Letter from G. P. A. HEALY to CAROLINE CRANE MARSH, dated January 25, 1873.
My dear Mrs. Marsh,
I beg to send you the pleasant news that my daughter is to be married on the 14 of next month to M. Charles Bigot, un grand prix d'Athens: thus you see he is a man of letters. He is highly satisfactory to us all, especially to Mary!
At last I have all my fifteen large cases from Rome. I wish you could see how well my
Atelier is arranged, when you next visit Paris I hope we may see you in it and also to
show you our nice grand children playing in the garden. I have about finished my picture
of the Peace Makers; they tell me if I make a good picture of M. Thiers, who is to give me his first sitting to day, it will give me a good start here.
We all miss you & yours greatly this winter. Our boy is doing extremely well in his studies.
Mrs. Healy & the girls join me in affectionate remembrances to you Mr. Marsh and Miss Crane.
Ever Sincerely your friendGeo. P. A. Healy
References in this letter:
General Willliam Tecumseh Sherman told Healy about a meeting held toward the end of the war, when he, General Ulysses S.Grant, and Admiral David D. Porter met with President Lincoln on board the River Queen to prepare for the coming peace. Healy began a large group portrait based on this incident in America and completed it in his studio in Rome in 1868.
Historian, journalist and politician, Adolphe Thiers (1797-1877) was prime minister under the Orleans Monarchy. A conservative, he is remembered for his bloody suppression of the Paris Commune (1871).
Carrie Marsh Crane, Caroline Marsh's niece, daughter of her brother Thomas, accompanied the Marshs for a number of years during his tenure as minister to Italy. She died in a shipwreck in 1874.
The American portrait painter, George Peter Alexander Healy (1813-1894), was one of the most popular artists of his time. He is known for his paintings of presidents, statesman, and members of Society on both sides of the Atlantic. A native of Boston, he studied in France under Antoine-Jean Gros and established a studio in Paris. In 1840, the U.S. Minister to France, General Lewis Cass, introduced Healy to King Louis Phillippe, and his reputation was established in Europe. In all, Healy made thirty trans-Atlantic trips but settled in Chicago at the behest of a wealthy Illinois businessman, William Butler Ogden.