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Letter from HIRAM POWERS to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated June 12, 1866.

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Item Description

Title: Letter from HIRAM POWERS to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated June 12, 1866.


  • Powers, Hiram, 1805-1873


  • Marsh, George Perkins, 1801-1882

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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Preferred citation

Letter from HIRAM POWERS to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated June 12, 1866., Original located at the University of Vermont's Special Collections in the George Perkins Marsh Collection, filed by date., (accessed November 25, 2017)

Letter from HIRAM POWERS to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated June 12, 1866.

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

Florence June 12th 1866--

Honble George P Marsh

My kind friend,

It has occur[re]d to me that it may not be too late to write to our Vermont Representative in Congress on the subject of our last conversation -- Possibly our law might be modified before the present session of Congress closes -- I would say to him that our present law--which was intended to benefit american artists abroad is likely in the end, to defeat its own purpose--and that it has already given--in my opinion just cause of offence --

I would say also--that many years ago, I wrote to Honble Wm C. Preston--Senator from South Carolina--complaining of this law, and requesting him to have it amended in a manner--not to discriminate twixt native and foreign artists -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- That highly gifted Gentleman and friend--did what he could--but succeeded only in relieving native artists from the duty imposed--for as the law then was, we too had to pay the duty --

I am afraid that such works as are produced by labourers will still be liable to the duty imposed on works of Luxury -- For surely--a highly ornamented tea pot--watch--a beautiful piece of lace amp;c amp;c will still be subject to heavy duty--and doubtless copies of vases--statues and pictures will still be so taxed--while original works of genuine art, and ULIINE>duplicates of them--not copies--by "Tom Dick and Harry" ought in my judgement to go free to America--as they do to England and some other enlightened Countries --

The Italian Government is right in complaining of our law as it now stands--but perhaps It will wait for an amendment -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- before taking measures, of retaliation which, however just in themselves, would bear upon perhaps not more than half a dozen individuals--all of whom--as I know wish well for the Cause of Italy and without speaking for them unconsulted--but for myself alone, would do all in their power to promote it --

The cause of Italy--is still the great American cause--triumphant at home--and as we hope--to be equally successful in the old world --

I wish to live here and long enough to shake hands with a people worthy of the crown of civil liberty as th[e]y have already proved themselves to be -- Pray give me the exact address of our Vermont representative and any hints that may occur to your better judgement, and believe me ever your affectionate friend,

Hiram Powers

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