Letter from THOMAS WILLIAM SILLOWAY to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated April 27, 1858.
My Friend Marsh
As Powers has arranged to go to Boston to-day there is some
prospect that justice will be delayed. I am in hope that you and the rest will come
as we had anticipated, and look the matter over. As it is there is
head. He is in as one of the Trustees of that Rail Road, and a
meeting being held the state work must till Monday care for itself. We needed him at
the meeting but if it is be that the commissioners as we arranged so
be it. The work and not is on trial. I can hardly bear to think that
there is at this
important juncture to be a delay of a week. I am not sure there . Powers met Collamer in the Ins. Office yesterday and they talked an hour. By advice of you & Merrill I sent Powers a letter informing him of my opinion that I was still Archt. He wrote me back that I was not. I know I am. After he had talked with Collamer he chanced to meet me and we talked in the street an hour, he was remarkably pliable and scared. An impression has been made and we can conquer him provided we work , and do it just . He begins to show signs of fear of . Thank God for that. He now has begun to lie out of whole cloth. He tells me that
he never meant to put one of those old stones in the building. He has laid out much to fix them up and it is only my decided ground that has done a thing. I feel hurt when I think of his consumate meaness And then the most unkind cut of all is he says I told him to patch the columns. He has demanded off to show that to be true and says I once told him so verbaly. Suppose I did, (which is a lie from one end to the other) was he obliged to do it? I asked him that. He replied that he didn't mean to repair them to keep, only to show the commissioners. Is'nt that too palpable a lie to endure a moment? would have been sufficient for that. He has cut all but one small piece
he now begins to talk about my mistakes amp;c. his endorsement of me c. in his report is a refutation of that. He says he didn't write that on the strength of what knew but what you told him. The truth is he knows not what manner of [...] he is of. Please let me hear from you soon. I am waiting now for advice. He will go to Woodstock Saturday probably and get in with the Commissioners there. I do hope they will come here tonight. It is the that is suffering He is now so pliable that if a good wholesale condemnation of his proceedings could go to him from the Com. I am pretty sure he would give up. You are the key stone of the arch. Keep in place and you will keep us all up. Think of the fact that from now till Monday night is directing the work. The Rail Road has his service. Please write to me immediately
Yours truly T. W. Silloway
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.
George W. Collamer, (1803-1865) held several positions in Vermont state government.
F. F. Merrill was a Montpelier lawyer who represented Silloway in his proceedings against Superintendent Powers.
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.