Letter from THOMAS WILLIAM SILLOWAY to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated August 7, 1858.
My Friend Marsh.
I have returned from Montpelier and left things in very good order. The whole of the
brick and stone work with the exception of the portico will be completed inside of
two weeks. (The stone work is ) The dome drum frame is raised and came
together remarkably well considering the fact that it had been framed so long. I
have thought the matter well over and by advice of those best qualified to judge
have decided to devote every third week to the service of the State, and shall do so
till the dome is finished. Therefore Mont. will be my home one third of the time,
for the present. If the works of Dr. Powers in other respects are any criterion
unless I take the matter in hand we shall all of us be disgraced. He
has followed my advice where I protested
against his proceedures, and although his cost hundreds of dollars his have saved much that would have been squandered. He say nothing to me, although at times is on the roof with me. Probably he is hoping that my visits will cease and that he shall have a clear coast. Richards keeps or it may be is pretty clear of the work. He has not been there but two or three times since he was employed. I hear nothing in regard to the . Not a word does Powers say to me. He takes care not to tell me my work will not be like the perspective. The next time I go up I shall strike out the work full size and we will then see how it will operate. A thousand thanks are due you for your determined efforts against the amendments. Nothing but devotion to the cause on your part has averted the evil. Up to all is right. Any new demonstration in a wrong direction you shall hear of. The
column patching is not yet done although reports say he has ordered the stone to patch them with. Wo be to him if he doeth the like or causeth it to be done. He will be off out of the way probably when the ill effects are first seen as it may take one or two winters to show it badly. Granite will inbibe about five ounces of water to the cubic foot. These peices have a very large surface compared to their thickness and being near the bottom they get all the water that runs down and all that falls on them. They are wet the from what spatters, and are the last to dry. If he would cut away half the column it would be better but so much exposed surface will make a deal of expansion and contraction. No man can avert the evil. I know not how they could be repaired afterwards. Had Powers not set aside the advice of you all he would have done different. I am pleased however to see the [that] he stands in fear yet. Up to now, the dome and columns have been held in check. In a letter I wrote you some days ago I spoke of the floor at the printing house Cambridge
I to-day went over to the building and personaly examined the work in company with the builder. In some particulars I was in error. The floor was not loaded with paper but with type. It did not fall but is now shored up. When it was finished and half loaded it sunk down. They blocked it up (There is no cellar) When a little more weight had been put on six of the floor joists split. They unloaded them and got the timbers back as best they could. They then put a long timber in under them in addition to what was there originaly. We attempted to decided how near level it is , and found it to be about an half inch down. The joists are gained into the timbers and split from the line of the gain. This is true only of the defective floor. The others very properly bridge over the timbers as those of this should have done. I am anxious to refrain from stating a thing not a fact. Having informed you before I thought this acknowledgment due.
Yours trulyThomas W. Silloway
121 Court St.