Mary and Willis Hand
Dont wear your strength to souly with your art work nor yet allow yourself to neglect it altogether I anticipate much pleasure in looking over your work. I am acquainted with quite a number of artists here. And that wonderful boy of yours Wheeler What a traveler he will be – on wheel, hand, or feet. He surely will westward roll following himself the [son?], Wanda no doubt will kiss him when he comes & may possibly even revolve around him. Louie says she is a fine dancer already. With brotherly love & more New Years wishes I am ever your brother John.
Martinez January 1, 1883.
Dear Sister Mary & brother Willis:
Your kind holiday greetings reached us today & we cordially repeat them for you all earnestly hoping that the New Year may be rich in blessing & that you may have the dearest hopes of your lives fullfilled Maggie & Sarah are still here though their forlorn husbands are writing an uncons[illegible]onable lot of grumbling letters to them urging them immediate return right or wrong dead or alive These fret them so much that they can not expect any further benefit from their visit
& therefore they must I suppose leave very soon though they need rest & change of climate & seem more than any two other women I have ever seen out of bed. It seems strange to hear you speak of fine weather & 34 degrees below zero. The hills here were green & flowery until yesterday & we could still glean a few good grapes in the vineyard but now we have a truly wintery land & sky & the ground has several inches of snow, a sight I have not seen before in the California lowlands before.
I can hardly say after so many failures when I shall have that happy visit to you all. but I am coming sometime. As to the big camp meeting for the purpose of experience telling in our scattered family I hardly hope for it though it would be a grand & very bulky affair The trouble or difficulty in the way of such a gathering is that one strikes root more or less deeply wherever we chance to stop any length of time & in the case of a large family like ours growing on different kinds of soil & with varying [pursuits?] etc death is about the only harvester that can bring us together
1883 Jan 1
Original letter dimensions unknown.
Muir, John, "Letter from John Muir to Mary and Willis Hand, 1883 Jan 1." (1883). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 738.
Reel 04, Image 0992
The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see http://www.pacific.edu/Library/Find/Holt-Atherton-Special-Collections/Fees-and-Forms-.html
John Muir National Historic Site. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.