Henrietta Thompson


John Muir


1Los Angeles, June 20, 1911Dear dear Mr Muir,How glad I was to hear from you and to learn that you were well and spending a few delightful days with your friends on the Hudson.No, it doesn't seem possible that Mr. Hooker is not here any more. I cannot realize it, although I saw him at rest amidst beautiful flowers and heard the splendid tribute to his many noble qualities read by Mr. Baumgardt. I have not been out to the house since that day. I cannot bear to go through the gate and along the path, with his lovely garden outspread before me, and know I05047

2cannot see him there again. He was always kind to me and glad to see me anytime. I have lost a dear true friend and there are many others who will miss his warm hand-shake and cheery greeting as much as I do. We both know that there was trouble in his home, growing no doubt from some little thing, but there is always something wrong on both sides in matters of that kind, and oh! Mr Muir, if it only wouldn't take us a lifetime to learn that a little more willingness in each heart to try and see how it looks from the other's viewpoint would save so much coldness, unkindess and regret!I was talking with Alice a few days ago and she3said to tell you that the Lark didn't feel very much like singing these days. Dear little Alice! She was a great comfort to her Uncle John.I enclose a clipping from today's "Examiner," which will show how the property was left. It seems strange, he did not make some provision for the astronomical work, doesn't it? Marian will surely have funds enough for her hospital and doctor work now. I remember you told me Mr. Hooker was worth a great deal of money but I did not think there was so mcuh. Makes me wish I was one of the ten thousand dollar relatives.05047

4Mrs. Hooker telephoned me last week, saying her brother, Mr. Putnam, was to be here about ten months, straightening out her affairs, and asking if I could work for him at the downtown office. I told her I felt that I ought not to be away from home this summer. School closes this week and I want to be home to look after Caslon and the boys that come to play with him.We have four hundred feet of back yard, you know, running to the top of quite a hill, and the boy has a car and an incline railroad track, with a number of curves and a small trestle over a ditch. So they have plenty of space and a good time, calling for5lots of noise and they need a referee quite often, which responsibility is rather more trying than I want my mother to assume, for she is so dear and sweet to me I don't want to lose her, ever.Caslon is well, and hardly a day goes by that he doesn't speak of you. He loves flowers and trees, and picks up leaves and stones on his way home from school, to show me, saying, "Heres a beauty; look!" He loves nature at this age and I am very glad, for I feel it will keep him clean and sweet-minded and kind and lovable=just as you are, dear John Muir.We talk of you so much05047

6and if you will, whenever you can, write us a few words from wherever you may be, they will be treasured.I have not been up in the Hooker garret since you left Los Angeles. I did not like to go and see it all so lonely without you sitting there, and so I have kept putting off the trip and my coat and papers and a few books are still there.I have not been doing anything interesting to write you about. Just sewing, trying to get some cool clothes made for the hot days, and that is quite a drop from intellectual work. Although it takes7intellect of a sort and an awful lot of application to make dresses and trim hats=but we like describing Yosemite better, dont we?I am going to write to your daughter Helen, in a few days. I like her so much, and hope she will have a kodak picture of Muir to send me. He will have grown a lot by this time and I should love to see him.I do not quite like the idea of this trip you intend making to South America. It is so hot and there are so many snakes and big bugs and biting05047

8things generally. I think I would feel that you were safer in Alaska or some cold country. Still, if you must follow your fate, of course you will, and as you have said, we can trust God to take care of you wherever you go.My mother and Caslon wish to be remembered to you, and so does my husband. He was busy and did not meet you, but we have your photograph and he has heard a great deal about you of course, and enjoys your books.I have followed your instructions I guess, for9this is quite a long letter, but I did not realize there was so much of it until just now. I hope to have one from you before you leave New York, even if it is very short.If Mrs. Hooker should stay in Los Angeles at the old home, perhaps you will come back to us some time and write more books. In the meantime I send you all the love and happy remembrances and good wishes that you can possibly find room for.Your sincere friend,Henrietta ThompsonMrs. Morris Thompson3100 No. Griffin Ave.Los Angeles, California05047


Los Angeles

Date Original

1911 Jun 20


Original letter dimensions: 26 x 16 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 20, Image 0383

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.


5 pages


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



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