San Luis Obispo
February 12th. 1863

Charles B Rutherford, Esq.

Dear friend,

By last mail, but too late to write, I learned by the newspapers that you had suffered the great affliction of the loss of your wife. Today I received Church's letter, informing me of the fact. I cannot express to you, my dear friend, how much I sympathize with you in your trouble; a trouble which came to you so suddenly and unexpectedly. It is not in the nature of things that I should feel as deeply as though it were my own loss, but I assure you that as far as one human being, as one friend, can feel for his neighbor's suffering, I feel for and share in yours. I will not suffer myself to dilate upon this topic, for it is too painful to dwell upon, and sometimes silent sympathy is more deep and more acceptable than words.

I enclose you a letter which my wife begs me to send you, for I assure you she has from the first taken a great interest in you and your family. I join with her in desiring you to send or bring us down your two girls, that she may take care of them for you, at least for a time. You cannot find anywhere a kinder mother, as well to others' children as her own. Cannot you come down now, and pay us a visit, bringing your two girls with you, and leaving them with us? It will serve to divert your mind for a time from your troubles. We have plenty of room. Anne suits us to a charm, and while she is with us all goes swimmingly.

I shall have now for a month or two time on my hands, and shall be glad to show you all there is of the county. If you can possibly square this proposition with your business arrangements, pray accept it, and in any event, be assured that we will with pleasure take care of your little ones. My wife is very anxious that you should send them here and I know that she will attend to them as her own.

Frank is improving daily in health and I am in hopes to see him a robust and hearty boy yet. He has been told of his mother's decease, but cannot realize its moment. He is not at all uneasy. He is heartier and healthier and has a better color, I think, than when he left San Francisco. I think you will remark quite a change in him for the better when you see him. He is no trouble at all.

Trusting to hear from you immediately and soon to see you in person; and conjuring you to bear up under your great sorrow, and not to give way to it, however just cause you have for it, I remain, my dear friend

Yours fraternally

Walter Murray

P S Eliza desires to be remembered to you and Mary, and even little Mercedes sends her respects. Frank does not seem to understand much about such things.