Letter from JOHN NORTON POMEROY to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated February 6, 1871.

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Burlington; 6 Feb 1871.

Hon. George P. Marsh,

My dear sir, I write you on the 1 and 28 Nov last, on the subject of the Ethan Allen Statue, and allowing for all the mischances of the mail from the disturbances abroad, I had hoped for an answer ere this, and began to fear that this subject was beginning to assume the proportions of a great grasshopper to you, but I beg you not to yield to it, and to give me the benefit of your aid and advice. In my last letter I enclosed to you a photograph of the statue, by P. Stephenson of Boston, which is the best I have ever seen, and which is highly approved by all the gentlemen of taste to whom I have shown it. I sent a copy to M Edmunds at Washington, and he sent me in response $100. from the Vermont delegation. A M Taplin, a very ingenious worker in stone, who worked with Mead on the Montpelier Statue, has undertaken to make a working model, an exact reproduction of this design, of the same hight of the Mead Statue, without compensation, and if approved, he, backed by I. P. Harrington, is to make and place upon the Monument, a granite Statue to correspond, with the necessary pedestal, complete, for $2000. I have paid to the widow of Stephenson $100. for the design, and I hope to have enough, over and above the expense of the Statue, to erect a suitable enclosure of iron around the monument. I feel confident of a first rate realization of the design in granite, and I cannot but hope it will have your approval.

With the average temperature quite moderate, we have had many days as cold [as] we have ever know. We have had to mourn the loss of our Son in Law, Lewis H. Wheeler, who died the last month. My wife is now at [...], Md. with our bereaved daughter, Mary, who is left with three little ones and the prospect of another. M W. was a man very much esteemed and respected when he lived. The lake is completely frozen but we have but little snow, not six inches. Pray write me soon and with very kind and respectful regards to Mrs Marsh believe me yours very truly,

John N. Pomeroy.

References in this letter:

In 1855 the Vermont legislature appointed a committee to be in charge of a monument over the grave of Ethan Allen in the Green Mount Cemetery in Burlington. John Norton Pomeroy was appointed chair and Marsh served with him. Larkin Goldsmith Mead was chosen to create a figure of Allen for the monument. Unable to raise the necessary funds, the project was not completed until 1873. Mead's statue was instead placed on the portico of the State House and another figure, by Boston sculptor Peter Stephenson, surmounted the granite base erected in Burlington.

On July 19, 1870, France declared war on Prussia, starting the Franco-Prussian War, which would be lost in 1871 by France. Prussian statesman, Prince Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismark wanted to unify Germany under Prussian control, while eliminating French power over the region. Napoleon III sought to reclaim French power.

The sculptor Peter Stephenson (1823-c.1860) of Boston specialized in cameos, portrait busts, and idealized figures.

George Franklin Edmunds (1828-1919) began his career practicing law in Burlington. He served in the Vermont State House of Representatives and in the State Senate. In 1866 he was elected to the United States Senate as a Republican to fill the vacancy caused by Solomon Foot's death and served for four terms. He resigned in 1891. Edmunds was married to Susan Edmunds, the daughter of Marsh's sister and Wyllys Lyman, his Burlington friend.

Larkin Goldsmith Mead Jr.(1835-1910) was a sculptor from Brattleboro, Vermont. although he spent most of his life in Florence. He created the statue of Agriculture that crowns the Vermont State House in 1857, and the statue of Ethan Allen in the same building in 1861. He was also responsible for the statue of Allen in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol and for an elaborate memorial to Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois.

Ira P. Harrington owned the "Harrington Quarry" in Barre, Vermont. It was one of two quarries that supplied granite for the Vermont State House.

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.