Dunbar, 30th Jan., 1895.
Dear Mr. Muir:
I regret having been so long in thanking you for your kind letter of the 29th of Dec., but I have been confined to bed and in the doctor's hands for some weeks from a severe attack of gout over and above my abiding enemies of rheumatism and sciatica, and to crown all a damaged toe which won't hear of a shoe or boot. But I need not tire you with this.
I fear I must have sent you a confused notice of the book you mention. The book I spoke of by Mr. Young was a missionary one about the N. West Territory, and I don't think he refers to Alaska at all. The thing I read on Alaska was sent me by someone in the summer who offered me a sight of it "because I had a son out there." She said it was not much, and 1 never took the trouble to notice who wrote it, or even the name of it, but merely looked it over because I had heard of Alaska and Sitka from you. They were only mentioned. It was not, I think, a book upon Alaska. However, next time John is in town he will enquire about it and try to hear of it and I will let you know. I suspect it was something in the missionary line, but very Inferior to Mr. Young's addount of his journey to the N. West by canoe and dog train. The latter style of travelling my son had told me of, which interested me.
l have not seen Mrs. Lunam for two months nearly. The weather has been so bad and so very rheumatic as she is she would likely keep to the house. We are experiencing a severe storm just now. Snow all round and great cold, and now and again great winds making stormy seas. Last week a large fishing boat went down and all hands perished, leaving widows and children to fall on the parish,for the fishermen are very improvident. One was a grandson of Wilcox, the preceptor for 60 years in the auld kirk, whom you may have heard sing. He sung scotch songs beautifully, almost as well as the famous Wilson. I must confess to a little envy as to your climate, i like cold better than heat, but one may get too much of a good thing.
I am pleased to hear such a pleasant account of your two pretty girls who, l hope, may be spared to you and turn out as young ladies all you could desire. When you write to your mother will you remember me kindly to her, also ask your wife to accept along with yourself our best wishes. My son in Canada keeps well and John here is as busy as usual and therefore is in his element.
When you can spare time to let us hear of and from you we shall always be delighted to have a letter. When John gone into toen and made enquiries as to that book, 1 shall let you know. Meanwhile, believe me,
Yours very sincerely,
Original letter dimensions: 20 x 26 cm.
Kelly, Agnes, "Letter from Agnes Kelly to John Muir, 1895 Jan 30." (1895). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 6979.
Reel 08, Image 0771
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