Letter from J. S. PEIRCE to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated January 6, 1862.

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Burlington Jan 6th 1862

Hon G. P. Marsh

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Dear Sir

Your very friendly letter of Nov 11 was received in due time. We were very much pleased to hear that you had spent so pleasant a summer and sincerely hope you may find nothing during your stay in a foreign land to make time pass more unpleasantly with you.

You mention having made several very pleasant trips into the Alps. I know you must have enjoyed it exceedingly. Especially the trip when Mrs Marsh was carried over the ice among the clouds. How I should have enjoyed being one of the party on that trip. But my excursions are and I fear always will be, pretty much all made between the corner of Pearl & Church & College & Church Streets. I can make that excursion without a guide

You speak of Mrs Marsh's next adventure as likely to be a trip in a balloon from the top of Mt Blanc. If that does not come off before this reaches you, please ask her to slip over this side the water when she gets fairly started and see "the old folks at home." We should like also to have her bring Carrie & yourself along as passengers

I wish it were possible for me to write

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without thinking of the terrible war that is upon us, but as that is impossible I will say a few words about it and let it pass; but really we are so full of war news it is difficult to think of any thing else.

You will undoubtedly hear before this reaches you that our Government have given up to England the Arch traitors, Mason & Slidell. They left fort Warren last friday & took passage in a British Steamer for England. We had all much rather have seen them hung but under the circumstances, nearly the whole country came to the conclusion that it was best best for us to give them up. And hereafter if we shall hold England strictly up to the doctrine she has attempted to establish in his case. If England attempts after this to search our ships, for any purpose whatever we shall pitch into her

We have an army in the field of more than 600,000 men, supported at an expense of two millions dollars a day. How long we can stand this I do not know, but the resources of the country seem wonderful both in money and men. It is believed if it were necessary our army could be doubled by volunteers in a short time. Not a man has been drafted yet.

We are sure to crush the rebellion in a few months if England lets us alone, but she seems very much disposed to find some pretext for aiding the rebels, and if possible to get into a war with us us. If she dont keep hands off we shall fight her and

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the rebels too, and whip them both I believe. Our country is not in a right frame of mind to be whip'd now by any body or every body, and they better not try it

Our glorious flag now floats over a portion of every state in the Union but three, (Alabama Arkansas, & Texas) and we expect it will soon float over them. Galveston has been evacuated, for fear of our fleet which lies near them. Mobile will shortly be in our hands, and our army in Missouri is moving steadily on towards Arkansas. I hope in my next letter to be able to say our flag floats proudly over every state, and that the rebellion is nowhere. I know you will get all this in the papers before this letter reaches you, but I am so full of war pardon me for letting out so much of it

With regard to home matters I will say a few words. Yesterday the first Sabbath in the year, twenty united with our church. Ten by letter & ten on profession of faith. Our annual scty meeting was held Saturday, and every thing is going on prosperously. Debts are paid, the church & scty increasing in numbers (and I wish I could say in graces) All we want now is a good pastor & more to make us a flourishing church. We have a young man preaching for us (Rev Mr Mix) who is well liked, & may be settled, tho many of us are a little shy of young ministers, having had recent experience that way

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Your Church I don't know much about. I believe however they hold their own, but I am not aware that they have increased much since you left. And now Pres. Pease large family are about to leave them I think will find seats for all. You know I dont approve of succession.

Business jogs are here much as usual. Our neighbor Staniford has recently failed, which is I believe the only failure of any consequence since you left. He will have to put ag't in small letters on his sign & go on again

I hope you have received the box containing crinoline c before this. Albert I suppose wrote you that he did not turn up a Capt after all. There is enough without him.

I have recently been to Boston. The little folks inquired a great deal about you, and Aunty M. They will never forget you. All wished to particularly remembered to you & Mrs M

We miss you since you left this time much more then ever before, and really hope you will make up your minds to return in about three years, and settle down and be steady the rest of your lives.

I am fully aware how my letter will read to you, and can only say if I knew how I would write a better letter. We shall be most happy to receive letters from you & Mrs M as often as you have time and inclination to write. I have no not forgotten Carrie and hope to see her smiling face when she returns.

Mrs P & Albert join me in wishing yourself Mrs M & Carrie happiness, [...], and a safe return to your old home

Very trulyYour friend J S. Peirce

[The following, in pencil, appears at the top of the page beginning "Burlington Jan 6th 1862"] President Wheeler continues to grow better. Was in Church last Sabbath,for the first time in many months

References in this letter:

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.

James Murray Mason (17989-1871) of Virginia, Confederate Commissioner to Britain, and John Slidell (1793-1871) of Louisiana, Confederate Commissioner to France, evaded a Federal blockade and escaped to Cuba en route to Europe. Once there they hoped to gain official recognition for the Confederacy and purchase military equipment. On November 8, 1861, the U.S.S. San Jacinto, under the command of Captain Charles Wilkes, intercepted the British mail packet, the Trent, and removed the two men. Wilkes immediately became a hero in the North. The British, however, vigorously protested the action as a gross violation of international maritime law and threatened to enter the war for the South. On December 26th the Lincoln administration agreed to surrender the two men to the British.

Eldridge Mix was the Congregationalist minister in Burlington until 1882 when he accepted a post in Fall River, Massachusetts.

Calvin Pease (1813-1863) served as the president of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College from 1855-1861. He was the first alumnus to fill the position.

A Burlington businessman, Albert G. Peirce ran the J. S. Peirce and Sons, a grocery and agricultural supplies store on Church Street with his father, J. S. Peirce. When the Marshes left for Italy, the family looked after their house and forwarded their mail.

Father of Albert G. Peirce, proprietor of a grocery and agricultural supply business on Church Street in Burlington, he and his family took care of the Marsh's property when they left for Italy.

The Rev. Dr. John Wheeler (1789-1862) was president of the University of Vermont from 1833 to 1848. He offered Baird the chair of Chemistry and Natural History in December 1847.