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

Collection Identifier

Online finding aid for the microform version of the John Muir Correspondence

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

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.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date



3 pages


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



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.