Letter from THOMAS WILLIAM SILLOWAY to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated April 14, 1858.
The doctor arrived in Boston yesterday, and booked his name at
the Quincy House (where I board) He usualy stops here. As yet I have not seen him,
but presume I shall soon. I wrote to you from Montpelier or somewhere on the way
home, in regard to an architect by the name of Richards who
was at M. at the time the commissioners were deciding in regard to the design. If
you remember Chapman down at Cavendish or Procter'sville was
employed by Richards to work for him with the people of the town. I suspected that
Powers would flee to him for refuge in the event that I did not side
and him. He wrote a letter to Chapman as I wrote to you and sent it
down in the same train that I went in. My opinion was that thinking he could no
longer me, he had written to Chapman to get him
to get Richards into the ring again. My opinion is strengthed to-night for a C. H. Chapman of Cavendish has booked his name. If it is the same one I think that Richards is to be put on the course to run a race at the State's expense. However I do not flinch from duty and shall stick by the ship. I thought I would inform you of this as you might wish to know it. This same Richards went up to Montpelier with letters of introduction from eminent men here, stating that he was a great man, and Chairman of the board of commissioners for remodelling our State House. This is true but in an extremely qualified sense. I have in my possesion the printed reports of the
Commissioners, which states that the roof would be ready to put on such a day. This board Richards was not on. He got in by aid of political friends, but not till the roof was completed, put on, and but little to do with the exception of grading. The finish is iron and was all drawn and being executed long before he was ever head of. I have the printed documents to substantiate what I say. The letters call Richards the Chairman of the Com, but takes entire care to withold the fact that he had nothing to do but clean up c. Powers is probably getting in to a trap, which will hold him tight. God keep him out of new trouble for it would seem he is in enough now. I hope to know more tomorrow and may write you again. I am in a hard place but with proper aid can do much.
I am yours trulyT. W. Silloway
P.S. I am not in regard to Chapman's visit
References in this letter:
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.
Joseph R. Richards was the architect who replaced Thomas W. Silloway in early 1858, when Silloway resigned from the position.
C. (Clark) H. Chapman (1822-1888) was Secretary of State 1855-1859.
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.