Henry Randall


Henry Randall


John Muir



We only made five mills and the next day [arrive?] into the Valley and up to Hutching Hotel and how you hired me out to do the milking and to drive the oxen and I had never done either and I was so scared when you made the contrack that I dare not open my mouth but you said to me you can do it all right its nothing but I guess it was luckey for me that J M. went to Washington that winter. I can rember about Mrs [Sprat?] saying to me one morning after I had milked, that [buttercup?] did not give so much milk as she did when Billy milked her. and those oxen Paddy & Duke do you remember them Well I did not think I could Ever joke and drive them but I [did?] and milked too


Worcester Massachusetts

March 9th 1902

My dear John Muir

I was extremely pleased to receive your second letter and to get so clear a description of your life and travels. it also pleased me to have you say you had not written as long a letter to any one in a long time for I had somehow gotten the idea that you had forgotten me but I see your memory is good and your letter brings our partnership days very clearly I never should forget them but what troubles me now and always has is that I did not know how to apreciate you and your teachings more. and it seems to me now that If I could have the same chance I could Improve on my past life in some respects



You asked me for a more complete history of my past life since I left California I only wish I could give you as glowing account of myself as you have me of yours but I cant. As I wrote you in my first letter that after leaving Cal I came direct home to Rhode Island My native state I Staid with my Father about three weeks and then got a Situation for the man I am working for now and I have worked steady for thirty years with only the accostomed vacation so you see I cannot give you much more for you know what it is to work for someone. but I think in one respect I must of gotten the [start?] of you I think I got married before you did and your last letter revealed the fact that you were married but I had told all of my family when speaking


of you that I did think you would never get married but it seems you did have one weak spot and I am glad to hear it for that completes you as a man You must remember John that I was quite young when we were in the valley and that must excuse me for not appreciating your teachings more but you will I think give me credit for having some [sense?] to follow you and old mountaineers travels from off the plains for seven days. do you remember what a beautiful day it was the morning we left Deloneys ranch for the Yosemite and how it snowed when we were about five days out and how you and I staid in that . coffin and on the next day


to go to California and he wants to travel I wish you could take him on one of your travels he has got lots of [sand?] and can stand hardship as well as you and I and is a good boy I do not work as hard as I have in the past I could of been a partner but id not want it although he has made money all the time but I did not have the courage you know John my education was lacking and I thought I had better be free although he would go away for months at a time and I had full charge and everything would be all right when he would return. he has seven stores here in Worcester and I am at the head and as I say I get good pay own my house and a farm I keep a driving horse and we get about all there is to live for


How plain I can see all of those faces as I read them in your letter but it seems sad about [illegible] poor girl I used to feel sorry for her she would beg so hard for me to give her something to eat and she would open her mouth and I would milk into it and somehow her mother would find it out I would like to see G[illegible] Keney and have often thought I would take a trip out there and see you all J M [H?] has best you and I [go?] and with the 4th wife. but I am not surprised to learn that his first wife (Al[illegible]a) got a divorce from him for they were ill mated I always liked her only that laws of health that she practiced on herself and on Casy & [illegible]oy I never liked to see anything hungry and you know they were often



Yes John I do remember the sunday morning that you and I took the trip up the mountain and down to the [illegible]al [illegible]il falls and reached them just as the sun set and I have often thought that in getting back into the valley that we went in places where if we could of seen it in daylight we would not of gone You always asked me when we were about to start on a tramp if I had tobacco enough to last me you said you did not want me to get short of that as it made me cross & disagreeable and I guess you were right, and another thing I remember about that tramp was that the Ends of my fingers were worn through so they bled. from feeling our way and letting myself down those granite boulders I remember how sore they were when I milked that morning


You say in your last that If I had staid with you you think you might of pushed me a little father along that may be and that is what I wanted someone to push me for you know I was thrown on my own resources from the age of [thirteen?] never knew what a mothers care was and although I had a good Father he could not take a mothers place but dont you think John that you can look back better than you can look ahead for as you say our fate none can foresee but I think I have done as well as the average but have had to work hard I have a good house & wife and boy & girl we never have lost any children and have got some money and have about everything we want Girl married boy I am afraid will be. by the way he wants


But I would like to go out to California and see you and you know I like to hunt I have got a good outfit and my son and I go once a year I dont suppose you ever will come this way but if you should or any of your family dont fail to look me up as you say I am well known here and above all dont fail to drop me a line as often as you can for I have had nothing that has done me as much good as it did to get your letters With my best respect for you and family

I am as every your friend

Henry Randall

#544 Pleasant St

Worcester Mass



I send to you in the mail for Photograph myself wife




Worcester, Mass.

Date Original

1902 Mar 9


Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 12, Image 0257

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.


6 pages


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



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