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Letter from HIRAM POWERS to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated May 6, 1865.

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Title: Letter from HIRAM POWERS to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated May 6, 1865.


  • 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 6, 1865., Original located at the University of Vermont's Special Collections in the George Perkins Marsh Collection, filed by date., (accessed January 17, 2018)

Letter from HIRAM POWERS to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated May 6, 1865.

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--

Your letter has just come in--and I am in the Spirit of an answer But flesh is weak and I shall but poorly fulfill the promptings of my very Soul We rec'd Carrie's letter announcing the passing away from the world of our well remembered, and dear visitor your beloved Son He was indeed regarded almost as a member of our own family--and even the little ones of our house shouted their joy when he appeared in the garden entrance But let not this afflict you--on the contrary--it should console you--for little children--on first impressions--do not make mistakes-- and if these impressions continue--and grow stronger--then may we feel assured that "their angels" have not misdirected their affection The Lord rules supreme He knows the proper time--when to give and when to take away--and no one is allowed to remain here longer than for his own good or for the good of others Your Dear Son has been taken care of There was a noble spirit in him -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- which required higher treatment and better judgment than can be found here--and not mortals but angels in Heaven have him in hand now. Such is my faith and so I trust--for I too have children who have passed out of my sight and beyond eyes--blinded with tears --

Much do I feel my own deficiencies and mourn my own delinquincies--how I neglected them--failed in my fatherly duties to them--and all that. And O--that I could have it all back to go over again! But the Lord knows best He has given to us only a short life here and blessed be his name! He has shown to us--what may be summed up in four words--human folly and frailty --

The seed is planted here The earth is the nursery of Heaven It is so we begin. The Lord is the Gardener--and knows best which--and when to transplant in the eternal garden of Heaven There are old trees in the nursery for the sake of seed Good and bad--Straight and Crooked trunks--but all bearing -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- fruit for good or for evil--and it is hopeful to see the young shoots taken away early--for the Lord rules--and would not transplant in undue season The Lord is our Saviour And He who attends to even the fibres of a leaf in the dense forests of South America--so as to make of it a miracle of perfection--though it drops unseen in the wilderness of woods He who cloth[e]s the wood with His own Glory every where and attends to the least of things--will not neglect his highest work and His own image --

Therefore be of good cheer my Dear friend--for your son still lives--shut out though he be from your sight --

There is a Stone outside of the gates of Florence on which I have engraved three names-- "James, Frances, Florence"-- Under it lie all that is of earth--of three of our children We often visit the spot, and stand over their grave--for we know that what we saw and heard is there The bodies and the voice of those we loved--and this is proper -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- not that our grief benefits them, but ourselves It is well to feel alone in the world--we cannot enjoy the heat unless we have felt the cold--we cannot enjoy food without hunger--nor rest without fatigue --

"Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest" Every thing has its opposite--without which there would be nothing for our joys to stand upon --

I know how vain is the attempt to console an affliction like yours--& therefore until now I have not dared to attempt it Your letters seems to invite the sympathies of a friend--not indeed in words, but in Spirit You feel and express your feelings in a tone that touches my very heart- -and my heart responds beat for beat - I have felt what you now feel thrice in my life and it has done me good Bless God, therefore that you too, have a child in Heaven For your noble son had the seed in him--stifled though it may have been by the weeds of the world it was still alive and quick We are all in the same condition more -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- or less--and all must be trimmed The lower branches cut off--and the higher encouraged There is a proper season for every thing It is even so with our Country We had become too fast--our national tree had never been pruned--upon a new and rank soil--it shot up with no outward show of the worm in its wood We have now had to cut it out--and lay bare the very heart of our Country But this too has happened in due season The ghastly wound will heal over and as time moves on leave only an historical trace upon the grand trunk, stronger there than any where else We have cut out Slavery--and now we shall prune our branches--or if we do not, God will, for the Divine providence shapes every thing There are no accidents If evil comes, it is because evil is necessary--under the Circumstances--that good--and the only attainable good--may follow We know that within a given period the same amount of rain falls in any particular place--and doubtless this would be true with the heat and light of the sun--and yet -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- the seemingly confused clouds--the accidental showers--the long rains the drouths, the unusual heats and colds do not appear to be in order Still it UINE>is order as exact and perfect as that the Astronomer finds in the Solar system --

Do we not see this order in the relation of the Sexes? To some are born all males--others all females and others again children of both sexes--but in the aggregate the balance is perfect --

Our nobleman--Lincoln--has not been the victim of an assassin It was Gods will to take him at the proper moment. "For these things must needs be" amp;c. It is true that he fell by the hand of an assassin but that was the way--for a Divine purpose that the Lord elected to take him--and we may seen even with our feeble vision that the felling excited by the manner of his death was necessary Lincoln would have pardoned the wholesale murderers--and thus established a false precedent Johnson stood prepared by the Lord to finish the work so well blocked out--and he will perform the part assigned him -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- He too, may be taken in due time If we could only have faith in the Divine Providence--and confine our anxieties within the limits of our own duty--then we might be cheerful as we should be confident A military man once told me that he never felt afraid to execute any order from his commander--however dangerous it seemed--for he know that his General would take care of him --

I do not presume that you will find any thing new in my remarks I should rather go to you for enlightenment But I have always found it comforting to meet with sympathy--and to hear from another even less than I knew before I have written this as I could catch the time Many visitors are now come and I try to see them all. It is necessary for an artist to do so--and the general rule here --

Mrs Marsh's bust has been some time finished in marble, and you shall have it when and where you like My son has not yet photographed it but will soon He has been very busy of late --

We have had a meeting of Americans here at which resolutions were passed -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- they were drawn up by the Revd Mr Hall a thorough American The copperheads opposed the strong expression of the first resolution--tracing a systematic villiany from the attack on Sumner through the cruelty to union prisoners to the final assassination of Lincoln One member said that "We came here to mourn--and not to speak of political matters" at which I said, If that is the general sentiment then I must beg leave to retire Mr Hall then moved to withdraw the resolutions--which I seconded This caused a general stir No--no--we don't want that--all is right save the first clause cc. ccand so--as after all the kernel was still preserved in the other parts, we passed them unanimously I told some of them that they had skimmed off the cream-- and had made Florentine milk of the resolutions. In Rome--I am told--the Copperheads prevailed- -and that the resolutions were quite inoffensive Even Jeff David could hardly find fault with them. All join in kindest sympathies and regards to you and yours

Yours affectionately,

Hiram Powers note:Florence May 6th 1865

-------------------------------- Page --------------------------------Private P.S.

I have shown my letter to Mr Hall who will write to you today --

I told him of the place, and he says he can obtain the money (to purchase it) from friends of his church

All depends on the suppression of the day Theatre--(Arena) without which nothing can be done--and if that can be done--I would most willingly buy the property myself if not too dear.

The Custodi told me that all could be bought--as it is--for fifteen thousand francs. He was not quite sure of this--but seemed confident If the theatre could be suppressed of course a greater sum could be had for it--but there are great obstacles to a Commercial speculation Both fronts--(ie) the Arena--and the Ball room--have only the right to door way--all -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- above the front, belongs to private individuals--and thus the entire premises are shut in from the two streets--except by door way In the rear there is a garden on which two of the rooms only open--but the widows are very high and so shaded with trees, which by the way--the law cannot prevent--that in summer they are badly lighted. There is no lo[o]k out on the gardens without a ladder--and both these rooms are very damp for want of sun light The trees are as large as forest trees

The whole place was once a convent--and has been disposed of peace meal The upper rooms to one and the lower to another retained by the Govt--and thus cut up in a singular manner--as for example my bathing room belongs to Mr Mazzini--while the narrow passage under it--communicating with my Studio rooms belongs to the Government Indeed the whole premises are like interlocking your fingers, Cogs separate wheels interlocking --

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i realy likrd how you puncuated your letter

- Guest