Letter from NORMAN WILLIAMS to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated December 23, 1857.
I have been much occupied by Court business since the receipt of yours of the 18" and have not, until to day,--since conferring with Judge Porter,--had time to write.
We must leave the ordering of the figure to surmount the dome to you, as we are not likely to meet, as a committee. Judge Porter suggests that we should not exceed the appropriation; and I suppose it will not do to go a dollar beyond it. I presume the appropriation was made under an impression. that structure would be of wood. Mr. Silloway suggested that such a one would be appropriate and would be enduring when painted and gilded.
Mr Mason, the builder of our Court House, whom I saw a few
concurs with Mr. Silloway. He thought wood well put together and thoroughly painted and gilded would last a longtime. I observe that vanes standing high in the air retain their gilding for many years, and upon our old congregational church, after a service of more than fifty years, shows gold tho' it has become dim gold. I suppose a structure of metal would not be gilded. --
After all, both Judge Porter and myself desire you exercise your own taste and judgment in executing this commission and we shall adopt what you propose, keeping within the appropriation
Yours respectfullyNorman Williams.
Hon George P. Marsh
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.
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.
Julian O. Mason had been contractor for the Court House in Woodstock, working with Powers and Silloway.
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.