Letter from NORMAN WILLIAMS to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated April 13, 1857.
I have received your favor of the 9'' inst. with the draft of the report of the Committee to His Excellency the Governor. I have examined it and am satisfied with it, and have no matter or thing to propose by way of addition or amendment, and have sent it to Judge Porter for his [revision?] and have desired him to enclose it to you with such comments, or propositions of amendment, as, in his judgment, may seem proper.
I have not seen Dr. Powers since we left Montpelier. Silloway and he did not come together when we left. They were
$300 apart and I urged them to do as trading men are wont to do,--"Split the
difference." I though Powers more inclined to do this than Silloway. On our way home
I sat by the side of Silloway and
conversed with him on the subject all the way to Bethel before he would agree to my proposition. He however, did I agree to it and from Wh. River Junction I telegraphed Powers that Silloway would divide the $300. I do not know what further transpired. Silloway agreed to write to Powers the next day.
I did not say any thing to Powers about the excavation back of the State House. I believe we said it was not necessary that it should be exactly to the number of feet proposed but something might depend on the fissures or strata of the rock. If you thinks proper I would like to have you make some such suggestion to him as that work may be expensive.
Respectfully YoursNorman Williams.
Hon Geo P. Marsh
P.S. I have just learned that Dr Powers is at home I will see him on the subject above mentioned.
References in this letter:
John Porter, (1798-1886), of Hartford, Vermont, was State Senator for the years 1842 and 1843, a probate judge for the district of Hartford for the years of 1850-1886, as well as serving as a commission to oversee the reconstruction of the State House in Montpelier.
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.
Thomas W. Silloway, (1828-1910), was only thirty years old in 1857 when he was chosen architect for the new State House in Montpelier. Silloway was from Massachusetts, and had worked in the office of Ammi B. Young, the architect who designed the previous building. Silloway and Dr. Powers, the superintendent of construction for the 1857 job, had worked together to design and build a new courthouse in Woodstock, Vermont, that burned in 1854.