Mary M[erill] Graydon


John Muir


1425 Central Ave., [Indianapolis],
Jan. 15th, 1902.

My dear Mr. Muir:

Your note yesterday was so refreshing. Don't I always begin my letters with protestations of affection? I guess I do, but they are sincere. Your kindness, interest, letters, and the little talks have been such a delight, When Seaton Thompson's star rose on the horizon I was in throes, lest he equal you. I couldn't have it. For some weeks I've intend-ed writing, but didn't like to without making some reference to the book about my sister, and I couldn't hear anything of it, or only of the "scraps" that went on between Mina and Mrs. Dorsey. Mina has no sense, and Mrs. Dorsey is a good woman of fine literary tastes. Mina wouldn't have a like-ness in the book, nor have it come out at Christmas, nor have it on sale in the bookstore. If the Committee get anything out it will be in spite of Mina. Now I'll speak of the Graydons. I'll say something to you, Mr. Muir, I wouldn't say to anyone else. Now Katie is one of the most amiable persons - until she was 24 she was altogether lovely, but-of late years she is always in a quarrel - at Hastings, Berkeley and Honolulu. She listens to no reason - first worships, then there is a row. As usual, this was the case with the Pres. of Oahu College, She left in a fine quarrel with him last April, and after her departure Prof. Jordan arrived, and that didn't smooth things. He's a selfish and ambitious man, but if Kate would behave he'd be kindly disposed. I prophecy she'll be soon leaving Honolulu. I think there is no virtue like dignity - it preserves and protects.
Is Kate spoiled by society? Well, she came home last April sick, overcome by climate. She was in the hospital a month. Then we all, Kate, Ellen, Mary and family, Jenny and Julia's children, spent the summer on Lake Michigan, near Winamac. I headed the procession, and for people who have been as poor as we have, this was a great "lark." We staid 4 months, and returned made over. However, after Kate's operation, the Doctor commanded she write no letters. She wrote right along 4 or 5 a day, but she doesn't write now, nor will she, except postals, isn't that great?
Though I don't know anything, yet a love of books and education was my birthright and food. For the last two years I've watched their effect. They do not make people good, nor do they give people common sense which is the greatest of all. Kate was due in Honolulu Jan. 2nd, the l/2 of a postal says she is there after a dreadful voyage. I wish the storm ended with the voyage.
I will jump to the boy who is 28. The children between are well and happy, and Jenny sends her love to you. They work hard and are respected. But Will has had a hard time. He got a high school education and since he was 10 has helped us and taken bare of himself. Mr. Jackson said he was a "hero" to live as he does and not drink, but you will lose sympathy for him when 1 tell you he has a lumber mill. It is in La. 30 miles from the Miss. River down in the woods. He grunted when I told him you said, "only the Lord could make a tree, any fool could destroy it." I was interested in what you said of the Miss. River. The oldest inhabitant says it can't compare with what it was 50 years ago. This poor boy has no capital, and is struggling.
Will you read all this in sections, or not at all? Thank you for your book, While I enjoyed its various pages, I prized the inscription most. I am glad Wanda is in the ' University, though I speak so disparagingly of such an education. Well, come soon before any more of us die, and a thousand thanks for the book.

Yours faithfully,
Mary M[errill] Graydon.
I must not close without a word of the Hendricks. Mr. Hendricks is nearing 70 and he is feeble. Mrs. Hendricks grows in grace. The Ketchams are all well. For a large family we thrive wonderfully." The Apostle John" has gone - he needed no preparation to enter Heaven. I still miss Mr. Jackson -- of all my friends or relatives he was the best. Well, sometime drop me a line, and sometime come and see me and stay with us.

Yours as ever,
M. M. Graydon02943


[Indianapolis, Ind.]

Date Original

1902 Jan 15


Original letter dimensions: 23 x 19 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 12, Image 0109

Collection Identifier

Online finding aid for the microform version of the John Muir Correspondence

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

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


5 pages


Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters



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