Letter from ALBERT G. PEIRCE to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated January 25, 1864.
Geo P. Marsh Esqr
After I wrote you last I received a letter from Scribner saying he should not send your books till the first of Feb'y or March. In consequence of this I have not yet sent your things to N.Y but have just got them together and shall get them off tomorrow or next day. I thought they would be just as well here as to be lying about Scribners for a month. The "Grim Worterbuch" is not in the library. We have searched thoroughly for it and it cannot be found. The other books I have found and they will go with the other things. I could not get a leather covered Register or should have sent it. We are all in usual health I believe and as usual scrambling for the Almighty dollar which as usual keeps out of our reach. Your last letter seemed to have a blue tinge in regard to our national affairs. You have doubtless before this heard better news. .
Taxes are awful, but still such men as Fletcher to whoom a dollar looks as big as a wagon wheel, say "put it on we are bound to fight it out" and when such as he are willing to pay you may judge what decent people are willing to do.
We have had a very mild winter here so far with just snow enough to get along and no more. The
mercury has been to zero but once or twice and our cold snap was only 13
below that point. West and south the weather has been very severe. To day the sun is shinning brightly Mercury at 40.
Town matters are very quiet just now. All our men for the last call have been raised and sent to the front but still the town is filled with soldiers from Artillery, Infantry, Sharp Shooters, Invalid Corps and every branch of the service It looks strange to see so many blue coats even to me and I think would look much more so to you, tis so different from when you left. Gov Smith is moving most of the military business of this state from Bratteboro to this place. He of course is quite popular about here. The great bulk of our veterans are reenlisting under the stimulus of large bounties and the hope that the war will soon end. I think we shall have a larger army in the field next summer than last. The negroes have proved themselves so capable that people begin to be willing that they should help a little which they seem disposed to do. They make first rate soldiers and I had rather have a dozen of them killed than to suffer that way myself. Everything seems to indicate that Abraham will be our next President for we are all convinced that he right and all his prominent measures are very popular. He never steps backward. We still have Mr Mix to preach for us and people are as well satisfied as usual. Mr Torrey lies very low, his family have no hopes of his ever being much better
Miss Wheeler is just about as usual, able to be out some of the time but chiefly confined to
her room. Miss Rebecca is spending the winter in Boston I believe I met one of your intimate
friends this morning, one that
always enquires "Antiquary Stevens," he seems to enjoy the best of health. There is some talk of building an immense hotel here next summer, one that will cost $200.000 but I am afraid the funds will not be forthcoming for the enterprise. Mr Pomeroy still lives and now thinks ought to invent a machine to sharpen rasors as he finds it difficult to keep his in order. I believe I wrote you that Mr Brooks of N.Y. bought the Van Ness farm. Capt [Marrin] has bought the O Grady place. You used to write of the high price of fuel in Italy, we are almost up to you. Wood at $6.00 to $8.00 per cord, Coal at $10. to $12 per tin makes us feel quite fashionable here. White Sugar 20 cts Brown Sugar 16 cts Butter 30 cts a good pair of Pants $12.00c c "God save the rich the poor can beg." The new National Currency just begins to come around. It is very neat in appearance but the execution is not equal to the as the Irishmen call them. The government currency has taken the lead of all others. The legal tender notes are hoarded as gold used to be by the Irish. No large amount of them can be got except by paying a small premium It looks now as if you would not get the things you have ordered before the 1 of April unless book should be got out sooner. If as you say there are quotations in it from me, I shall expect my share of the profits arising from the sale of it. That is no more than right I think. Edward Symans Mother is to be buried tomorrow afternoon. I did not know that she was sick till I saw her death in the paper
Jan'y 28 The box has gone to Scribner There is in it 1 can Peaches 1 can Peas and a hoop skirt I believe beside the things you ordered. Sedgwicks 6 Corps the one of the army of the Potomac and also the largest, has just gone to Knoxville which means something. I have just seen in the papers that our forces have again been driven into that place by Longstreet who has been heavily reinforced
But I have no fears of the result for we are sure to beat them in the end
Yours cA. G. Peirce
References in this letter:
Charles Scribner (1821-1871) founded a publishing house 1846 that became Charles Scribner's Son in 1870. He first published the Marshs' books in 1860: Caroline Crane Marsh's Wolfe of the Knoll, and other poems and George Perkins Marsh's Lectures on the English Language. In 1864 Scribner published Marsh's Man and Nature.
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.
John Gregory Smith (1818-1891), head of the Central Vermont Railroad, was governor of Vermont from 1863 to 1864.
Eldridge Mix was the Congregationalist minister in Burlington until 1882 when he accepted a post in Fall River, Massachusetts.
Considered the premier American botanist of his day, John Torrey (1796-1873) was a professor of chemistry and botany. Plants collected on Smithsonian expeditions were routinely sent to him for description and classification. He and Baird were close friends.
A native of Vermont, Henry Stevens (1819-1886) was a bibliographer and bookdealer noted for his bibliography of early Americana.
The lawyer, John Norton Pomeroy, (1792-1881) was a lawyer and prominent resident of Burlington, Vermont. He held several position in Vermont state government and was named chairman of the Statuary Committee to oversee the construction of the monument placed over the grave of Ethan Allen in Green Mount Cemetery in Burlington.
Cornelius P. Van Ness (1782-1852) represented Burlington in the state Congress, served as Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court and governor from 1823 to 1825. Marsh was one of his political proteges.
James Longstreet (1821-1904) Confederate general from South Carolina.
A Burlington businessman, Albert G. Peirce ran the J. S. Peirce and Sons, a grocery and agricultural supplies store on Church Street with his father, J. S. Peirce. When the Marshes left for Italy, the family looked after their house and forwarded their mail.