Letter from THOMAS WILLIAM SILLOWAY to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated March 26, 1858.

Primary tabs

Page: of 2
Download: PDF (7.41 MiB)
Publication InformationBoston

Page 1

Mr Marsh

Your letter of the 22d. inst. was duly received. In relation to the statue I will say that I had a long and definite talk with the doctor soon after I saw you. He was here for some days. I did not hesitate to inform him of your and my . I am not able to-day to write you anything definite in regard to the matter. Things at the capitol are in my opinion at a point where specific and particular action is needed. I have lately unqualifiedly informed him of what the good of the state and the success of our enterprise . I know not what will be the result. As soon as I am informed in the matter at issue, you shall be notified. During the past year the nature of the work has enabled him to get along comparatively well. I have written him over four hundred letter comprising nearly twelve hundred pages. The work for the year to come is entirely different

Page 2

and I am entirely convinced of the impropriety of attempting the task of doing by a pen what should be done in person and at the place itself. I have for weeks and monthes, thought the matter over and have at last concluded to speak my mind and abide the consequences. If I am permitted to do what I to do I will do it with a hearty good will and for doing it I want a living remuneration. If I am not, I shall insist on the acceptation of my resignation, as the commissioners in adopting the design only adopted in in anticipation of my making the details, and doing my part towards carrying the work into execution, I shall in the event of my retirement furnish you as chairman with a full report of my correspondence on the question, with the replies of the Superintendent together with the written opinions of the contractors. I feel the responsibility that rests upon and will not remain one moment in a position in which the conditions will so fetter me as to injure the work I am to do. . I am expecting the doctor here very soon (perhaps to-day) after talking with him I will write to you. Please consider this letter as confidential, as no good can come of making it public.

I am yours trulyThomas W. Silloway

121 Court St.

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.

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.