GREELEY, Colo. - The Greeley History Museum is asking for donations to help purchase hundreds of letters written in 1869 by prospective Union Colony colonists.
"These letters were written in response to an article in The New York Tribune, by Nathan Cook Meeker, Greeley’s founder," Greeley marketing assistant Emily Odiwuor wrote in a press release. "Meeker, having visited Colorado Territory in October 1869, returned to his home in Brooklyn, NY with visions of founding a utopian temperance and agricultural colony here."
The Union Colony established the town of Greeley in April of 1870.
So far, the museum has determined that 64 of the letters were penned by individuals who were selected to be colonists. Research is continuing on the remaining letters.
A sample letter provided by the museum is addressed to Meeker and signed by D. L. Freeman, who inquires about the plans for the colony.
The collection also includes a small bible given to Arvilla Meeker, by her son, Ralph, in 1864.
Appraisals have set the value of the documents at $15,685. They are currently in the possession of two fourth-generation Greeley and Weld County residents.
"Because of financial circumstances, the letters in the estate cannot be donated to the Greeley Museums, but must be sold within two months," Odiwuor wrote.
The museum's budget does not allow artifacts to be purchased and all other artifacts already owned by the museum were donated.
To make the purchase possible, the museum's advisory board agreed to organize a fundraiser. Anyone wishing to donate can send tax-deductible checks to:
The Greeley Museums Heritage Foundation
714 8th St.
Greeley, CO 80631.
Attention: Mr. Odie Roberts, GMHF President