Aunt Mary & Brother




Alhambra Valley November 14th Dear Aunt Mary As we have not recived any letters from you I thought I would write you a few lines we all well and enjoying good health with the exception of a slight cold I want to know the reason you do not write to us if it is Mr Branchs fault you must make him write. I want to know how you got home with that sweet baby and if it has been weel ever sice. Nothing is done on the house since you were here. The rabits and chickens are doing well. The fruit trees and vines are sheding their leaves, the figs are ripe and in their prime. Unkle says you must kiss all the babies for him Johnny says he wants to see the baby and [Granny] and pa says you must give them all plenty of hominy and bacon and mama says bless that sweet baby and take good care of her. Ma made me a new velvet basque and trimmed it with black ribbon and black buttons she has not made my new dress that you gave me. Alhambra Valley Dec 1st 1856 Dear Aunt Mary Ma says that we aught not to write to you until we first receive a letter from you, but I have got tired of waiting and [concluded] to write anyhow. We are all well at present. Ma was very sick for a few days after going with you to the wharf that night, but she is now better well again. [ive] have never hard word from you since you left from here and I want to know how you got home with that sweet baby [and if it has been well ever since]. The weather has been very cold since you were here, the leaves of the fruit trees [any ying] are all killed and falling off. There has been some very heavy rains, and the [grap] is putting up green everywhere. The pigs have all ripened [since you were here] and are now nearly all gone. My little rabbits are all doing well. I have no about 40 in all. We have been to town over since you left here. Old Grandma Smith has been very sick, but is now better. Pa took a load of wheat to the mill and got 23 sacks of the prettiest white flour you ever saw. Ma says to tell you she has no trouble in making light bread now. Pa has got a very fine cow & heifer from Col. Gift he paid 105 dollars for them. Ma has made me a black velvet basque & trimmed it with black ribbons and buttons. It fits very pretty. But she has not yet made the [ ] you gave me. She has been writing letters back home. A [backpedals] passed the other day, and John bought him a pretty book. The title is “Sacramento Illustration” I bought me some pictures, one is “The miners at work” and the other is “The Big Tree” John is now learning to write now, he writes a heap every day. He commenced to write a letter to you but found he could not write well enough. Uncle says you must [hip] them children all for him. Pa says you must give them plenty of bacon & hominy. And Ma says bless that sweet baby you must take good care of her. February 12th, ’57 My Dear Brother we have received your letter of the 14th December written at Honey Grove and I need not tell you how much pleasure it has afforded us, for by this letter we are assured of two things namely, that you have not forgotten us, + that your eyesight is not so much [impaired] as we had feared. Having not received any letters from you before, we had for a long time been fearful that you could not see to write, but I have noticed particular that every word is written strait on the line, and by this [ ] I am made to hope that you can see much better than we thought you could and cincerely hope that you may yet be restored to perfect eyesight. You say that Eliza & the children enjoys fine health where you live but that you are sick occasionally yourself. You did not say what kind of sickness you have nor whether severe not. We are all in the enjoyment of good health. I still have occasional spells of pain in the side but never severe enough to confine me to bed. We have had some very cold weather this winter. There was considerable rain fell during the fall, but not much since New Year. A few days after Christmas we had a heavy snow in this valley, which was the most unexpected of anything that has taken place since we came here to live. This was the first snow we had seen since we left home, that is we have seen it often at a distance on the mountains but never in the valleys before. It was a great curiosity to our children. The snow commenced falling about 10 o’clock in the [morning] + continued on nearly all day + altho the day was exceedingly cold, they were out in it playing + snowballing nearly the whole time. The next morning we all had a fun time of sleighing until the snow melted off. It was about five inches deep. The spring is unusually forward, the grass is already high enough to finish planting of feed or cattle, and [Ma’s] peach trees are putting out and will be in bloom in a few days now.


Alhambra Valley, CA

Date Original


Circa Date

1856 Nov. 14, 1856 Dec. 1, and 1857 Feb. 12


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier

1856 Nov 14 and 1856 Nov 1 No Name to Aunt Mary

Collection Identifier

Online finding aid for the microform version of the John Muir Correspondence

Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see

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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