Letter from ALBERT G. PEIRCE to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated March 12, 1864.
Geo P. Marsh Esqr
Yours of Feb'y 23 arrived last night. We are glad to know of your continued good health. In regard to the missing book I think in your life you must be mistaken for Mother says she "fixed up things" on your table after you left and is positive that there was no such book upon it. I dont know of a single book having been taken from the office except a few that George took and that was not among them
It is barely possible that Mr Torrey may have it but he is so
unwell that I cannot see him and I fear he will never be any better. Miss Wheeler
seems better and I see her out riding once in a while. Mr &
Mrs James Hickok are still at St Paul and I
hear Some talk of their remain[in]g there the coming Summer. Mrs Spooner died yesterday, dont recollect of any more of your acquaintances having died since I wrote before. Mrs Turk (Mrs M will know her) is quite low and fears are entertained as to her recovery. She has had a young child recently. The Hickoks are all about as usual I believe. Town matters are just now quiet but we had an unusually excited town meeting. Rum caused it I suppose, it is the cause of everything. The Maine law friends nominated for County Commissioner a man named Whitney of Williston. Afterward the liberals that is "rummies," nominated Ed Mason of Richmond and elected him. Nobody need go dry now. There were 769 votes cast for commissioner in this town so you may judge how hot a time we had. The usual number is about 300 on such occasions.
Politics I am sorry to say begin to take
too much of the attention of people now. I think if we dont let such matters alone as long as possible we shall have Jeff for our next occupant of the White House.
Chase has just written a letter to his friends and the public
declining to be a candidate. Unless matters change very much during the coming six
months I think Lincoln perfectly sure of a reelection and if so I suppose we shall
not see you very soon again. I should think from your letter that you lived in
Vermont. Two feet of snow sounds rather "Arctic" I think. Our mild weather continues
and the Sugar Makers are very busy in the woods. I should like to send you a sample
of the pure article. The broad lake is open but navigation is not yet resumed. There
has been no crossing for teams this winter here and but a few days that foot
passengers could cross. In regard to
your book I would gladly accept your proposition about dividing the profit or loss if I thought it would be out in time to be of any benefit to me in this world. When this world gets to be what it was intended to be your books will sell. We have just had a lecture from Wendell Phillips of Boston. He of course went father than most of us. Pomeroy left the room he was so mad to think that he should dare find fault with the President. He said some good things among others "that Hunkers never change their opinions, they die, that is the way that God disposes of them." I think that true to the letter. Some of the capitalists of this town are moving to have a full supply of soft water so that all of us may keep clean. The proposition is to force water by means of a wheel from the upper dam at Winooski to the high ground in the rear of the Spooner place into a reservoir holding 3.000.000 gallons, and thence distribute it over the town. It gives 310 feet fall at the surface of the lake. cost $100.000
You may expect to be astonished soon in a way you never dreamed of. The programme of the democratic party in the coming election just begins to leake out. Their "platform" is to be, the immediate, entire and unconditional Aolition of Slavery. They see that with anything else they do not stand a ghost of a chance. Surely the Millennium is approaching when democrats preach Abolition. They always would steal and now they mean to "steal our thunder" I dont know how Hollenbeck and such old fossils as he will swallow the dose but they will of course if it is democratic. The name, democratic sugar coats any pill, however bitter, to such as he. What refuge there is for Rogers I am sure I dont know With steadfast faith he leans on the Herald and hopes for the success of the rebellion It is here that Mr Edmunds will
be our next Congressman if Mr Baxter has provided for all his friends and relations Bishop Hopkins has not said a single word in regard to the "Divine institution" for some time. When Abolition becomes a dogma of the democratic party he will be left out in the cold. I rather think he will tag along after them and wont think the thing quite so Divine after all. Theodore takes the control of the Institute as he calls it.
A cent looks as large around to him as our park. Every body desires to be remembered to everybody,
Yours cA G. Peirce
I have just returned from the Dentists where I left a tooth. I hope you may all be enjoying the same blessing I dont mean the pulling, but the satisfaction afterwards. With love to you all Your fri[e]nd
J S Peirce
References in this letter:
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.
James W. Hickok practiced law in Burlington, for a time with Marsh and was also one of Marsh's brother-in-laws.
Edwin D. Mason (1818-1882) of Richmond, was a member of the House of Representatives (1854-5), and the Vermont State Senate (1858-9). He held many other positions in Vermont government.
Best known as President of the Southern Confederacy, Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) fought in the Mexican War and, after losing the gubernatorial election in Mississippi, was appointed Secretary of War by President Pierce.
Salmon P. Chase (1808-1873), U.S. Secretary of the Treasury 1861-64, had sought the Republican Presidential nomination in 1860 and allowed himself to be put foward as Lincoln's rival for the nomination in 1864, a move which prompted Lincoln to remove him from his post. Later the same year Chase was appointed Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Wendell Phillips (1811-1884) was a wealthy Massachusetts lawyer, an abolitionist, and president of the American Anti-Slavery Society.
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.
John B. Hollenbeck was an attorney in Burlington.
George Franklin Edmunds (1828-1919) began his career practicing law in Burlington. He served in the Vermont State House of Representatives and in the State Senate. In 1866 he was elected to the United States Senate as a Republican to fill the vacancy caused by Solomon Foot's death and served for four terms. He resigned in 1891. Edmunds was married to Susan Edmunds, the daughter of Marsh's sister and Wyllys Lyman, his Burlington friend.
John N. Baxter was superintendent of the Rutland Marble quarry in Rutland, Vermont.
The Right Reverand J. H. Hopkins was Bishop of the Diocese of Vermont.
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.
Father of Albert G. Peirce, proprietor of a grocery and agricultural supply business on Church Street in Burlington, he and his family took care of the Marsh's property when they left for Italy.