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Letter from GEORGE PERKINS MARSH to HIRAM POWERS, dated October 10, 1852.

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Title: Letter from GEORGE PERKINS MARSH to HIRAM POWERS, dated October 10, 1852.


  • Marsh, George Perkins, 1801-1882


  • Powers, Hiram, 1805-1873

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Extent: 1 letter

Genre(s): letter



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Letter from GEORGE PERKINS MARSH to HIRAM POWERS, dated October 10, 1852., Part of the Hiram Powers and Powers Family Papers, microfilmed by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institute, and loaned by the Cincinnati Historical Society., (accessed December 14, 2017)

Letter from GEORGE PERKINS MARSH to HIRAM POWERS, dated October 10, 1852.

Transcribed by : Ralph H. Orth and Ellen Thomson

TEI mark-up by : James P. Tranowski andEllen Mazur Thomson

Published by: University of Vermont. All rights reserved.

Publication Information

Gleichenberg, Styria Oct 10' 52

Dear Powers

Yours of the 5' of August reached me here a few weeks since. I know almost nothing of the present state of American politics, but I suppose Gen Peirce's election is highly probable, and in that event, I shall no doubt be summoned home earlier than I care to go. After discharging certain duties in Greece, I came to this, at this season, solitary spot to give Mrs Marsh the benefit of the waters, and to find quiet for writing out my reports on my doings in Greece. These I have completed, and immensely voluminous they are. As Mrs Marsh derives no benefit from the waters, I have no longer any motive to remain, & we are going to Vienna tomorrow, to consult physicians there, for her eyes & other ailments. We shall return southward in a few weeks, & if I do not too soon receive orders from Washington to return to Greece or Turkey we hope to be in Florence before -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- New Year's.

The country where we are interests me much, on being in surface & vegetation surprisingly like Vermont. The hills are lower, but the trees, & wild as well as cultivated smaller plants, seem almost identical with those that grew on Mount Tom, & on the fields & meadows about your father's house and mine, but the forest wants the rich autumnal hues of our soft maples and some other trees, & there are here no red leaves but those of the woodbine and the sumach. Some American trees they have introduced. The locust is common, & I have seen a few three thorned locusts, several catalpas & one tulip tree.

At Athens, all was bare when we were there, except the olives & the vineyards. I was disappointed in the sculptures, comparatively few of which, except inscriptions, have been found. The Romans first, then the Byzantines, & finally Lord Elgin and -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- other Northern barbarians have so completely stripped Greece, that there is little of art, but the ruins of her architecture, left. The little that has been found is collected at the Acropolis & the temple of Theseus, & consists principally of bas reliefs. One of these latter, a full length figure of a warrior found at Marathon, belonging to a very early period of art, and coloured, is highly interesting, and the sepulchral tablets, which are numerous, constantly recall those of Thorvaldsen. The conception and composition of many of these is fine, but few have any merit of execution. The poverty of the Greek gov't & other circumstances have prevented excavations, &, unhappily, the grounds where there was most reason to expect to find sculptures have been allowed to be occupied by buildings, so that all that lies buried there is now -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- probably lost forever.

I hope my son will profit at Florence, but beg you will not allow him to consume your time. I shall however be extremely thankful for any advice you can give him. I have not heard from him for near three weeks.

What is Hart doing? I thought his model of Mr Clay very good. Has he ever executed it or any thing else? Kellogg, I am glad to learn, has his hands full. I want to see his Eastern sketches & pictures extremely.

Mrs Marsh joins me in kind remembrances to Mrs Powers the children & yourself.

Yours truly

G P Marsh note:H Powers Esq

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