Mary Muir Hand


Mary [Muir Hand]


Maggie [Margaret Muir Reid], & Sharah [Muir Galloway]



and awkward and unsatisfactory in the art . Nature is always so superior to art that pictures are usually the most satisfactory the more we forget the real beauty in Nature or are ignorant of it — I hope to make a winter picture in oils – before the snows go away – and I have one or two other little oil pieces in my mind but whether I can accomplish all I plan in that direction time alone can disclose Your telling of fruits and flowers and green leaves and grasses — at this season but shows us all so plainly how very far distant we are



Phillips Wis. Dec. 19 /82.

My dear good sisters,

Maggie & Sarah, your nice long letters were a very comfort to me — I am overjoyed at the thought of your being where you are it must be so pleasant for you all — And to think of the possibility of our having John and Louie with us next year some time is just delightful — May nothing hinder their coming. is a most earnest wish Yes I will write to John very soon. I have written very few letters – for a long

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time – but will try to do better as I am feeling better and have a girl doing my house work – who does very well – So I have more time to myself and do not get so tired — I hope to do something in picturing very soon. I shall finish Joanna’s little picture first and then make a picture of Wheleer The photographs we had taken of Wheler are not just satisfactory but [are?] have ordered some more to be printed a little lighter that we think will be much better – When they come there will be one for you and for the others too – I hope Wanda’s picture


may be taken and be satisfactory – and we will wish for one — I was pleased with your description of Louie for although it may not give a very vivid or true idea we had not even the first inkling of how she looks or seems — Their home must be delightfully romantic from what you write – and we shall hope to see it sometime – perhaps not in the very far future – as Willis often expresses his wish to visit California – And oh if I could only do justice to picturing some of the mountain views you tell about I am afraid I might find myself - young

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settle in Boston or New York or New Jersey or some far Eastern city – and then we would be “scattered to the four winds” — surely enough. Shall we never meet-at a given point? This will reach you about Christmas – and I warmly wish you “the compliments of the season” Wishing to hear from you both again era long I remain as ever,

Lovingly your, Sister Mary.

Many thanks for the little sprays you sent to me.



from each other – for you know what sort of times Christmas brings the far North – John might laugh at calling this far North He has been so much farther North – but it is far North to us – and shows us no blossoms but a few little petted buds and blooms that one frosty breath from the open door might destroy almost immediately My plants are looking very nicely – although some of the more tender ones have been touched with frost. We are having a very pleasant winter —

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The snow is about a foot deep It is not very cold but is comfortable and healthful – We have had but one very cold snap and then thermometer went as low as 34° or 36° I do not remember which — Yes we were all pleased to hear the news from Arkansas and pleased to know that the little one is so strong and well. A letter from J a few days ago informs us that she has been afflicted with jaundice and so has not gained strength as rapidly as she otherwise would have done. Walter is selling


out his business and intends removing to Kansas City – where he will go with real estate business They were boarding at Little Rock when she wrote as they could not conveniently get help at the Springs Father will remain with them during the cold weather at least she says I suppose your Christmas will be spent where you now are. Oh that we could be all together once more. Do you suppose that will ever be? We seem to be getting more and more scattered – instead of any thing else. If Annie should be married she might


Phillips, Wis

Date Original

1882 Dec 19


Original letter dimensions: 20 x 25 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 04, Image 0966

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.


4 pages


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



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