Letter from NORMAN WILLIAMS to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated April 12, 1858.
Yours of this day's date is received. --
I understand that Dr. Powers is to go to Boston tomorrow, but, I do not know on what business. Probably he will see Silloway
At the last session of the Legislature a board of Commissioners of the State Library
was appointed of which we are members. As it is expressly provided that no
compensation is to be allowed for services, the republic might receive no detriment
if Gov. Fletcher would call the board together at Montpelier
and some time this month, after the 25." I have no
engagement to hinder my
attending such a convocation until about the 3 of May, but cannot well leave town till the 25" of this month. -- Merrill is a member of the house and if he and Richards, who are the resident members, would [set?] such a call on foot I think it might induce the governor to notify a meeting there is any thing for us to do when we get together. I suppose somebody knows the cause and reasons for providing for this supervision of the library, tho' I know nothing of it.
Yours respectfullyNorman Williams
Hon. Geo. P. Marsh
References in this letter:
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.
Governor Ryland Fletcher, (1799-1885), was born in Cavendish, Vermont. He was the first distinctly Republican Governor of the state of Vermont, and was active in the anti-slavery movement. On January 6, 1857, during his administration, the State House in Montpelier was destroyed by fire, and he appointed a committee to oversee the reconstruction.
William G. Shaw, (1831-1892), was the Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs under Governor Ryland Fletcher.
Joseph R. Richards was the architect who replaced Thomas W. Silloway in early 1858, when Silloway resigned from the position.
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.