Louie [Strentzel Muir]
Chicago, May 26, '93.
I got here yesterday morning, and found the Sellers after a long hunt. Then at 11 o'clock went to the fair. Found Norton Bush and Alien and learned that Keith had gone to New York at noon yesterday, to wait for me there. When in the California building I was tefcen in hand by a lady from Oakland that I often saw in Keith's studio, Miss Gilwicks, who introduced me to the Manager of the California exhibits, so I began to feel at home. In a few minutes who should walk in with a well-known "Wi, Mr. Muir," than Mrs. Upham, then Mr. Upham and the boys. Then came Mr. and Mrs. Gaskil. So in the huge Babylonish mob multitude I felt at home. But it is to the Sellers that my best comforts are due. They are as kind and good as they can be. Their home is a palace and they seem to think its only value just now is measured by its capacity in giving me comfort. Only Mr. and Mrs. Sellers, and their son Frank, are here. They have just returned from a European tour. This is the reason they did not write sooner. I mean to stay a day or two, then go to New York and finish my articles and sail either to Liverpool or direct to Spain by the German line to Gilraltar and Genoa.
The general views of the fair grounds and buildings are truly grand and fine, surpassing anything that Solomon in all his glory could have thought of, but the contents of the huge palaces are just as I said they would be - a mass of comparatively common stuff to be found in any large town in smaller quantities.
Your telegram received at Portage relieved my anxiety about Helen and as long as she is well I will be. I will write and telegraph on my arrival at New York and hope, of course, you will have letters for me at the Century Editorial rooms in care of Johnson. I am quite well only a little nervous and tired from want of sleep, arriving and leaving Portage at midnight, etc. But I had a grand sleep last night here. Everybody says I look so much better now than on my former visits and everybody speaks of the Century biography. It has been widely copied and commented on even in Scotland already, calling me the Dunbar Hugh Miller, the prince of American geologists, etc.- enough to turn the head of anybody but a Scotchman. If only pleasure were my aim I could now have more than my fill of it, but I know too well the value of such pleasant stuff to be led far by it from the paths of work and true lasting enjoyment in self-denial.
Well, goodbye. Give yourself no anxiety on my account. Care only for yourself and the children and I will be well. Love to Grandma and everybody, yourself and the babies in particular. Mrs. Sellers asked in the kindest and heartiest way imaginable for Grandma. Mr. S. is going to the Fair with me today.
1893 May 26
Original letter dimensions: 29 x 17.5 cm.
Muir, John, "Letter from John Muir to Louie [Strentzel Muir], 1893 May 26." (1893). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 911.
Reel 07, Image 0992
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