Annie K[ennedy] Bidwell


John Muir


Rancho Chico, May 17th, 1879.

Dear Mr. Muir:

Your favor in reply to the flowers sent from Canyon was duly received, and now I will explain how I happened to reply to your letter by these silent messengers. I wrote you at that time, intending to enclose a few flowers, but after depositing the few specimens in cotton and envelope, I concluded to look over my letter, and when that was done I said to myself,'this is on too high a key. Mr. Muir will think I am trying to tantalize him, or if he does not think that, he will think me beside myself, and as he will not come and see it (the creek, canyon and all the letter painted in the picture) while it is in its beauty, I had better not say anything about it. So I thrust the letter into my portfolio, and sealed up the flowers and off they went, without even an introduction! Only two needed an introduction, and as tonight I found the said letter in my portfolio I concluded to send it for the sake of my namesake and "Odontos to mum Hartwegii," as your reply indicated you did not know they were especially interesting to Dr. Gray from one standpoint, and to me from another, You have doubtless seen the flowers, so they were not new to you, but I know you would be interested to know that they are in demand by Dr. Gray, who desires seeds, bulbs and plants thereof.
Could you have come in April you would have felt as though the heavenly land had been let down to earth. If it were not for the fear of seeming pomposity I would make a grand list of fragrant and lovely flowers which carpeted the earth at "that time in this favored spot. But l must be modest and not display my wonderful knowledge of names of flowers so generously provided me by Dr. Gray. When you come up I will shew you my collection of plants and the result of Dr. Gray's labor, in supplying me with their names. My heart bows in grateful reverence to Dr. Gray for his patience, generosity, and loving kindness in this work.
But I must say adieu, thanking you for your pleasant letter, and hoping your summer's work may be as pleasant and profitable as in the past.

Truly your friend,

Annie K[ennedy] Bidwell


Rancho Chico, [Calif]

Date Original

1879 May 17


Original letter dimensions: 20 x 25 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 03, Image 1052

Collection Identifier

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

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

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.


3 pages


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



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