W[illiam] P. Gibbons


John Muir



to me. Again thanking you for your kind consideration & tendering a heartfelt invitation to yourself & wife to make us a visit whenever you may find it to be convenient. I am as ever

Yours Very truly [illegible] Gibbons.


Alameda Nov. 4th. 1883

Dear John

If I have failed in a prompt acknowledgement of your beautiful & acceptable present, it has not been because of the absence of a proper appreciative feeling toward both giver & gift. I opened that box in the presence of my wife; I told her it contained grapes from your vineyard – the fruits of your own toil. But when the lid came off – the inertia of feeling seemed to start off like a streak of lightening, & we both exclaimed in the fullness of delight, over the richness & beauty of their grouping. The flavor was every thing that could be asked for; but this sunk into insignificance

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in the eyes of the family, beside the poetical & aesthetic side of the display. Humph! talk of glaciers – their magnificence – sublimity – of their broad fields of [illegible] splendor: — they are but skeletons dressed up in gorgeous apparal, when compared with the living ever growing beauty & luxious flavor of nature’s parlor gardens! The Lord only knows what would have become of the human race, if Eve had led her fellow into a vineyard instead of a crab apple orchard. It is humiliating to reflect that such an ass as Oscar Wilde should have stirred up with his ass-the-ticism the wealth & beauty of the land to the time of 50.000 dollr. while the world has no honors to confer on the true nobleness of nature! But there’s a good time coming, some day or other.


Kellogg is still nosing over his [illegible] drawings. The only recreation he takes is pipe smoking. [illegible] has his house in Alameda nearly completed, so that the family is fairly anchored on our side of the bay. The whole family send their kindest regards to yourself & wife. By the way, I’ve some notion of buying 5 or 10 acres & turning horticulturalist. I have a parcel of peach, almond, plum & fig trees, & some grape vines, suffuiently large to put out in orchard shape, & I begin to look forward to the time when it will be prudent to give up professional toil & settle down in the quite current of declining life. I wish you would write


Alameda, [Calif]

Date Original

1883 Nov 4


Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 04, Image 1124

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

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.


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