Annie K[ennedy] Bidwell
Dear Mr. Muir:
I ought to have written a formal acknowledgment to you and your wife of the receipt of that precious little package, so significant in its contents, and for which I was truly grateful.
It found me confined to bed, so that I was not able to immediately reply, and having guests at that time and for some days after I have deferred expressing my congratulations from necessity. I think my former excellent health is returning to me, for yesterday and to-day I have accomplished great things.
This morning I had to take our pastor to see an afflicted family near the foothills, on the rancho, and I had him take his boys, and Mrs. Kennedy accompany us with hers and her little nephew, and while Mr. Warren made his call we revelled in a sea of blossoms, and a wilderness of perfume! (I am not exaggerating). I will inclose my little namesake for your wife's inspection.
We hope ere long to have the pleasure of knowing Mrs. Muir. Perhaps you would be kind enough to tell us a little about your wife, regarding whom you kept your counsel so well, and in whom we can not but feel a lively interest, inasmuch as she is your wife. We do not know whether "The Alhambra" is a town, or residence, so I venture to send this to Mr. Upham's care, as you may have left instructions to have letters forwarded.
I thought of you to-day amid the flowers, and regretted you had not arranged to come at this time, and bring your wife, all nature was so lovely. Please give my kind regards to Mrs. Muir, and accept for you both my hearty congratulations.If General were present he would have a message, but being absent you must accept my assurance of his good wishes for both, as also congratulations.
I had a very, very long letter in my mind to write you, in reply to those specimens from Alaska, etc., but it would be too intensely dull to you now, so I forbear!
I must say, that was the finest fruitcake I have eaten in years. It is not very sentimental to be so carnal as to speak of the quality of wedding cake, but it was so different from the usual dry unpalatable compound under that name that I must be forgiven if I express myself.I am very fond of good fruit cake, and apart from the gratification of the assurance of your kind remembrance it was pleasant to taste such a delicious morsel.
We shall hope not to be forgotten in your future days, and will always be glad of any news of your exploits, and all that interests you, and ever remain,
Annie K[ennedy] Bidwell
Rancho Chico, [Calif]
Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25.5 cm.
Bidwell, Annie Kennedy, "Letter from Annie K[ennedy] Bidwell to John Muir, [1880 Apr]." (1880). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 543.
Reel 04, Image 0137
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Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters