John Muir


John Muir


Janet [Douglass Moores]


Original in possession of Mr. Charles Moores.

Martinez, July 2,1891

My Dear Janet:

I was glad to get your fine spacious all-round-the family letter. We too have had our share of Grippe & things that make pain &trouble even in so good a love-filled world as this. I suppose that through Annie you have heard of the death of Dr. Strantzel. How great the loss only those who have suffered may know. The family is broken like a house torn asunder & half taken away. Little Helen only four years old we feared would follow him with a broken heart. Even now we have to keep her out of the parlor where his portrait hangs for at sight of it without saying a word her eyes fill & for hours or days all our efforts to comfort her are in vain.
Wanda is a big rosy girl & so much like a woman I am frightened &would fain keep her a baby in sweet & sinless babyland. But on a swift flood we are all borne forward & only when I am in the wilderness is this current invisible, where one day, is a thousand years & a thousand years one day.
Last summer I was among the grand crystal glaciers of Alaska & this summer I spent three weeks in the King's River Yosemite - one of my favorite haunts in the old free Sierra times. I am now trying to write about it for the Century & must haggle through the job in some way for the illustrations for the "article" are already made & they are calling for copy.

I also promised a year a go to write two articles on Alaska for the same magazine .but I have a thousand things to think about in caring for these two ranches & have but little time for such work, while writing to me is very hard, for I have no facility in composition & no available vocabulary - only - only invention & imagination. But why should you care to hear this. The weather has been very hot for a week l05[illegible?] to 110[illegible?] & my head swims until horticulture and literature are mixed into rubbish & only ice& Alaska seem clear and significant.
We are all living, or rather melting, together at the Strentzel home now,while my sister Maggie and family & Ed Coe & his friend Arthur Coleman keep the old house. Ed is doing well & growing every way & I hope he will stay with me forever -a terrestial forever.
None of your Indiana birds have yet alighted here on their western flight, but I still hope to see them. Surely they will not be so idiotic as to wait for a sealed and solemn invitation. I must, however, send a note to Katey Graydon for she's so bashful.
We are all well, & some of us venerable, looking like old trees or white mountain tops, etc. -
I saw your friend Emily O. Pelton a week ago. She is very literary& industrious and thin. I had a letter from our good old friend Prof. Butler the other day written at Paris. He is evidently well, merry & oddly speculative as ever, racing round the globe for fun, money, wisdom & exercise.
Now I must quit this & go to my dismal solemn composition.
Remember me to your mother & Aunts Kate & Mina & to the fine man-boys& Sue Ketcham warmly & naturally as though I had been gone from Indiana but a day (for?) I am always your friend,

John Muir


Martinez [Calif.]

Date Original

1891 Jul 2


Original letter dimensions: 26.5 x 20.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 07, Image 0197

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, click here to view the Holt-Atherton Special Collections policies.

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



2 pages



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