B.L.C. Bank, Dunbar [Scotland],
29th Jany. 1894.
Dear Mr. Muir:
The receipt of your very nice letter was a great pleasure to us, We learn from it you had got safely back to your own happy home, though I wish you had said just a little more and told us how you found your wife and those very sweet children whose photos you showed us. Prom your silence on that subject, we conclude you found all well and delighted as you to meet again.
Thanks for the trouble you took about those papers regarding the death of Mr. Hepburn. Of course we would have been glad to see them, but what you say in your letter will gratify his brother, poor Sir Archibald. Poor old Sir Thomas died about the middle of Dec. I shall tell Sir Archibald of your letter when 1 see him, which may be in summer.
My son and I have often talked of all the interesting things you told us of. Somehow I feel quite at home among glaciers, Alaska, and Mount Shasta, etc. The only other person I ever heard speak of Alaska was Mr. Marjoribanks, Minister of Preston Kirk, who some years ago was sent by his congregation on a trip to America as a rest to his mind. He went via New York, Frisco, Vancouver, and Alaska, and home by Canada, Pacific rail, stopping at Brandon to visit my son, a great friend of his, who is settled there. Strang enough that gentleman preached in the parish church here yesterday, and called for me in the afternoon. Knowing his interest in Alaska, 1 told him of you and a lot of what you told of your visit to it. He desired me to say to you that he would have given much to have met you and compared notes, and hopes that if you are ever within range of Preston Kirk Manse, and he there, that you will go and see him. Sir T. Hepburn was patron of his parish. Sir A. will now be his principal heritor.I have undrtaken to ask you if you could kindly let him know where he could procure views, say 1 dozen, of Alaska. He is making a collection of views of the chief places he went to when abroad. He would be willing to pay anything reasonable for them, if he knew where to send for them. Perhaps you may be able to let me know.
I saw Dr. Fullarton to-day. He was speaking of you, and on my telling him I was about to write to you, he requested me to remind you of him. He is a very superior man, don't you think? I saw Mrs. Lunam last week, who was well, in spite of the cold and damp we have so much of here just now. She tells me she expects to see some paper by you in the "Century" which we shall see too, I hope. Knowing the author and hearing so much of his life and doings, we shall appreciate it all the more.
I wish you had been here to see the grandest display of God's power even I, who have lived here all my life, ever witnessed. Gales from both land and sea seemed to meet and rage with fury here that night and play of the storm you refer to. On shore trees and houses were uprooted and blown down, while the sea dashed over the harbour and castle and the foam met you half way yp the street, large lumps of it flying about in all directions, wrecks all round, causing many a sort heart. It was something you, who study Nature so much, could have well appreciated. We have what is called a fine open winter, and with it much sickness and death. Scarcely ever two days are alike and even many changes come during a single day, very trying to the old and rheumatic, as 1 know to my cost.
We are glad to hear you enjoyed your visits to the old town so much. I may be away when you come again, but my son hopes you will think of him .as one who would very much enjoy seeing you again and hearing of all the wonders you have seen and can tell so well about. We did very much enjoy your society. I think I asked you to remember me to your Mother. I quite recollect her. We should so much like a photo of you if you could spare one.
This is a long letter to trouble you with, so 1 much close. Will you accept for yourself, wife and children our best wishes, and believe me,
Yours most sincerely,
I am so delighted with the story of the Heavens by air M. Ball, which I am studying nightly. My son in Canada and I used to take a deep interest in the stars, and 1 always feel they are a bond between us, of which so long as sight lasts no one can deprive us.
Original letter dimensions: 20 x 26 cm.
Kelly, Agnes, "Letter from Agnes Kelly to John Muir, 1894 Jan 29." (1894). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 6813.
Reel 08, Image 0087
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