Anne W. Cheney
Feb. 13, 1881.
My dear Mr. Muir:
Are you In San Fran. or in Alaska! I wonder, and do you ever think of your worldly friends, away up there among your ice mountains. It is a long time since we have heard from you, and a longer still since you have had word of us, I fancy, and still we are all the same, a little older possibly, and a little wiser? Perhaps. I have been talking of you of late a good deal, and the other day got out your letters and read them to a lady staying with us, and it has made me wish very much for some more of the same sort. Can you write such lovely out of door letters now, or has contact with human nature taken off the natural freshness of your soul, and made you more like other people? Just like anybody else you could never be, but I have always feared for you, when the time came for you to go into the world. We see your name now and then, and read something of yours too, but California and nearly all our friends seem to be a long way off, since our trip to Europe. Mrs. Day is the only one who brings it near. We still talk of returning one of these days, and hope next winter will bring it about, but life is uncertain, and we are not all as young as we used to be, particularly father, and we mustn't make plans too far ahead.
We came home from our two years wanderings, last September, improved in health and mind, both boys grown men, with no thought but for business, and Louise a full fledged young lady. You would not know any of us now, I think. Perhaps father and I have not changed so much, butHarry is bald and wears side whiskers, and Rob measures six feet and hasa sort of a moustache.
I do not hear of your book in all these days, have you given it to the publisher during our absence? Have you given up your home in Yosemite? You will always belong to "The Valley," I think. I cannot think of one without the other, yet they tell me it is not now the same,that stages run there, and it is no longer "out of the world." Alas! the march of civilization has many drawbacks, at least for the few. Two years of foreign life, has given me back my health, and I no longer look upon life as a burden, but I need one of your fresh breezy letters just thesame, and do not be long in writing, or rather in the waiting before you write. I write you, you see, as if you were not one bit changed since the old times, and I do not know but you may have settled down to a fireside of your own, with wife and family. Whichever way it may be, I hopelife is real and happy for you, as it is for us. All join in kindest regards.
Anne W. Cheney
[New York ?]
1881 Feb 13
Original letter dimensions: 17.5 x 22.5 cm.
Cheney, Anne W., "Letter from Anne W. Cheney to John Muir, 1881 Feb 13." (1881). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 613.
Reel 04, Image 0436
Copyright status unknown
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.
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.