Letter from THOMAS E. POWERS to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated June 6, 1857.
Mr. Marsh --
A letter from Mr. Silloway upon the cost of lithographing our perspective drawing of the new State House has somewhat surprised me He says the expense of putting it upon the stone will be $275-- & 62 cents per copy for printing! It is to be about 20 by 30 inches, showing a large share of the grounds, & printed in colors, & done in the highest style of the art It being a work ordered by the commissioners I thought it proper to apprise you of the expense attending it & to await your order Governor Fletcher is now here, & is rather favorably inclined to it Any order which you may make in relation to it, I will communicate to Mr. S.
In hasteT. E. Powers
References in this letter:
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.
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.