Letter from ALBERT G. PEIRCE to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated June 29, 1866.
Geo P. Marsh Esqr
Your letter was duly recd and we were all glad to hear of your continued health. We are all about as usual, I think father and mother are better since my family left them alone as they have nothing to trouble them. My baby is quite healthy, just talks a little and is the tyrant of the house. His grand father lets him do just as he likes consequently he is the prime favorite
Father has sold his lot on the hill to Mr Geo Francis for $700. and with that he
releases the mortgage from the old place. I think it will be the happiest day of his
life when the papers are all fixed. My wifes father Mr Benjamin died last March in
Bridport. Our Collector Clapp has been removed and Gen Stannard reigns in his stead.
We are having the hottest of times over our Senators. We had a Union ca[u]cus here
last evening to nominate delegates to the county convention next week. We are
divided into Poland men and Morrill men, or otherwise into Morrill and
Morrill men. At the caucus
last evening over four hundred votes were cast and the Poland ticket received thirty one majority. I think the contest between M & P is virtually settled. Morrill will get three votes to Polands one. Every Copperhead Irishman is a Poland man.
I did think Mr Edmunds sure of his seat but I begin to fear for him. Rumors from the knowing ones say that Gov Smith has entered the field and joined hands with Morrill
If so his influence with the CRR (which governs us) will be hard to beat. I wish you were here now for you could easily beat the field. Unless new issues arise my private opinion is that our next Senators will be Morrill and Smith and P Baxter our next M.C. You will see by the papers the doings of our state convention
Our national affairs are getting worse and worse I fear. Our new J. Tyler or the "Policy" man as he is called has pretty much gone over to the Democrats by them of course to be set aside when they have got through with him.
Isaac Nye remarked of him "that he did not think much of the tailor" and most loyal
men agree with Issac. The great Union party still remain true and the battle of .68
will be by them on a broader and juster platform than ever
befor[e]. "Equality for
all before the law." The "Finnigan" war is over, no thanks to the "Kanucks" however for had not U.S. put his foot on the scheme I think the Irishmen would have captured Canada in six months. Such a terror as has existed there for the past six months is almost incredible and I assure you it has done us a world of good to us here for we remember the St Albans affair. The report of the Canadian minister says the war cost them $1.100.000., rather more then they got from their robbing trip to St A.
It was an advantage to all loyal men here whichever side got the best of it for the Irish were all Copperheads during the war and John Bull certainly wasnt our warmest friend
The last steamer brings news that war has actually begun on your side of the World.
The mass of the people dont know any of the causes but all that Europe takes her turn and we look on awhile and see them one another for awhile.
We can return some of the excellent advice they gave us a year or two since. Please remember us all to Mrs M and believe me
YoursA. G. Peirce
I think if you should drop into our next Legislature you would have matters your own way
References in this letter:
Luke Potter Poland, (1815-1887), from Westford, Vermont, was a both a U. S. Senator (1865- 1875) and member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1883-1885).
A native of Strafford, Vermont, Justin Smith Morrill (1810-1898), was a Whig who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1855 to 1867 and the U.S. Senate from 1867 until his death in 1898. He was the author of the great land grant bill that bears his name and became law in 1862. Morrill was a Smithsonian Regent (1865-1898) and a trustee of the University of Vermont (1865-1898).
Copperheads were Northern Democrats opposed to the Civil War.
George Franklin Edmunds (1828-1919) began his career practicing law in Burlington. He served in the Vermont State House of Representatives and in the State Senate. In 1866 he was elected to the United States Senate as a Republican to fill the vacancy caused by Solomon Foot's death and served for four terms. He resigned in 1891. Edmunds was married to Susan Edmunds, the daughter of Marsh's sister and Wyllys Lyman, his Burlington friend.
John Gregory Smith (1818-1891), head of the Central Vermont Railroad, was governor of Vermont from 1863 to 1864.
Portus Baxter (1806-1868), from Brownington, Vermont, was elected on the Republican ticket to the U.S. House from 1861-1867.
James Manning Tyler (1835-1926) of Brattleboro, was elected to the U.S. Congress from 1879 to 1883. He later served on the Vermont State Supreme Court.
Members of the Fenians, or the Irish Republican Brotherhood, a secret society committed to the overthrow of the British government, assembled in St. Albans on June 1, 1866. Eventually numbering 1,200 men under the command of General spear, they invaded Canada on June 7th but were forced to withdraw south. Major Gibson and General Meade, under orders from President Johnson arrived in St. Albans at the same time. American troops disarmed the Fenians and put them on trains going south.
In the only Confederate foray into New England, 26 Confederate soldiers boarded a train in Montreal and on October 19, 1854 claimed possession of St. Albans. They robbed local banks of $200,000 and escaped back into Canada. In the end, one civilian was killed and another wounded. The goal was to raise money and create tension between the United States and Canada
A Burlington businessman, Albert G. Peirce ran the J. S. Peirce and Sons, a grocery and agricultural supplies store on Church Street with his father, J. S. Peirce. When the Marshes left for Italy, the family looked after their house and forwarded their mail.