Letter from THOMAS WILLIAM SILLOWAY to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated October 15, 1857.
My Friend Marsh. I sent you a day or two ago my plate drawings of framing of various
kinds and hope they were received. You may keep them as long as you desire as I have
no immediate use for them. Such tracings as you wish for your own use, you are quite
at liberty to take. If there is anything not therein expressed, if I can aid you,
please write to me.
The lithographs are all of them done, and in the hands of Doc't Powers. I wrote to Mr. Williams before they were printed to know how many to get (I know not whether you were there, or at B. and hence wrote to him) he wrote, "400 copies" and that more could be ordered if needed. I had that number printed, 20 copies I sent to , to be distributed among himself, Judge Porter and the Governor (he having agreed to see the Gov. supplied) 6 copies I sent to you, and 12 I retained here. The doctor was beset on every hand for copies and as a relief put 60 copies into the book stores. He also thought it to be a good idea to have a few printed on thin paper so that they might be sent by mail. In consideration of the 60 put in the stores and the 20 thin ones & 80 in all have been printed and delivered as above specified. So you see the matter is ended. The doc't has them and I presume they will soon be distributed. Mr. Bufford has made out his bill and I tell him to forward it to you
and you to such authority as you may deem proper. Of course after signing it, it will need to go to Woodstock for Mr. Williams and Judge Porter and from thence it may either go back to Bufford and he send it to the Auditor, and get it endorsed amp;c. for payment by the Treasurer or you commissioners may put it through all the line and get the Treasurer to forward the draft. As the line of procedure is a long one and Bufford is in want of his money. I hope you will find it convenient to attend to it soon. Probably it would go through the course easier than at any time. The picture sell at retail for $1. If there is any one who would canvass the state I presume that thousands could be sold and make it pay for itself. Eagle Hotel would have one surely.
I am yours very trulyThomas W. Silloway
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.
Norman Williams, (1791-1868) was a State Senator in 1854 and 1855 before he was named by Governor Fletcher, to the committee which oversaw the construction of the new State House in Montpelier, to replace the building destroyed by fire in 1857.
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.
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.
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.
Henry M. Bates, (1808-1865) was the Treasurer of the State for the years 1854-1860.
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.