Letter from THOMAS WILLIAM SILLOWAY to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated June 6, 1857.
My Dear Sir I send to you today the drawing which has been prepared for the
lithographing of our perspective. I took it with me to Montpelier the last time I
was up in order to make a few corrections and hence was obliged to cut it from the
board a couple of days before the artist had finised his coloring I hoped to be able
to see you before I left Montpelier but was so very busy the whole time I was there
(a week) that I could not and hence was obliged to return with seeing you. The
drawing is in the main right, but will need amending in much of the
this would be done in drawing the thing on the stone. The aim in making the paper
drawing was simply to give us a chance to amend cc. The [...] in the [...], the
details of finish and a few inaccuracies in the perspective will secure the proper
attention. I think you will be please with the point of view from which the
perspective is drawn. It is a correct copy of a photograph of the old ruins. The
design is to have the picture some larger then the drawing I send showing more of
the grounds. The old picture showed the whole, but all was coarse and mean, for a
. Mr. Bufford the lithographer has
some very fine examples of colored lithographing Among them the Amoskeag picture as
we call it. I left one with Doct' Powers the last time I was
up here I have written him
today to forward it to you that you may see how I had proposed to have our new picture done. Bufford has many other samples of work of the kind among them The N[...] Hotel and grounds The Briggs House of Chicago, The American House Boston, C[...]'s Piano Forte establishment cc. All are done in color and in the general style of the Amoskeag picture. He has been remarkably fortunate in printing in color and does more work for New York and Philadelphia than is done in either or both of them Mr. Walton is getting out a wood cut of the new building for a book he is soon to publish and will I presume circulate it pretty generaly. Of course we are not to depend upon anything in the shape of a good picture from him. Please examine the drawing I send and make such suggestions as you may think best. If we have our picture done it should of course be done well and some one must authorise it, or it will be never done or else "got up" by some one in a poor style like the old one and thereby prevent the publication of a better picture. The Amoskeag picture cost $300. Mr. Bufford will get us up one fully equal to it for $275, and will do the work in the best style he can He will then print them in the colors, furnish all his paper (thick and nice) for 62 cts apieice. The picture would be saleable at $2 each. Please attend to the matter soon, as he cannot get the thing out till Aug 1st if he begins now.
I am yours trulyThomas W. Silloway121 Court St.
References in this letter:
John Henry Bufford, (1810-1870), was a distinguished lithographer and publisher of the period. At the time of the reconstruction of the State House, Bufford worked in Boston where he published Silloway's drawings and plans for the Vermont State House.
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.
Eliakim Persons Walton, (1812-1890) was an editor, journalist, and publisher. In 1853, he became the sole proprietor of the Vermont Watchman and State Gazetteer. He was the editor of Walton's Register, as well as a member of the Vermont Legislature in 1853. He was also the president of the Vermont Historical Society from 1876-1890, as well as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College in 1875-1887.
Thomas W. Silloway, (1828-1910), was only thirty years old in 1857 when he was chosen architect for the new State House in Montpelier. Silloway was from Massachusetts, and had worked in the office of Ammi B. Young, the architect who designed the previous building. Silloway and Dr. Powers, the superintendent of construction for the 1857 job, had worked together to design and build a new courthouse in Woodstock, Vermont, that burned in 1854.