Sallie J. Kennedy
safety and your companions also preserved. I hope nothing in your experiences will ever again approach it. I am just a little distrustful. Before coming to Berkshire I passed five weeks among relatives in N.W. Pennsylvania. There I rejoiced in beautiful views – long drives and rambles, and many days on beautiful sheets of water. Nothing do I see that delights me but a little shadow that’s over me with the thought “how our little party of last summer would enjoy this. Heart, mind, and body, have been repressed. it is time almost I was turning home-ward, but from here on the 28th I expect to go to New York – then Brooklyn, then Morristown – to be at home by October 15th I am anx- ious to see some of a New England Autumn. Already a few branches and
Abby Lodge Sep. 15th, 1878.
My dear Mr Muir.
Where are you just now? Listening [ for answer will avail nothing?] – none can come. This is a beautiful Sabbath day. One year ago where were we wandering? Your welcome letter came two days since, I was happy to have so long a lone, which could tell me so much. Scold you? So I am only thankful for your escape from your perilous expedition. I do not associate with you the thought of heedlessness or unneces- sary exposure to danger. (This is I fear an admission.) I know you would not act evilfully or blindly. I am passing three weeks in the country between Pittsfield and Lenox, Mass. visiting a particular friend Miss Lathers.
Two other young ladies are also here, and in addition to a family of nine, so you may fancy we have merry times. What a glorious day this would be to quietly start out for a long walk to the top of the blue hill mountains; - “Berkshire hills”, which l[illegible] full view with a beautiful sketch of undulating meadow between us and the Honsatonic River which flows at their base. I would enjoy the walk — possibly it would be too slow for you. This part of our wonderful land has long been called the “Switzerland of America”. Your would enjoy its beauty. The road sides on many of the drives are lined with ferns, golden rods and asters of many buds, and an occasional gentian. ( Do you remem ber the gentians you found at Mr Laudts.) In one long especial drive in addition the trees meet their branches overhead making long beautiful green vistas while just near
enough to dear the mummer of its water flows the river – the air is fragrant with fern and woody odors. I have wished and wished that you could follow it. What grand studies you have been able to make during your long journeying. My sympathy is with you in any- thing new you may learn relating to what have become dear friends the pines – the plane plants, and the sparrow. But the glacial formations you will have to tell me more about. How grand the storms must have been – how precious the darling mossy banked mountain riverlets – All this I covet the sight of once more: How fearfully Mr Muir you must have suf- fered in the experience for retale. I can readily believe that if you had had the guidance such a dreadful condition would never have come to you. But what a bles- sing that you were brought through it in
an occasional tree have changed from green to a gorgeous crimson or yellow. The maple grows to an enormous size (as we rate size) – and is a very shapely beautiful tree. I do not think the Elm is interesting in its change but is so graceful & lovely. These are the two most conspicuons trees I see in our drives. I am glad you may possibly be east this winter. We will have a welcome for you. I do not recall my expression in regard to going West. At present I have no expectation of doing so – for some other member of our little household must go next. But we hope to have Annie at home next Spring. Alas how far away it seems. I was called away from this and resume to say good bye – I imagine your camp fire is burning low.
I send this to San Francisco as your Hamilton address will be changed today and to what I do not know. I had a pleasant postal from Prof. Butler, as he was about to step on board a crusader at Boston in early August. The last line was “Remember me to Mr Muir”. Thanks for note in regard to forth-coming papers. Hoping your journeyings may be happy and that you will be re- stored in safety before long to either East or West. Believe me your friend Sallie J. Kennedy —
What an unnatural fact, not one cross word in this letter, [underlined: a mistake]
Monday night, Surely this is as much of a letter as you will want to read. But as we did not go to town it was not posted and I must tell you what a happy day I have had. We (Miss Lathers & I) took a drive of twenty six miles over the loveliest roads lined with rich tall as well as smaller ferns, mix flowers of many hues, over which clouds of butterflies gay in color flelted so gently or settled in our way like little regiments. The views too picturesque and beau- tiful for my poor pen to describe; I send a gentian I believe – which I am told never opens –
Again good night S. J. K.
Abby Lodge [Mass.]
1878 Sep 15
Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 26.5 cm.
Kennedy, Sallie J., "Letter from Sallie J. Kennedy to John Muir, 1878 Sep 15." (1878). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 446.
Reel 03, Image 0914
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