McPherson was the mother of Ada Morley. Although she lived in Iowa, she kept track of the political situation in Colfax County through her daughter and son-in-law. Ada’s attempt to intercept her letter that denounced the actions of members of the Santa Fe Ring sparked violence in the county. Following the assassination of Reverend Tolby, McPherson wrote numerous other letters to officials in Washington, D.C., in an attempt to force federal action against the Santa Fe Ring.
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