World Letter Writing Day

The museum holds many letters, from numerous people and covering varied topics. Since today, September 1, is World Letter Writing Day it seems the perfect time to share a beautifully written letter from our collection.

The letter is addressed to Mrs. Lewis and the Misses Peabody, Brewster, and Coats. It was written in thanks for the women for their musical performances and each were presented with an inlaid box. The boxes were made by inmates at the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility (at the time known as the Colorado State Penitentiary). According to the donation record, the letter was written by George Witherell, a well-known murderer and lynching victim of Cañon City. Both the letter and box gifted to Clara Brewster reside in the museum collection today.

A handwritten thank you letter written to Mrs. Lewis and Misses Peabody Brewster and Coats, ca. 1887. Object ID: 1985.003.001 a-b; Royal Gorge Regional Museum & History Center Collection.


The POWER OF MUSIC has long been admitted by the wisest and best of men.

As you have from time to time favored us with choice selections from the productions of the MASTERS OF THE MUSICAL WORLD, so exquisitely and delicately rendered; we were carried back, in the realm of thought, to the homes and associations of former years and a better and happier life.

The benign and heavenly influence of music, when used to soften and subdue the passions of the human heart, can only be known and appreciated by those who, like ourselves, are far from HOME, LOVE AND KINDRED,

burdened with sorrow and loaded down with grief.

You who press the ivory keys with such delicate touch and with

Heaven-born Voices

come to us in our sorrow and charm us into momentary forgetfulness and peace, have to us been Angels of Mercy and Messengers of Good-will. You have delighted us. You have helped us: and we now desire to present to each of you, not to in any way compensate you for your efforts in our behalf – for that would be impossible – but as a slight token of our esteem for you and appreciation of your kindness, AN IN-LAID JEWEL CASKET; hoping that will remember the unfortunate and believe that we are not unmindful of goodness.

If our blessing can help you; if our humble prayers can be hear at the

Throne of Mercy,

we invoke for you Gods continued blessings in this life and in the life that is to come.

        We subscribe ourselves,

Committee { C.D. Harris,

                            Isaac McClain,

                           H. Handchild,

          J. L. Farrell,                    

  E. G. Ring. 

In-laid box, owned by Clara Brewster and made by inmates at the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility, ca. 1887. Object 1985.003.003; Royal Gorge Regional Museum & History Center Collection

The information presented in this article is compiled using research conducted by the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center.

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