Collection 2540 - Charles H. Barstow Letter to Rogers L. Barstow, March 20, 1888
Creator: Barstow, C. H. (Charles H.), d. 1908
Provenance Note: Original letter by Charles H. Barstow was purchased by Special Collections from Tom Mulvaney, East Helena, Montana, through an online auction on November 6, 2020.
Historical Note: Charles H. Barstow was born in Massachusetts sometime around 1850 and came west after his father died. He first traveled to Wichita, Kansas, but relocated to Montana after the summer of 1876. He became the chief clerk for the government agent at the Crow Indian reservation around 1878 and held the position for twenty years. Barstow became an active collector of Crow artifacts and is credited with encouraging members of the tribe to create "ledger art" drawings to preserve their history and culture. He was married to Susan Elizabeth Chandler, and the couple had at least one daughter, Elizabeth. Barstow died in Billings, Montana in February, 1908.
Content Description Note: Dictated letter from Barstow to his brother, Rogers L. Barstow of Boston, Massachusetts, sent from Crow Agency, Montana on March 20, 1888. Charles Barstow was apparently ill and bedridden when he asked his daughter Elizabeth to write out his acknowledgment of receipt and thanks for a personal loan of 450 dollars from his brother. Barstow refers to other letters that explain in more detail what he needed the money for, and his fear that the letters had been lost. Elizabeth adds a postscript describing her father's condition and worries that "Eliza's" letters have also gone astray. A stamped addressed envelope is included.