Mary J. Arnold
Lakeport, Lake Co. Cal. Mar 24, 1902
Mr. John Muir
Your letter and the magazine were a pleasant surprise to me last night. It is evidence of your true nobility of soul, to so kindly recognize a stranger and living the lonely life that is my lot, I doubly appreciate your favor. Liberty, to live my own life and follow my own pursuits, has been denied by fate. I have for many years had the care of some one and my aged mother, who is now ninety-four, is at present my constant care. I too am growing old and my "Golden Sometime" will come on the other side, where I hope to explore elysion fields. Your article has made a homesickness in my heart. I have lived over again the
happiest month of my whole life time, one month, spent in Yo Semite in the autumn of 1868. Some of my early life was passed in Mariposa County and my only child was born there in 1871. Yes, the Yo Semite is the most sacred spot on earth to me and you have sent me wandering there again. I hear the thunder of the falls, the rippling of the river, the rustle of leaves and the song of birds, I scent the odors of pines the ferry cliffs, and the crushed violets, as when in those dear, dead days, my horse galloped over the meadow. You have sent me an answer that I baptize with my tears. I had not read "Among the birds of Yo Semite" before. It contains not only facts but poetry, and coloring from a master hand.
I thank you sincerely for giving me this pleasure and for your kind letter. I will return the book after I have allowed two of my friends to read it. I wrote a little article for the paper here last week but will it save one bird? If mothers could only be educated along humane lines, but they are so indifferent, through them many things could be rectified so to elevate the coming generations. I wish you might make a tour through Lake Co. and hear the birds. A bird murderer came here several years ago and in the name of science (mammon) carried of hundreds of beautiful corpses Probably he sold them to milleners. I wish they would give more of your writings to the schools. Through that avenue there is a little hope, if teachers do their duty to impress such lessons. Gratefully Yours, Mary J. Arnold
Lakeport, Lake Co. Calif.
1902 Mar 24
Original letter dimensions: 25.5 x 20 cm.
Arnold, Mary J., "Letter from Mary J. Arnold to John Muir, 1902 Mar 24." (1902). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 4632.
Reel 12, Image 0303
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