Letter from THOMAS WILLIAM SILLOWAY to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated August 4, 1858.
My Friend Marsh. I came to M. on Monday last as I proposed, and shall return to
Boston on Friday. Things here are going on pretty much as they have been. The
letters of protest that I sent to P. when I was last here were in some respects each
of them heeded. Where he had proposed to use nearly six tons of cast iron in his new
roof trusses, after getting some twenty peices cast weighing about (96 lbs each) he
changed his hand and the rest, are made hollow, thus four tons are .
He has no argument for attempting to put the immense weight there, not even that he
wanted the peices for the big trusses for all are used promiscuously.
2d, he has changed his hand in the idea of putting brimstone into the seams of stone
in the c.
he had done it till I came up last time and foiled it. The fence shows the bad effect the frost has on it. He gave orders to cease using it, and set a man to cutting out what he had put in. Thus you see he is to-day acting under my advice, architect or not. The new trusses that he has made to take the place of mine are so short they land on the walls but little over a foot. My drawings show them 2'6". What think you of his abominations? All these large trusses under the dome resting on the inside of that wall, and almost if not entirely on . All the workmen that dared do it protested, the result has been he has since botched up one set of them by bolting on oak peices to run into the walls. Probably the rest will be fixed in like manner, and
still, He already begins to distrust them and knowing their lack of strength he has given orders to the workmen to build up brick piers under one set of them from the top of the wall of the Reps Hall. This wall as you know stands upon the iron beams Now think of the in the case. A truss is presumed to be like an arch strong only as long as it depends upon itself. To shore up the center of an or thwarts the very purpose of their construction but this is not all. There will be vibrations to those beams, caused by the action of heavy winds on the big dome. If the trusses are permitted to rest with any tolerable weight upon these walls as a necessity in the case the whole of the brick work beneath it will crack. Mr. Bennet, the master mason
came to me yesterday and urged me to prohibit it, he and the rest of the Masons assure me that the work will be injured. There are many other things I am anxious to have altered but am powerless. Our small domes over the stair ways must be dispensed with in consequence of that rod across them unless we can induce him to cut them out. If I may judge by an arch they have put up about the stair ways These nice stairs will be a disgrace to us. The dome question is pretty still, nothing is being done towards striking it out. I hear nothing in regard to it. We averted the evil thus far & must be thankfull for that. The drum framing is nearly raised. And all is going on well. He dares not even so much as to me that my figuring is not right. I see him every day.
Yours trulyT. W. Silloway