Letter from AUSTIN JACOBS COOLIDGE to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated January 13, 1859.
Hon Geo. P. Marsh22 University Place, New York
Yours of 8 inst was duly received with proofs of Burlington, for which you have my thanks. I send as you request proofs of Montpelier and Woodstock. In reference to the former, all I have said about the State House is to give its form and size, without a word upon the unpleasant controversy which has caused a good deal of warm feeling. Mr Richards, the architect, whose office is but a stone's throw from mine, and who is also a neighbor, furnished me the dimensions. Dr Powers also I consulted. --
In reference to Woodstock, I sent the article to Hon Norman Williams, and had a good deal of correspondence with him, and trust the facts are correct. He also furnished me a beautiful ambrotype of the Park, and phot. of the Powers house, both of which have been very faithfully engraved, and present a striking likeness to the original. The Powers house was taken last Autumn, & the Park, last Spring.
And now I have a word of inquiry to make respecting another matter.
I am about to publish in an appendix to our work, some tables giving the Presidential
torial votes in , and from the first.
The two first I have complete: and am not willing to give up the last, without a more careful examination. I made arrangement with the Secretary of State to furnish them--or rather the Dep. Sec., Mr Willard, at Montpelier. He stated that the papers were put away in boxes, and in much confusion, but he would make the attempt to furnish these statistics. Day before yesterday, I had the misfortune to receive a letter from him stating that he had abandoned the work in despair: that he could find nothing.
The Journal of the Assembly should certainly give the Gubernatorial vote: and I
should suppose the Presidential would be recorded also. -- Thompson, gave, in the History, the Gubernatorial for a part of the time,
from 1800 to 1842. He have taken it from the newspapers, but I should
suppose had access to something better. However, I do not know that I ought to
trouble you with the matter; but I have thought of one more source of
information.--the Tribune Almanac. I have that for 1858-9,
but do not know how far it goes back: at least fifteen years, and perhaps much more.
I suppose we might make our table complete as far back as this goes; but I have not
access to it here, as I do not suppose it is to be found in any public library in
Boston. I would purchase a set, if one could be obtained. If you could aid me with
any information, on the point,
I should value it much. This is a matter of considerable interest in such a work, and one that has never been done, so far as I am aware, by anybody. I have Maine and N.H. complete, and it would be a pity if Vermont could not be added to the list. I do not like to "put my hand to the plough & look back." If you can, without too great trouble, find a complete set in the Astor or any library from which the few items I desire might be taken, or find that I can obtain a set, please inform me.
All that I wish is, to give the aggregate vote for each state, the agregate number for each candidate, and the scattering in gubernatorial votes, as they do not occur in Presidential. In my returns from the other states, I have the of ; but I do not expect these, if the Tribune Almanac is my only source of information. --
Please reply as soon as conveniently possible,
Yours very respA. J. Coolidge --
References in this letter:
Joseph R. Richards was the architect who replaced Thomas W. Silloway in early 1858, when Silloway resigned from the position.
Dr. Thomas E. Powers, (1808-1876), of Woodstock, Vermont, was appointed by Governor Fletcher to be the Superintendent of Construction of the 1858-1860 project, to build a new State House in Montpelier to rebuild the structure burned in 1857. He and the architect, Thomas W. Silloway, were soon at loggerheads over their roles in the project. Powers became State Senator in 1861.
Norman Williams, (1791-1868) was a State Senator in 1854 and 1855 before he was named by Governor Fletcher, to the committee which oversaw the construction of the new State House in Montpelier, to replace the building destroyed by fire in 1857.
Charles W. Willard (1827-1880) was Secretary of State from 1855 to 1857 and in 1860 served in the Vermont senate.
Zadock Thompson, History of Vermont, natural, civil, and statistical, in three parts. Burlington: C. Goodrich, 1842.
The Tribune almanac and political register. New York, Greeley & McElrath, 1856-.
A. J. (Austin Jacobs) Coolidge was a publisher as well as the author of several books including History and Description of New England: Vermont with J. B. Mansfield. Boston: A. J. Coolidge, 1860.