S. E. Wells
Elizabeth. New Jersey Wed. Jan 15th. 1879.
For more than twenty five years, as opportunity offered, I have as- ked returned Californians, the name of a plant found in the Prayer Book of a relative who died at Sacramento. Having made your acquaintance through the fresh, poetic &, instructive articles in “Scribner”. I take the liberty to send a leaf, & imperfect description of the flower, - which is perhaps un- necessary — and must be very [illegible], having been pressed so many years, & fastened on paper. Stem woody – leaves irregular. Caly[illegible], probably these leaved. Corolla [illegible] a petalled. more than two inches in length, with
[in margin: their own distinctive tones? Have often listened - but without coming to any conclusion. Trusting you will excuse the intrusion - I am respectfully & enquiringly - S.E. Wells 414 West [illegible] St.]
longitudinal veins – [illegible] nearly half the length of Corolla, both of a reddish brown. My uncle went “around the [illegible],” or rather through the Straits of Majellan in: [49?] — having a very quick passage, they were not likely to put in at any [port?] from which I infer the plant belongs to California – Of a complete outfit, all that evr came home was his Bible, Prayer Book, & in a very coarse, dirty cloth, a quantity of pebbles, about the [ size?] of & resembling leaves. many colors, but none white & a perfect arrow head – small white, I almost translucent — I mention this, as there may be some conn[illegible] between the two – so far as location is concerned – for in the short, rough life of a miner, there might not come many woods, in which he would give his time to the careful pressing of a flower, or the selection of curious stones. Swaying in the mt tops during a gale, was the dream of my youth – therefore the more enjoyed as the experience of another.- Do other trees than [illegible] [illegible] have
Elizabeth, New Jersey
1879 Jan 15
Original letter dimensions: 21.5 x 27 cm.
Wells, S. E., "Letter from S. E. Wells to John Muir, 1879 Jan 15." (1879). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 458.
Reel 03, Image 0970
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