John Muir


John Muir


Louie [Strentzel Muir]




Portage, June 12. 1896

Dear Louie

Your telegram arrived a few moments after I had sent one to you telling that mother was better. But she is still very weak & unable to sit up. She eats well however & we hope that as the weather is fine she will gradually recover a little strength & remain with us another year. We are by no means sanguine however. For it is very hard at her advanced age to gain what vital force is once lost. A few days will show whether there is to be loss or gain. She has taken plenty of nourishment & seems brighter today. & shows no sign of biliousness. the cause of her last illness. I have been sitting



day to day & sends medicine But alas no medicine will change age to youth. Her grandchildren, Mary's Helen 9 yrs old & Joanna's play about the yard & come to her bedside now & then to cheer her with their bright faces & pretty ways. & she is glad to have me near always.
Bernie is a remarkably bright intelligent girl, & Bernie is lovely, while Ethel is a fine scholar. Mary's Helen is a healthy merry romp. I wish my babies, the best of all, were here. Love to them & all

Ever Yours affectionately

John Muir


by her bedside telling her Scotch stories stirring up old memories & made her laugh many times as she has not laughed for many a day_ so they tell me. When I first came I could hardly catch a single word of hers when she tried to speak but today I had but little difficulty in understanding all she said.
Her case as far as I can see & learn is simply heart failure from age. It is feeble & irregular in action & of course is easily made more so by any little untoward chance of food. Weather etc. The doctor says she may live through the summer if her continues good. & that a few days will tell. Of course Ill remain until I know. Dan is kept advised of her condition from


Portage [Wisc.]

Date Original

1896 Jun 12


Original letter dimensions: 20 x 25 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 09, Image 0194

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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, see

Owning Institution

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. 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



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