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Letter from GEORGE PERKINS MARSH to HIRAM POWERS, dated July 1, 1854.

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Item Description

Title: Letter from GEORGE PERKINS MARSH to HIRAM POWERS, dated July 1, 1854.


  • Marsh, George Perkins, 1801-1882


  • Powers, Hiram, 1805-1873

Source Document

Extent: 1 letter

Genre(s): letter


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, Center for Digital Initiatives, University of Vermont Libraries

Type of Resource: text

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Letter from GEORGE PERKINS MARSH to HIRAM POWERS, dated July 1, 1854., 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 16, 2017)

Letter from GEORGE PERKINS MARSH to HIRAM POWERS, dated July 1, 1854.

Transcribed by : Ellen Mazur Thomson and Ralph H. Orth

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

Published by: University of Vermont. All rights reserved.

Publication Information

Chamounix July 1 1854

Dear Powers

{Will you do me the favour to give Pietro Gai a vetturino from the establishment of Domenico [Darolle?] of Florence, who has been long in my service, when he calls for it, an order on Santucci the tailor for such clothing as he may choose, to the amount of forty francs, & I will arrange it with you through George before I leave Europe.

From Geneva we came hither, intending to spend two days, & then return to Berne by way of the passes of the Tête Noire and the Gemmi, through which Mrs M. must go in a portantina, but we have been detained by bad weather & see no chance of escape at present.

We have however climbed the -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- Flegère, a ridge about 6300 feet high, from which there is a fine view of Mont Blanc, many of his attendant peaks and several glaciers, & afterwards went up to Montanvert and the great glacier of the Mer de Glace. These are objects of stupendous grandeur, & no description can give an adequate idea of their awful sublimity. The excessive steepness of the slopes of this chain, & the multitude of bare and inaccessible needles, which soar above the glaciers to a height not greatly inferior to that of the rounded snow peaks of Mont Blanc itself, are most striking features in this most magnificent scenery, and the broken and shattered surface of the glaciers, and their generally rapid descents render them grander objects than I had expected. A mere field of ice however wide, if tolerably level, & not violently disrupted, would not strike one familiar with Vermont winters as a very wonderful sight, and -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- such I had pictured to myself a glacier though the many descriptions I had read of them ought to have taught me better. A glacier is in fact a vast assemblage of narrow ridges and jagged pyramids of ice, separated by profound chasms, the general inclination of the whole conforming to that of the valley it fills, and consequently rising, at various angles, from 2o or 3o perhaps, to 40o or even 50o, quite up to the head of the ravine. At Chamouni, the glaciers come quite down to the level of the town (3500 feet above the sea) & of course are easily seen to advantage, but though they are within 1½ or 2 miles on each side of the village, they do not seem to affect its climate very seriously.

I shall be glad to hear from you at London, where you may direct, if you please, to the care of Baring Brothers & Co.

Very truly yours

G. P. Marsh

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