Letter from LARKIN GOLDSMITH MEAD to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated November 11, 1858.
Hon Geo. P. Marsh
I write to inform you of the successful erection of the Statue on the dome of the State House, and permit me to say it looks grand. It has a better effect than I had anticipated. Everybody seems pleased. I believe even Mr Powers is well satisfied. A bill for an appropriation to Ethan Allen statue not exceeding one thousand dollars has passed through the Senate unanimous, and comes to the house of Representatives tomorrow. I have great hopes that it will pass the House. --
Mr Powers told me yesterday that if I would get your acknowledgment or acceptance
of the Statue he would pay me the sum appropriated. If you feel satisfied with my services I shall feel obliged if you will send me your acknowledgment (which I suppose will be the mind of the rest of the Committee) that I may send it to Mr Powers. I have not made a successful work of it in a pecuniary view but am well satisfied nevertheless.
I shall return to Brattleboro tomorrow
Hoping to hear from you I remain
Very respectfully yoursLarkin G. Mead Jr
References in this letter:
"Agriculture" was the title of the statue designed by Larkin Goldsmith Mead placed on the dome of the new State House building. The statue was executed in wood and had to be replaced in 1938 because the original had deteriorated.
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.
In 1855 the Vermont legislature appointed a committee to be in charge of a monument over the grave of Ethan Allen in the Green Mount Cemetery in Burlington. John Norton Pomeroy was appointed chair and Marsh served with him. Larkin Goldsmith Mead was chosen to create a figure of Allen for the monument. Unable to raise the necessary funds, the project was not completed until 1873. Mead's statue was instead placed on the portico of the State House and another figure, by Boston sculptor Peter Stephenson, surmounted the granite base erected in Burlington.
Larkin Goldsmith Mead Jr.(1835-1910) was a sculptor from Brattleboro, Vermont. although he spent most of his life in Florence. He created the statue of Agriculture that crowns the Vermont State House in 1857, and the statue of Ethan Allen in the same building in 1861. He was also responsible for the statue of Allen in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol and for an elaborate memorial to Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois.