Letter from THOMAS WILLIAM SILLOWAY to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated February 10, 1859.
I am enabled to-day for the first, and in fact only time, to send you a copy of Tom's Pamphlet. They are exceedingly scarce. You will I trust
excuse me for the delay when I tell you that I have never yet owned one, and have
had one only two days in all, you are quite at liberty to use the one I send, as you
may desire, as I have the promise of one from Bradley. I have
completed my "Statement" and a part of it has been published
in the Burlington Times. I shall let Clark take the same type
and publish a two column pamphlet. I gave him orders long ago to send you the
numbers of his paper, and I hope he does so. If you do not get them please do me the
favor to let me know . I think my "Statement" will put things in
good light as I have carefully refrained from low or dirty flings at or
any one. The only thing in his document that I have for a moment feared the
influence of was some of his affidavits. I will not trouble you now with information
concerning them but will simply say that Bryant's, and Randall's were made in Mont. and during the sessions of the
committee. Flander's was there, went back and made his affidavit
All these the committee considered as . Tom admitted the fact and the committee were asked by him to accept them for simply what they were in opinion worth. Those signed by Sears and Fitch were scarcely better for Richards testified neither man was in his place in all, over 30 minutes, and no living man to his knowledge ever for once calculated the weight of the dome or strength of either set of trusses. All . I show these facts up. Next, I seriously damage Parrott's affidavit by stating what he to. Tom lied out of whole cloth when he said I had sworn evidence in the case in relation to the trusses. I publish my affidavits. He has one in favor of Steam in basement have two against it. His testimonials from Woodstock. He is welcome to. I publish things of more value. Judge Porter wrote me a letter in reply to one making enquiries in relation to what he had written them as an affidavit. Judge Porter's letter to was in the case and I publish it. From to no one felt called upon to utter a word to my disadvantage. Please write for me what you please. Send it soon as we are in readiness for it. I have been remarkably busy in getting a church under [contract?] at the South end & should have written you ere this in regard to your nephew Will write soon.
Yours T. W. Silloway
References in this letter:
Thomas E. Powers, Vermont Capitol and the Star Chamber : testimony and defence of the Superintendent of Construction, October, 1858. Montpelier : E.P. Walton, 1858.
J. Dorr Bradley (1803-1862), a Brattleboro attorney, served in the Vermont House of Representatives from 1856 to 1857. He represented Silloway in his battle with Superintendent Powers.
Thomas William Silloway, A Statement of Facts, concerning the management of affairs, connected with the rebuilding of the capitol, at Montpelier, Vermont Burlington, VT: Daily Times Job Office, 1859.
Burlington Times. Burlington, Vermont: George H. Bigelow, 1858-1868.
Gridley J. Bryant, a leading Boston architect, gave a deposition, published in Powers's Star Chamber pamphlet, supporting Powers's contention that the roof trusses designed by Silloway were inadequate. Bryant had himself submitted a proposal for a new State House and Richards was his protege.
Gudon P. Randall, was an architect who submitted an affidavit on Powers's behalf. He had previously worked in construction for the Vermont Central and the Rutland and Burlington Railroads.
William P. Parrott, a civil engineer from Boston, submitted an affidavit on Powers's behalf.
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.
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.