Mary L. Swett


Mary L. Swett


[Louie] Muir


[4]The ranch business still hangs fire but we hope to get it settled this next week, that is if mother feels able to let me go down with John on Saturday. Helen is writing a letter to Mr. [McConnell?] who is a great favorite of hers and I should not be surprised if Dr. John Strentzel was favored with some of her effusions in the near future. It was her own idea to write to Mr. McConnell and she is getting up the letter herself with only the help of the spelling of an occasional word — I fairly long to see the little Muir girlie. You don’t know how much I want to see you all and shall not lose a moment as soon as mother is a little better – With much love I amYour friend Mary L. Swett.[in margin: 97][1]S.F. Oct. 9, 1881.My Dear Mrs. Muir,We were glad to get your letter with news of yourselves and Miss Baby, and doubly glad for the confirmation, from official sources, of our hopes of Mr. Muir’s early return. Just think of the distinction of ranking not only among the explorers but the discoverers – now, at this period of the worlds’ history, when nearly everything has been discovered since long ago – He will come back covered with laurels and stuffed brim full of the freshest and most delightful information and with his rare capacities06100

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[2]for imparting his stores my expectations are boundless. I think you will always be glad you let him go – when he is back and the separation is a thing of the past. How much I should enjoy a visit from you – especially as we have not been able to have any company for some time now on account of my mother’s severe illness – and she is yet – O so feeble. She cannot bear to have anything going on in the house the least exciting. Emily has to practice and give her lessons away from home – it began with chills and fever contracted at [McConnells?] – and it has now taken the form of chronic nervous prostration – She has had a nurse eight weeks with no present prospect of her being able to spare her very soon either.[3]Still, slight and slow as it is, she is improving – from one week to another there is an appreciable gain, and as soon as she gets out of this nervous state there is nothing to prevent our having our friends again. Perhaps in a short time, by the time little Anna Wanda is ready to travel mother will be enough better to allow of our carrying out our pleasant plans laid last summer Anyway I shall send you word just as soon as I can, and if it is not soon enough for your purposes, don’t hesitate to come down to some other friends and visit us some other time – I should understand it, and shall look forward with very pleasant anticipation to the time of your coming.


S[an] F[rancisco]

Date Original

1881 Oct 9


Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 04, Image 0710

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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