George Hansen


Geo[rge] Hansen


[John Muir]




Oct. 22d., 1902.

My dear Sir,

Your right hand did it, and your left, your daughter's, dispatched it. So to whom am I to address my words of appreciation? Indeed I have an idea that you do not wish words of thanks,- Let them, therefore be unspoken. Only let me report the arrival from some blessed spot to a blessed home a weighty box of delicious grapes. The boy helped the mother open the treasure box, and papa had to do the admiring from his cushioned seat. Ever since we have been eating, and we are still at it. I, the thinker of the family, (like the "Injun," we divide the duties of home, mother choosing the travail of wedded life), took special pleasure in noting the handwriting on the tag. Tell the good daughter, that the tag with the letter of comfort and cheer from her father went into the "Roland collection" in the German "Truhe",. where all keepsakes go to tell the grown up Roland of his babyhood.
On the day, of arrival there also came, a large bundle of periodicals. No word with it, it is not needed. But they come pretty regularly, always in the same handwriting, charges prepaid from a man who has a son and loves him, makes a companion of him, and who took a liking to me since he has seen and become to know me.
When, I contemplate how rich those are that can give and extend their bounty upon the roof the roof of other, I, almost feel like clamoring: why not are you to rich as they? But as I look around in my heaven at home, I scold myself. I, too, am rich, rich as they and if nothing else, is not a smile a gift, a cheer a blessing? Can I not benefit the cat, the dog through kind words, even if I can no longer go outside and feed Tommy the


[illegible] rooster, in Roland's company out of our hands? --- I am rolling in wealth.
The prints for, those. books still to come to your home, they are made, and the last two booklets to come out are nearly ready for print. But I have not been able to get at the pasting in and mounting. I heard of a competition for parkplans down in Pasadena, and I hastened to get into harness.[[illegible] hggg,,,,,8;9;8;(Roland came just now - it is his. "day at home " while it rains) - and told me Papa, uppie, Rodent Schreiben"., I, of course, had to let him, and as the letter is to you, I did not change the paper. You will understand- it-as well as the mother does the german the, I always speak with him)] [illegible] I was lucky enough to get a draughtsman in one line,and the plans are almost done. I am to have the first prize and will be well enough to carry out their work by the time, they get ready). I feel like a sapling under a boulder. I could do the work of three if only given an opportunity.
But the work must be worthy of labor. The other day I was called to Oakland to assist in laying out the grounds where some big man is placing a greenhouse as a present to the town for which he has no use. The man knew I was sick and empty of pocket. I begged him on my "professional knees" to abandon the project and not saddle the town of his births, the source of his wealth, with such monstrosity in a place where God had given them an open stretch of land to breath and fling their arms and exercise their lungs. He was dumbfounded when I implored him to give the glass to the rag-sack-bottle man, and the wood to somebody in need of it. I told him no ten miles would drag me there, and no wages could induce me to barter my reputation, even if the superintendent of Golden Gate Park had drawn and sanctioned the plans. --- That man went through an experience that no schooling gave him, and I felt that he would give a goodly sum if he could retrace his steps. I was happy to return to our undefiled home and pay the carriage hire both ways. A single daisy is good enough where I intend to sleep. I feel that some people benefit the world by accomplishing nothing.
Excuse my selfish tatttle. It is raining gloriously outside, and I have listended to it and inhaled the sweet odor from the damp ground. I ought to mix more with people and if I had done so just then when my character formed, I should have developed a successful business man as well as an idealist. Roland will test the fullness- of the world' while he is right in it.' He must handle dirt to know its stickiness. If he cannot find water to cleanse his hands, let him take the sweat of his brow.
We sit right against the other side of your Contra Costa hills, we [illegible] are right back to back, it seems.
I send you the kind greeting that we harbor for you and yours in this home


Berkeley, Calif.

Date Original

1902 Oct 22


Original letter dimensions: 27.5 x 21.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 12, Image 0734

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

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.


2 pages



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.