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Letter from GEORGE PERKINS MARSH to CHARLES ELIOT NORTON, dated July 2, 1866.

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Title: Letter from GEORGE PERKINS MARSH to CHARLES ELIOT NORTON, dated July 2, 1866.


  • Marsh, George Perkins, 1801-1882


  • Norton, Charles Eliot

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Extent: 1 letter

Genre(s): letter

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Type of Resource: text

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Letter from GEORGE PERKINS MARSH to CHARLES ELIOT NORTON, dated July 2, 1866., Original located at the University of Vermont's Special Collections in the George Perkins Marsh Collection, filed by date., (accessed January 20, 2018)

Letter from GEORGE PERKINS MARSH to CHARLES ELIOT NORTON, dated July 2, 1866.

Transcribed by :

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

Published by: University of Vermont. All rights reserved.

Publication Information

Florence July 2 1866

My dear Sir

I have to thank you for your kind letter of June 3, as well as for another received some months since and which I fear I have left unanswered. In reply to your inquiries about our health, I am happy to say that I am well in all respects except a little lameness from rheumatism which I have vainly attempted to cure by the vapor-baths of the grotto of Monsumano near this city. I do not mind the annoyance of rheumatism except as it disables m[e] for mountaineering, which is much the greatest material pleasure I have left; but the reluctance of the government to allow me to leave my post, even for a month's recreation in the Italian Alps, is so strong, that I would probably feel obliged to renounce this enjoyment, if I were even as good a climber as Tyndall. Mrs Marsh had a winter of much suffering, but has been somewhat relieved by hot baths. I applied for leave of absence for a sufficient time to enable her to consult an eminent physician at Paris. This was -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- granted, indeed, but in terms almost amounting to a refusal, and we shall not avail ourselves of the permission unless her symptoms become again more threatening.

I see with much satisfaction that the Senate and House have agreed upon a plan of reconstruction which I hope the administration and the States may accept. I should have preferred a plan, which provided expressly for reorganisation of the state governments by conventions elected by the people & which should recognise the principle of an educational test applicable ultimately both to negroes and to whites; but this scheme, if adopted, will work great good, if not all the good we have a right to ask. I am particularly pleased with the section which excludes prominent rebels from official preferment. Political ambition having been with most of them the temptation to their crime, they are most justly punished by being deprived of the prize they hoped as a reward for treason.

I am extremely obliged for the kindness -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- and partiality which leads some of my friends to think me a fit person to succeed Mr Foote. But in the first place, Mr Edmunds, now occupying that position, is the husband of my only niece, and is a personal friend to whom I am under great obligations. I could not by any means be a candidate against him. There is a better reason still. He is now in the prime of life, a lawyer of the very first rank, thoroughly sound politically, and of a great deal of parliamentary talent. He will make a far more useful senator than I, and besides, a post in the senate would deprive me of all opportunity of turning to account any qualifications I may possess for other things. I much prefer remaining where I am--a point however, of which I have no assurance--and I am convinced I can work more and longer in this climate than in our own. The time of labor for a man of sixty five must be short anywhere, but I think I should probably abridge even that by a residence at Washington.

The account you give of your conversation with a prominent statesman is most interesting, but does not surprise me, though certainly it would be -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- unexpected to many of his old political associates. I find his views not in the least irreconcilable with the judgment I had long since formed of his tendencies.

I am engaged on an article for the N. A. R. in which I shall notice the Carte d'Arborea. These are a collection of professedly medieval writings brought [...] one by one by an exmonk in Sardinia & sold to the Univ. of Cagliari. This gentleman does not say how he came by them and the question is whether he forged them or only stole them. I am rather inclined to acquit him of theft, but if guilty, would pardon him in consideration of the value of the papers, if genuine, which I much doubt. You will find them in the library of the University at Cambridge --

I am sorry to hear that Mr Ticknor is poorly & I hope he will soon recover his wonted strength.

What is Lowell's "Commemoration Ode"? I have not seen it. I find it almost impossible to get anything but newspapers from the U.S. & am much in the dark as to our modern literature

Mrs Marsh joins me in kindest regards to your mother & sisters, as well as to Mrs Norton & yourself

Yours very truly

G P MarshC. E. Norton esq

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