Letter from G. P. A. HEALY to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated October 16, 1854.
Congratulate your old friend whose family joined him about a week since, he once more feels at home! The children are looking greatly improved by their three months stay at Versailles, happily their Mother is all herself! We sympathized in your sufferings in crossing that dreadful Atlantic, we rejoice that they were confined to sea-sickness, for we are now in great distress at the loss of so may friends who sent down with the Arctic: the Sister of Dr Evans, her Husband and little Girl, Mrs Moulton's eldest daughter, her husband & lovely child were on board, and many of our immediate acquaintances: I nevertheless feel the hope that many more are saved than have been heard of, which hope, I trust may be confirmed by the steamer due to-morrow.
Pardon my stupidity in not recognizing he who has bee of so much service in
art, the decendent of Rubens you alluded to in your letter from England; I am greatly touched by your delicate present, which I peruse always with pleasure & profit when I have a few spare minutes at my Atelier. How well Rembrant is spoken of!
Until my Daughters are provided for, I fear I must give up the East, but I shall make a great effort to go to Spain next Spring if it is only for a few weeks.
Your Son has not yet arrived in Paris, we expect him every day. -- I expect to be busy this winter, I have enough to do to get ready to return home next August.
Mrs. Rossiter has presented to her Husband a Son & a Daughter four weeks since last Thursday, they are all doing well, although she has greatly suffered.
In my next perhaps I may be able to give you a little gossip at present, Must hasten to my studio. Our affectionate regards to Mrs. Marsh which includes yourself & niece.
Sincerely yoursGeo. P. A. Healy
References in this letter:
The Philadelphia dentist, Thomas Wiltberger Evans (1823-1898) moved to Paris in 1846. He became the official dentist of Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie.
Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) the great 17th century Flemish painter.
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) the great Dutch painter, etcher, and draftsman.
Carrie Marsh Crane, Caroline Marsh's niece, daughter of her brother Thomas, accompanied the Marshs for a number of years during his tenure as minister to Italy. She died in a shipwreck in 1874.
The American portrait painter, George Peter Alexander Healy (1813-1894), was one of the most popular artists of his time. He is known for his paintings of presidents, statesman, and members of Society on both sides of the Atlantic. A native of Boston, he studied in France under Antoine-Jean Gros and established a studio in Paris. In 1840, the U.S. Minister to France, General Lewis Cass, introduced Healy to King Louis Phillippe, and his reputation was established in Europe. In all, Healy made thirty trans-Atlantic trips but settled in Chicago at the behest of a wealthy Illinois businessman, William Butler Ogden.