Letter from GEORGE PERKINS MARSH to JOHN NORTON POMEROY, dated April 28, 1870.

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Florence Apl 28 70

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Dear Sir

I have received yours of Mch 1870 & am glad that my reply to your former letter had come duly to hand. I appreciate the force of you objections to Mr Powers's proposal, but they do not seem to me insurmountable. The time fixed by Mr P.--two years--would probably in practice be reduced to one. It is very important for his son's success, that he produce something & Powers himself is a man of such industry that he would not allow any thing to under his eye. The period was fixed out of extreme caution in regard to a promise which some possible contingency might defeat the possibility of fulfilling.

I think too that the assurance that the model would come from P's studio & be executed under his advice

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and superintendence would aid much in securing contributions. His reputation was never so high as now as a proof of which I may notice that one of the repetitions of his Greek Slave was sold at auction the other day at Paris for more than 50,000 frs which is probably nearly, if not quite, double the price the possessor originally paid for it.

I do not think P would give a design on paper, which of course would make him responsible for the character of the work, & when we consider the time he would devote to the model, & the high rate at which his labors are paid, the sum proposed is a very moderate compensation, & as it seems to me a very liberal offer.

Powers is now about 65 years of age, & though his professional income is large, yet his expenses are also very large &

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he has a numerous family to aid or support, so that he cannot afford to be as liberal as under other circumstances he might be inclined to be ----

We have been much grieved to hear of the illness of Mrs Henry Loomis, and hope the attack is not of so threatening a character as it has been reported to us. Mrs Marsh is much attached to her and thinks her a woman of extraordinary intellectual gifts, as well as of excellent moral constitution.

Mrs M. suffered a great deal from the inconveniences of railway travel which in Europe are intolerable for persons of little strength--between Havre & Florence, in returning last fall & has not yet recovered from them.

We have great numbers of American trav-

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ellers in Italy this winter & probably receive more visits from our countrymen, at Florence, then we should at Burlington.

Our season is so late this year that we can hardly call it spring, even yet, but hot weather will probably be soon upon us in full force. This climate, in spite of its general mildness, has many drawbacks, & though the soil of Tuscany & of Lombardy is of great fertility, yet drought, hail, floods, the grape disease, the disease of the silk worm & the mulberry, and of the olive, make sad deductions from the crops, & acre for acre, good Vermont pasture & meadow pay as well as the general soil of Italy, not to speak of the better quality of many of our agricultural products. I have not heard from H. Loomis for some time but hope to meet him somewhere in the summer. Mrs Marsh joins me in kind regards to Mrs Pomeroy & yourself

Yours trulyGeo P Marsh

Hon J N Pomeroy.

References in this letter:

Hiram Powers (1805-1873), the most famous 19th century American sculptor and a friend of Marsh's from their early childhood in Woodstock, Vermont. Powers emigrated to Italy in 1837.

The lawyer, John Norton Pomeroy, (1792-1881) was a lawyer and prominent resident of Burlington, Vermont. He held several position in Vermont state government and was named chairman of the Statuary Committee to oversee the construction of the monument placed over the grave of Ethan Allen in Green Mount Cemetery in Burlington.