Letter from GEORGE PERKINS MARSH to CHARLES ELIOT NORTON, dated August 24, 1870.

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Publication InformationFlorence Aug. 24' 70

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Dear Mr Norton

Returning to Florence after an absence of six weeks, I find such an accumulation of business requiring immediate attention that I cannot leave town, even for a day, without great inconvenience. Perhaps I may in a couple of days be more at leisure, & in the mean time, I beg you to inform me whether by the laws of Massachusetts, conveyances of land in that state executed in a foreign country must be acknowledged before the . A minister as such has no power to take the acknowledgment of a deed unless the power be conferred upon him by statute.

You will recollect that I suggested this point to you on a former occasion, and perhaps you may since have informed yourself upon it.

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I was in Paris at the declaration of war & for several days afterward, & should have remained to see the thing , but for the illness of my niece, whom we were advised to bring home as soon as possible.

She is still in a condition to give us much uneasiness, and our movements must depend upon her health, in some measure, for the present at least.

It would give us all the greatest pleasure to accept your kind invitation but until Ellen 's health is re-established, we cannot venture to promise an excursion to Siena

I much regret my inability to comply at once with your request but I hope I shall be able to dispose of some pressing public duties in a very short time, & I will then immediately go down & remain as long as is necessary to take the acknowledgment.

Mrs Marsh is, we hope, improved by her course of medical

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treatment, but fatigue & anxiety for our niece have much worn upon her, and the long journey from Paris was a tiresome one

Begging you to present Mrs Marshs & my own kindest regard to the ladies of your family as well as to accept them for yourself I am, very trulyYoursGeo. P. MarshC E Norton Esq

References in this letter:

The Franco-Prussian war began when France declared war on Prussia July 19, 1870.

Caroline Crane Marsh had several nieces as companions at various times in Italy. The one here mentioned is called "Ellen" in a letter by George Perkins Marsh on May 24, 1871.