Letter from ALBERT G. PEIRCE to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated March 7, 1867.
Geo P. Marsh Esqr
The Ghost of MCracken is laid, the Tenure of Office bill passed over the veto of Andrew the 2, the Reconstruction bill and the country draws a long breath for the first time this many a day.
Business is dull money close consequently your humble servant has nothing to keep
him out of mischief but write letters. One Congress passeth away but another cometh
worse (for rebels) than the first. The rebels just begin to see that the sooner they
settle the better it will be for them, for we Radicals give the screw one more turn
every election. All decent people feel very much disgraced to think that such a cur
as the infamous MCracken is should have recd the slightest attention from
our Secretary of State. The old question! "Who
struck Billy Patterson" is now obsolete and! "Who is MCracken is now
asked, but nobody knows. Affairs about this place remain much as when I wrote
before. Your brother has been very sick. Dr Marsh said "the sickest man he ever saw
get well" He is now about and is improving. Mrs Edmonds is
improving and will soon be about. Miss Lucie Wheeler seems better
than usual this winter. The Torreys are also well. Mrs Wheeler gives public receptions to her friends every Monday evening which are very pleasant. A good many nice people go there besides . I met our new President (of the college) there with his lady. He is a brisk dapper little man she ill dressed, silent and therefore either a fool or wiseacre and I could not make out which. We, in this vicinity have had quite a mild winter but over the country generally it has been very severe. Our lake has not frozen across yet and the ice crop, usually pretty certain here, is almost a failure
Our election passed off quietly and as the Axes are all ground matters are very quiet.
The political "slate" for the state is made up I understand and John B. Page heads it for Gov with some "soldier" for Lieut Gov. If you
have been overrun with Americans heretofore prepare for a general stampede from this
side next summer. All sorts of cattle are going, quite a number from this town. Look
out for the great American Rinder Pest. The great Swindle, denominated the Bankrupt
law has passed, one lie pays all your debts and leaves you very likely, a fine
balance to travel in Europe with, to study the culture, fine arts, grand Masters c c
of the old world, "Great fun for the travellers but death to the creditors," as the
frog said to the boy
when he killed him." Our "coppery" postmaster here has been rejected by the Senate consequently there is a fresh scramble for the office and petitions c c are the order of the day. Every body wants some office now-a-days and not to be looking for one is to loose caste. How to get the most for doing the least is now the motto, and the achievements of some in that direction would astonish you. Mrs M's letter was duly recd and we are all glad to know that she is so well.
Mother proposes to answer it soon, Helen is still here, and is just the same as ever. My wife, and baby too, (now most three years old) desire to be remembered
Hoping that you may soon receive a copy of the Tenure of Office bill and have it posted in a conspicuous place, and that all the MCrackens may receive their just rewards
I remainA. G. Peirce
References in this letter:
In 1867 Congress passed, the Tenure of Office Act despite the veto of President Andrew Johnson. The act provided that all federal officials whose appointment required Senate confirmation could not be removed without the consent of the Senate.
On March 2nd, Congress, under Republican control, passed the Reconstruction Act establishing the military administration of former Confederate states and giving voting rights to former slaves.
A Whig, William Henry Seward (1801-1872) was governor of New York and U.S. Senator before he became Secretary of State under Presidents Lincoln and Johnson.
Susan Edmunds was Marsh's niece and the wife of Senator George Franklin Edwards.
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.
President James B. Angell (1829-1906) was the tenth president of the University of Vermont; he later became president of the University of Michigan.
John B. Page (1826-1885) of Rutland, Vermont was governor in 1867 and 1868.
Copperheads were Northern Democrats opposed to the Civil War.
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.