John Muir


John Muir


[Annie Kennedy] Bidwell



How grand an outburst of bloom there will be about your home when the spring & sunshine is warm & what a rising from the dead in the dry levels cast of your house among the gilias & newsphilas & daisies. Go ahead with your botany, & make your floral hay while your free summer days last Remember me to the General I will see you when ever I can. Cordially your friend, John Muir.


920 Valencia St. San Francisco, Feb 17th 1879.

Dear Mrs Bidwell,

I have no distinct memory of the incident that has given you so much uneasiness. So you see how unfounded it was. I was sorry to have missed seeing the General, I went out to your friends on Ellis St to find out where he was stopping, & then hastened to the [ Occidental?], but he had returned to Chico the day before. As to the cordial invitation to your pretty home I can only assure you both that I warmly appreciate your kindness & will make use of it without reserve whenever [deleted: I] fate or the wind or providence pushes me to Chico. I usually

[address envelope: Mrs General Bidwell. Chico Butte County, California.

[Page 2]


stop wherever I chance to find myself in any place at all congenial. It seems strange to myself that I have not been back to Chico since my first delightful visit. I am sure I never left a place with more regret. - the vine-tangled creek – the noble oaks – the sunny flowery levels - & congenial friends. But you know as I told you I am pulled with ropes, driven with whips, & ridden with witches or guardian angels, so that I never can forecast my own movements. It is now more than ten years since I saw my mother & sisters. Hooker sent me a valuable book of geology, also two of his addresses before the Royal Society, of which for the last five years he was president. One of the pamphlets is on the dis= =tribution of the North American Flora, the other an address delivered at the


anniversary meeting of the Society, both very interesting. Have had letters lately from your sister & Gray. That was a very touching incident you relate on the occasion of your little friends visit to her mothers house. Joy & grief seems mysteriously blended in many lives. & the suffering that is in the world is hard to understand, whatever our knowledge of the ways of God may be, & however clearly & surely the wild flowers on the [ sea?] speak out his love.

I have settled for the winter at 920 Valencia St. with my friend Mr Upham, of Payot Upham & Co., Booksellers – am comfortable but not very fruitful therefore reading more than writing.

[on envelope:

Mr John Muir. R. Feb. 17th 1879

copied by R. D. June – 1917.]


920 Valencia St. San Francisco, [Calif]

Date Original

1879 Feb 17


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 03, Image 1002

Collection Identifier

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

Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, click here to view the Holt-Atherton Special Collections policies.

Owning Institution

The Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date



2 pages


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



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