Joanna M[uir] Brown


John Muir


Portage Wis.

Oct. 1. 1896

My dear Brother John:_

Your very kind letter of the 22nd Sep. came several days ago. And although you refused my request, yet the loving interest which you express in our welfare is more to me than the simple granting of a favor, for unselfish love is scarce in this world and so all the more to be appreciated.
I cannot however see the matter under consideration in the light in which you do, and so must remain unchanged in any purpose. Too in the first place, to reunite our little family is really the



only course which I can pursue for my brain whirls and my heart sickens whenever I try to contemplate any other course of procedure. Besides, when you spoke in Maggie's letter of my placing the money in your or David's care, I do not believe you fully consider what such a course would ultimately lead to, and I care more for my husbands confidence than for any amount of money
More-over, if there is nothing standing between me & my children and starvation, but just this seven or eight hundred dollars then all I have to say is the sooner it comes the better; for if I were to be hung I should not want to be compelled to examine the ropes and scaffold every day, I should want it over with at once.



But seriously John, I have more faith than all that; more faith in God, and more faith in Walter. I believe Walter has a future yet notwithstanding the fearful lessons he has needed to learn and which has been such a trial to us both.
God has many times during these years of bitter loneliness honored me with his near presence whispering peace, and giving me some precious promised concerning Walter and that future, so I can but follow where He leads no matter who advises to the contrary. And no mater how dark the way may be even yet through which He leads me. All I want to know is where my duty lies and if I could believe it were still in Portage, then in Portage it would have to be. But as it now appears to me there is no right way but to use my little portion in reuniting our broken family, whenever it becomes possible.

With greater love than ever

Your sister

Joanna M. Brown



Portage, Wisc.

Date Original

1896 Oct 1


Original letter dimensions: 20 x 13 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 09, Image 0432

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.


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



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