Letter from SPENCER FULLETON BAIRD to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated June 23, 1880.

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Publication InformationSmithsonian InstitutionWashington, D.C., June 23, 18[80]

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Dear Mr Marsh.

Your letter of the 20 of May is to hand & I hasten to reply to it.

I will follow yours suggestion & defer action for the present. If you will advise me when to take up the subject again I will be obliged to you.

I am quite aware of the restrictions imposed by the State Department upon the official action of its officers, & I only wished to get some hints from you preliminary to a formal negotiation.

We shall have a vast amount of material in the way of pottery & other articles of interest, from the Pueblo villages in New Mexico & Arizona, including thousands of vases etc., illustrating a phase of savage or semi-civilized art.

I spoke particularly of Pompeian articles, as these would have a special historical value to Americans.

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Of course I know there is a vast field for the accumulation of art treasure in Italy; but that is too great to enter upon. The specialty, however, of Pompeian relics would be somewhat restricted from the fact that the duplicates are not given out in European Museums, which would be an additional attraction to a collection in Washington.

As soon as I hear from you that the time has come to move again in the matter I will take prompt action.

I was sorry not to go to Berlin in charge of the American exhibit, which, as you have doubtless perceived, has taken all the honors. What I am to do with a silver & crystal vase, four or five feet high I cannot now see.

Mary has been more or less under the weather this Spring, occasionally quite well for a few weeks & then down again, which is her present condition. She & Lucy send much love to Mrs Marsh.

Yours very truly,Spencer F BairdHon. Geo. P. Marsh.U.S. Minister.Rome,Italy.

References in this letter:

An International Fishery Exhibition was held in Berlin in April, 1880.