Letter from WILLIAM GOODHUE SHAW to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated March 11, 1857.
I am directed by His Excellency, Gov Fletcher, to Communicate to you the information, you have been appointed one of the Committee of three, to prepare a plan according to which the rebuilding, repairs and improvements of the State House are to be made, as provided for by an Act of the General Assembly of this State, entitled "An Act providing for rebuilding the State House" approved Feb 27 1857 --
The Governor has appointed, as your Associates on said Committee, Hon. Erastus Fairbanks of St Johnsbury, and Hon John Porter of Hartford.
The appointment of Superintending Commissioner, provided for by the third section of said Act, has been conferred upon Hon Thomas E. Powers of Woodstock.
I am Sir, with great respect
Your obedient servant,W G. Shaw Sec of Civil and Military Affairs Hon Geo. P. Marsh Burlington Vermont
References in this letter:
Governor Ryland Fletcher, (1799-1885), was born in Cavendish, Vermont. He was the first distinctly Republican Governor of the state of Vermont, and was active in the anti-slavery movement. On January 6, 1857, during his administration, the State House in Montpelier was destroyed by fire, and he appointed a committee to oversee the reconstruction.
Erastus Fairbanks, (1793-1864) was a two-time governor of Vermont. His first term was 1852-3, and his second was in 1860-1, after a span of time out of office, probably because he signed the Vermont alcohol prohibition law. He was appointed to the committee which oversaw the reconstruction of the State House after fire destroyed the earlier building in 1857 but appears not to have served as a commissioner.
John Porter, (1798-1886), of Hartford, Vermont, was State Senator for the years 1842 and 1843, a probate judge for the district of Hartford for the years of 1850-1886, as well as serving as a commission to oversee the reconstruction of the State House in Montpelier.
Dr. Thomas E. Powers, (1808-1876), of Woodstock, Vermont, was appointed by Governor Fletcher to be the Superintendent of Construction of the 1858-1860 project, to build a new State House in Montpelier to rebuild the structure burned in 1857. He and the architect, Thomas W. Silloway, were soon at loggerheads over their roles in the project. Powers became State Senator in 1861.
William G. Shaw, (1831-1892), was the Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs under Governor Ryland Fletcher.