your home with me and I will illustrate your articles – That is well arranged surely – Joanna is getting well quite rapidly and we think she is going to get real well. Maggie is not as well as usual just now. Annie and Mother are about as usual – and so am I – By this time they are all asleep but me and it is time I was sleeping too so good night – I wonder if I shall hear from you soon – Love from all the sleeping ones and much from myself Affectionately your sis Mary

[in margin: 588]



books receive less of my attention than I like – For some time I have been very busy- but it is so hard to dispose of pictures [underlined: these times] that I have to work for little and so am not getting rich at all unless maybe – in the practice and training – I have been crayoning portraits more than anything else [deleted: for the] in the past two years, although I have not really neglected work in oil’s I finished an oil picture 18 x 27 in. last Saturday It is a night scene – a landscape – It is from one of Miss Cushman’s pictures. I imagine you would think it good.

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Until today I was not aware that you are so very soon to be off to the Mts. again and I became quite alarmed least you should be where you could not hear from no for a long time. So I hasten -ed to write you this for I have been so long in answering your letter. And besides I wish to tell you what I did not tell you sooner for the reason – that I did not know – when – what I wish to tell you of – would take place - - In about three months, or, a little before, or [underlined: about] the first of Sep. next – I expect to be married – to Willis Hand of Phillips. He is a graduate


of the law school of Madison and at Madison I became acquainted with him. At first I did not like him particularly – but now I think I like him quite a little, Phillips is a new town and a very pretty town prettier than Madison – some say – but is very far north on the “Northern Central” R.R.” If I go to Phillips I hope you will make it very con- venient to make it a long visit – and study the rocks in the Lake regions – but do your writing in Phillips. Is that well arranged? Instead of my making my home with you – as you have often spoken of - you


Portage, Wis

Date Original

1878 May 27


Original letter dimensions: 20 x 25 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 03, Image 0826

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.


4 pages



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