A letter from Horace Greeley Perry, ca. 1897.
Back when the James-Younger Gang was setting up to to rob the bank at Northfield, MN in 1876, Charlie Pitts and Cole Younger went to St. Peter to buy and train horses. While there, Cole became friends with a little girl named Horace Greeley Perry, the daughter of the local newspaper editor (who named his daughter as a tribute to the legendary NY publisher). According to Cole, she promised to be his friend forever.
By the early '90s, when the Jim and Cole Younger were still in the MN State Pen (Bob had died in 1889), Miss Perry came back into the picture. She became editor of her father's old paper in 1894 and began a campaign to get the Youngers released. Her efforts undoubtedly helped the boys get out, and for Cole to get totally pardoned in 1903.
After that, at various points, Miss Perry served as Cole's PR expert and advisor. There were rumors, some dating back to 1892, that the two were romantically involved. Both denied it...but the questions remain.
This particular letter--it's unclear to whom it was written--mentions her work with the Youngers and for prison reform. She is apparently in a hospital or at least under a doctor's care, suffering from appendicitis. And Miss Perry's correspondent apparently has offered to introduce her to the daughter of Horace Greeley.
Horace Greeley Perry is one of those fascinating characters who deserves more research.