Celia J. Galloway


John Muir



Portage, Wisconsin,

January 18, 1894

My dear uncle John,--

Your letters and the Express Order came the other day, and we all thank you very much for the kind New Year's remembrance.
I divided the money up and gave each one their share to get for themselves what they liked best. I thought that would give more satisfaction, and you do not mind, do you?



We are all pretty well here,--That is, we are all up and about our work as usual, thankful that we are not seriously ill, like so very many all around us.
But there are some colds and indispositions.
None of us have yet had the Grippe this winter, and all now hoping to escape it altogether.
We have remarkable weather for this place at this time of the year.
The snow is entirely gone, and it is warm and mild, like spring.



We have had a great many dark, gloomy, misty days. For days we have not seen the sun until today. And so there are numerous cases of Grippe, Pneumonia, and all kinds of lung troubles.
I'd rather it would be 20[degree symbol] below, all the time, for I dearly love cold frosty weather,--snapping, cold days when the snow crunches under your feet and your breath almost freezes solid in front of you! That's what I like, and then is when I enjoy living.
These raw, damp, chilly days, made us



feel gloomy and cross,--and life is a burden instead of a delight.
Anna and baby Kenneth have been with us since before Christmas. Kenneth is getting to be a big, bright boy, and is very good.
His eyes are getting bigger and blacker, and everything he sees is a perfect wonder to him.
I've been teaching him to make some faces; I might be in better business, might I not?
But then, you see, I get so tired of that stupid little box, down



at the store, where I am shut up all day, that when I get home I must give vent to my spirits some way; and ,as I may not make faces myself, why I have to teach Kenneth to do so.
I suppose you are all taking in the Mid-Winter Fair, and I wish that I, too, might come and see,--not only the Fair, but California.
But wishes are vain, and a waste of time. What is the use wishing for that which one knows very well they may not have!



I really am beginning to think that I cannot endure the store very much longer; but will have to go back to my old love,--That of cramming arithmetic into poor, defenseless little urchins,--filling little heads and little hearts, and keeping little hands out of mischief, and little feet from getting into forbidden paths. After all, I like that best.
Well, uncle John, I think you once more for your kind gift.
Love to aunt Louie, Wanda, Helen, and any of the other



Portage, Wisconsin

Date Original



Original letter dimensions: 22.5 x 14 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 08, Image 0057

Collection Identifier

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

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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.


4 pages


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



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