Louie [Strentzel] Muir


John Muir


[in margin: I am growing better every day Louie Muir][in margin: 852] [4]

But I have not told you of her trial yesterday morning, which will explain the hurried ending of my letter. She had been so happy with me all morning, but the swollen gums began to hurt when I began to write, and she wanted to come back to me, and when I said “no, no, baby must not come now,” her eyes filled with wonder and grief as if she thought “Mamma does not love me any more!” and nothing that any other could do would make her satisfied. Ought I to have begun a lesson in discipline? I did not, but just took her in my arms, and kissed and petted, and at last comforted her till she went to sleep with all care kissed away. There is too much light, and she is waking now, to say, “Good night papa.” O my beloved husband, good bye, God keep you in His tender care.


Monday, July 25, 1881. 9 P.M.

Dear John,

Our bonnie Annie Wanda is sleeping as quietly as a folded flower: no shadow of this morning’s trouble on her sweet face, but when I bend over for still another kiss, a happy little smile quivers over it for a moment. O papa, if only you were here to see! Evening after evening, I hold her in my arms at our east window while she looks out with eager eyes at the sunset glow upon the hills, and reaches out her arms, and laughs and croons in delight. I forgot all fear, and think only of the blessed time when our own best-beloved will come home to us, and sing to his baby the “auld Scotch songs”, and then of the after-time

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when he will teach her the wonderful story of Nature’s work on the mountains, and in the valleys, and under the seas. Wanda is already wonderfully quick of sight and of hearing. We keep her in the sunlight a great deal, and sometimes she laughs to hear the birds, and croons over the flowers, and watches the branches waving in the wind! And she tries so hard to talk!! though there is no need while her eyes speak so well. Besides a’ that, before very long there are going to be “two precious new teeth!” for the tender little gums have been troubling her for over a month, and often make her very restless with the pain. We fear that they will all be very hard in coming through, but in other ways she is so healthy and active, full-chested, strong and


lithe of limb, and carries her head so finely poised, that there seems to be nothing to fear except from accident or carelessness, - and she looks too as if she will climb over Shasta and snowy heights of wild Yosemites with papa John Muir before many bright summers have gone by! Father, do you remember that this is our four month-birthday? A hundred and twenty two days since that fairest bloom-time when our own wee birdling first nestled on my breast and brought with her the perpetiual bloom and song of spring to abide in our hearts. She sleeps now like the forest birds, from twilight till dawn, and the morning sunbeams seem not more bright to us than her glad, waking smile.



[Martinez, Calif]

Date Original

1881 Jul 25


Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 04, Image 0678

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.


2 pages


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



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