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Letter from HIRAM POWERS to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated May 2, 1862.

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Title: Letter from HIRAM POWERS to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated May 2, 1862.


  • Powers, Hiram, 1805-1873


  • Marsh, George Perkins, 1801-1882

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Extent: 1 letter

Genre(s): letter


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Letter from HIRAM POWERS to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated May 2, 1862., Original located at the University of Vermont's Special Collections in the George Perkins Marsh Collection, filed by date., (accessed January 24, 2018)

Letter from HIRAM POWERS to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated May 2, 1862.

Transcribed by : Ralph H. Orth

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

Published by: University of Vermont. All rights reserved.

Publication Information

My Dear Friend Marsh

I had rather that Mrs Marsh would come late than early--as I have a bust engaged within the next two or three weeks--and I dare say, that this would be quite as convenient to her and to you --

I take it, that you are not in earnest about a dinner of "100 plates" -- The bare mention of such a thing, would frighten our Daughter if not our Son in Law--but if you could give them a comfortable little family dinner--I know how much they would enjoy it --

I fully share in your apprehensions about the coming events at York Town -- I do not doubt the will of the Commanding Officer, but as he is yet an untried man on so large a scale, I feel pokerish about his judgement and ability -- A sudden dash--in an unexpected quarter--might prove most disastrous -- Indeed there has been a sortie, but we do not know much about it. The Rebels claim a success! -- And at Corinth, there has been greater loss, I doubt not, than has been acknowledged --

We now hear that the Merimac burst one of her guns--and on that account was obliged to put back -- -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- I am a full believer in Divine Providence. We cannot look ahead with any Certainty but if we look back, we shall see, that we have suffered no unnecessary disasters. The election of Buchannan was a a necessary evil--and so were the atrocities in Kansas -- The Dred Scott decision was a God send -- Firing on Sumpter--was, every shot worth its weight in gold to us, and Bulls run, was another kick on the right spot to the sleeping north--and yet with all this, I am afraid, that we are not fully awake--we are not even now--quite convinced that the South is not in jest--only joking with us, in a rough--but playful manner! -- And our fear is, that we may do something to offend our "Southern Bretheren" There are still among us, many law loving people--who insist--that in dealing with Rebels--we should do nothing--not distinctly provided for--in so many words by the Constitution!

Perhaps--in the Divine Providence--there will be found (pardon me for levity) a few more kicks--just to hasten up--northern determination, or it may be, that southern boots of northern manufacture--are now too much worn to be serviceable, and that our backs are to feel the soothing blandishments of the nigger drivers cat o' nine tails. -- Depend upon it--that we shall suffer no more than is necessary in the Divine Providence--for our good -- For--we have danced to the Southern fiddle -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- these fifty years or more, and it is but right that we should pay the fiddler -- "Every evil has its penalty inscribed upon it" Bad habits are diseases, and much medicine and long suffering are required for a cure -- We have lain with the Devil--broke our fast with him, and in every manner enjoyed his fello[w]ship, acknowledging him as master of the house--and at last, thinking himself--Master indeed, he proposes to divide it with us--taking to himself the front parlour and doors--and giving to us the back rooms and a round about way to the street -- To be sure--he says--while you behave well--with my permission--you may use the front passages--but not otherwise -- In vain we plead, that this arrangement would be very inconvenient--and unfair -- His reply is--"If you dont like it, help yourselves" and in the end, I think we shall help ourselves -- Thus far we have respected the furniture, but we are coming to our proper senses pretty fast. The ebony and mahogany will soon have a smashing up if I am not greatly mistaken -- It will cost us dear--but I think I can see the finger of God in it -- Slavery is doomed --

With love from us all, I am ever affectionately yours,

H. Powers -- note:Florence note:May 2d 1862.

P.S. Our Florence--says that your Carrie is "so much afraid of any thing--not in strict conformity to the rules of the school" (over -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- We have a piece of news which gives me apprehensions -- The French Ministers visit to Richmond -- I take it for granted that the object of the visit is known to or at least suspected by our Government--and that it has little or nothing to do with "Tobacco"

Is it possible, that France has offered her mediation--and we have accepted it? I can hardly think so. But hints have been thrown out, by Washington correspondents of some new--and "grand political movement" Are we about to offer terms to the rebels? and after all that has passed--invite them back to the union? Is the north about to cry--"enough"? -- It is possible that the President of the United States and his officers may do so, for we have seen what Presidents and executives have done--(ProSlavery Presidents and executives) and it may be, that we are to have another example of Presidential Southern sympathy! -- -- -- It is said of musk--that a single grain is sufficient to taint the atmosphere of the largest hall for 30 years. Possibly--we are destined to prove (in the Divine Providence) that the leaven of proslavery--is in the blood of even President Lincoln--and this may have been reserved for the last, and dieing kick of the South at the tenderest part of the north--which is--northern manhood -- We may still need even that, to comprehend our positions and the requirements of it --

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