Miriam Van Waters Papers. Male Prisoner Correspondence, 1927-1971. Correspondence: A-F, 1949-1971. A-71, folder 591. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

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[right] September 29, 1965

[left] My dear Ms. Van Waters,

First and foremost, I wish to apologize for not answering sooner, dued to the numerous abligations required after the death of my brother James, whom you mistakenly presumed was me in your letter to the Edition, was the reason I delayed corresponding. Secondly, I would like you to know after reading your missive to the Edition of the Mentor that I think, nay; in fact, I know you're a very wonderful person

Perhaps you would like to know a little about my brother. For the past seventeen years, except for several months, he remained with me throughout my confinement. He died while working in the prison laundry of a heart attack. He was very well-liked by the population as he was known as "one of the boys". A high mass of requiem was celebrated here for him and for the first time in the history fo the chapel every seat was filled by men of different faiths; and the men donated over two hundred dollars for spiritual bouquets. They purchased a gold and silver cross for the prison altar in his memory and

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-2-

sent Richard Cardinal Cushing eighty-one dollars for the needy missionaries to celebrate Masses for the repose of his soul. Because he recieved the sacrements of Penance and Holy [Eucharist?] a few hours before his death, the Cardinal in his letter to me was confident he was with God. He had two constant fears, he didn't want to die in prison as he was aware of his ailment and the estimated time he had to live; and a fear of dying in a pauper's grave. He was buried beside our Mother in Lowell. This was my promise to him fufilled.

Now to answer your letter regarding the Council's function and objectives, I would be pleased to discuss them with you orally or through correspondence. Secondly, relative to the former student of your's, who wishes to visit the person you inquired about and whom you wanted to interview: his name is Henry Hardy and he has asked me to inform you that he would be happy to talk with you and see Debara or Connie as she is nicknamed.

In closing, thank you for your kindnesses.

Bye for now, Michael F. Coggins, JR.

Last edit 4 months ago by madeleinemurphy6
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June 23, 1966

My dear Dr. Van Waters

Again with pleasure, it was comforting to hear from you. We were delighted that the Country Fair was a success. John gave me a very good run-down on the project and we are happy for those it may help. Yes, Jim still a barber and the one that cuts the hair at the [death?]- house section too, and Johnny keeps me posted on all new progress relative to constructive endeavors. He's a good man and my prays are with him.

For a point of interest, I was reading a book entitled "Christianity and Social Adventuring" edited by Jerome Davis and copyright, 1927 by the Century Co., and to my delight I came across and read an article on "Juvenile Delinquency" by Miriam Van Waters, page 151 to 161. The last sentence in this article written by you nearly 40 years ago, makes one wonder-- "did she know?"; and you said then-- "For the individual who champions the cause of the child against adult greed, carelessness, and tradition will for many years to come be unpopular, with a supreme opportunity to exercise the virtues of courage and self-abnegation."

Bye for Now, Michael F. Coggins JR.

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Please return Please return

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October 1, 1954

Mr. James W. Cook, Jr. Charlestown State Prison Charlestown, Mass.

Dear Mr. Cook:

This is just a friendly note to assure you that I remember our conversation after the Sunday morning service this summer.

If there is anything I can do for your or any of your friends at any time, do not hesitate to let me know.

All good wishes.

Sincerely,

Miriam Van Waters, Superintendent

MVW:DFL

Prison folder

Last edit 2 months ago by madeleinemurphy6
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