Letter from LARKIN GOLDSMITH MEAD to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated May 12, 1858`.
Hon Geo P. Marsh.,
I received a letter from Thomas E. Powers last evening in which he says "I have seen the commissioners to day and by their advice shall accept your proposition for the execution of the figure for the dome. I shall expect it done to the acceptance of the commissioners and with proper dispatch. Mr Marsh will confer with you in relation to it and give you such direction and advice from time to time as he may see fit. I think you are mistaken in your recollection of the proposed height, though upon that point you will consult Mr Marsh."
I infer from Mr Powers' letter that I am commissioned to execute the figure for the dome of the State House. I wish I might hear from you in relation to the matter. I had the idea that twelve feet was thought the proper height. Please inform me what you had decided upon. Anything which you may think of in relation to the figure I shall be glad to hear and act accordingly. There is a very superior German wood-carver here who will be of great assistance to me. I shall endeavor to make a good piece of work and hope it may give satisfaction to the commissioners and others who are interested. Feeling under great obligations to you for your many favors, I remain
Your Obt SvtLarkin G. Mead Jr
Geo P Marsh
References in this letter:
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.
Governor Fletcher named three commissioners to oversee the construction of a new State House in Montpelier: Norman Williams, John Porter, and George Perkins Marsh. Dr. Thomas E. Powers was named the Superintendent of Construction.
"Agriculture" was the title of the statue designed by Larkin Goldsmith Mead placed on the dome of the new State House building. The statue was executed in wood and had to be replaced in 1938 because the original had deteriorated.
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.