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

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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

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.

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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