Ludlow & Abby H. Patton
you remember Emerson did not say a word about meeting you in [illegible] or any other place. He paid you his highest compliment when he said “ I shall meet you in Boston”, and so I hope before he goes on the long journey from [where?] no traveler returns” you will come and tell him what the Alaska Indians think of “Boston” men. Mr Palton who is busying himself with [illegible] [illegible] matters and trying to tell people something about the inexhaustible mines of Leadville [illegible] unites with me in warm regards to you. We learn that our old steamer California nearly foundered in a gale not long ago – but are glad that the stiff upper lip of Capt Thorne helped to “steady” the ship and weather the gale, so that the [illegible] [illegible] his peculiar [sniff?] of joy when the ship [illegible] again. Hoping that you will write again or come to New York. We are your friends truly [illegible] and Abby H. Patton. [in margin: you gave us the [illegible] to Paton. We belong to the [illegible] Patton] [in margin: 74]
Madison Avenue N.Y.
March 9, 1880.
When I opened your letter dated San Francisco Feb 9 I said “Cast your [bread?] upon the waters and it shall return to you after many days”. I remembered how you had been cast upon the great Alaskan waters and that at last you had ventured to tell the world your wondrous story. We never can get through talking about our visit to Alaska, and all I can say to my friends is “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord”. When we add that it was our blessed privilege to have had John Muir with us, you can guess how eyes brighten, and ears quicken
to hear all we can say about the mountains and the mountaineer. If we brought one ray of light to you who were “helplessly [illegible] and corralled within the narrow bounds of the wee cabin”, you with your knowledge and love of Nature, made “all out doors” seem grander and more beautiful to us, and so I add “Providence be praised”. My first impulse on reading your letter was to give a part of it at once to the New York Press so that other people might hear of your little [6,00?] mile walk, and of your visit to the [chiecals? -] who not only wished to make you a chief, but also promised you a dark skinned maiden
for a wife. Then I though I might be stealing the thunder with which you intend to astonish the literary world through Scribner or some other magazine. I still think if you will allow it, that a most charming note can be made of your letter and I bide your answer. As this is a speculative age I began at once to plan how you could make a fortune by giving “talks” all the way from the Pacific to the Atlantic. I suppose if you could walk 100 miles or so a day you might have enough exercise to be willing to be shut up with an audience an hour in the evening, but if you were fatigued and did not like to come out in dress coat and [light kids?], you could just go to your hotel and telephone your speech over to the assembled multitude, what think you?
Hotel Branting… N[ew] Y[ork]
1880 Mar 9
Original letter dimensions: 15 x 26 cm.
Patton, Ludlow and Patton, Abby H., "Letter from Ludlow & Abby H. Patton to John Muir, 1880 Mar 9." (1880). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 521.
Reel 04, Image 0057
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