Espinosa Brothers' Petaca Conservation
by History Colorado, the Colorado Historical Society
Fundraiser launched on July 06, 2021 by History Colorado
The Espinosa Brothers' Petaca (trunk) is currently on display in the Borderlands of Southern Colorado exhibit at the History Colorado Center in Denver. The petaca reportedly belonged to Felipe and Vivián Espinosa. During a time of racial discrimination and land dispossession, the brothers were accused of committing a string of murders in 1863 that came as America claimed the Borderlands. The Espinosa legend grew with sensational headlines that mythologized frontier violence and stereotyped the brothers as outlaw bandits. Whether or not they committed the murders, some in the Borderlands still remember the Espinosas as freedom fighters who stood up against American settlers wanting to seize their homes.

This artifact needs conservation treatment so we can continue to share this great story with future generations. Please make a contribution today to support the Petaca conservation efforts and long-term collections preservation at History Colorado.

1863-1864
Leather, wool, iron
History Colorado Collection; Gift, Leopold Mayer. H.3066.1

For more information about Felipe and Vivián Espinosa:
https://www.5280.com/2019/12/the-long-forgotten-vigilante-murders-of-the-san-luis-valley/
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