John Muir


[John Muir]


Helen [Muir]



July 3d 1896

My dear little Helen,

I have enjoyed your sweet bright illustrated letters ever & ever so much,both the words & the pictures made me see everything at home as if I was there myself The peaches & the purring pussies & the blue heron flying about & all the people working & walking about & talking & guessing on the weather.
So many things have happened since I left home & I have seen so many people & places & have travelled so fast & far I have lost the measure of time & it seems more than a year since I left home. Oh dear! how tired I have been & excited & swirly. Sometimes my head felt so benumbed I hardly knew where I was. And yet everything done seems to have been done for the best & I believe God has been guiding us. If I had not decided to go to Harvard, I would have



[in margin: Go over & comfort Maggie & tell Mamma to write to poor Sarah]

gone to Alaska & would never more have seen my mother. Then if I had not compelled Mary to come to Portage she would not have seen her either & Sarah & Anne would not have had her help. & had I not been in Portage probably Dan would not have come either, so all that was for the best. Then I went to New York & up the Hudson a hundred miles to see John Bourroughs & Prof Osborne to escape being sun struck & choked in the horrid weather of the streets. & then refreshed I got back to New York & started for Boston & Cambridge & got through the Harvard business all right & caught a fast train & got back to Portage in time for the funeral, then I stopped three or four days to settle all the business & write to Scotland, & comfort Sarah & Annie & Mary then I ran down a half day to Madison. Then I went to Milwaukee & stayed a night with Wm Trout with whom I used to live in a famous hollow in the Canada woods 30 years ago. Next day I went to Indianapolis & saw everybody there & stopped with them one night. Then came here last night & stopped with Sellers. I am now in his office waiting the arrival of the forestry commission with whom I expect to start work tonight at half past ten o'clock. It is now about noon. I feel that this is the end of the strange lot of events I have been talking about for when I reach the Rocky Mountains Ill feel at home. I saw a wonderful lot of squirrels at Osborns, & Mrs Osborn wants you & Wanda & Mamma to visit her & stay a long time Good bye darling & give my love to Wanda & Mamma & Grandma & Maggie

Tell Mamma I spent a long evening with Tesla & I found him quite a wonderful & interesting fellow.


Chicago [Illinois]

Date Original

1896 Jul 3


Original letter dimensions: 28 x 21.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 09, Image 0274

Copyright Statement

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

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.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date



3 pages



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