George P. Marsh - Autograph Letter Signed 06/24/1864 For Sale
GEORGE PERKINS MARSH Written the year he published his environmental warning, Man and Nature. Autograph Letter signed: "George P Marsh", 4p (integral leaf), 5¼x8¼. Turin (Italy), 1864 June 24. To Mary M. Edmunds ("My dear niece"), Burlington, Vermont. In full: "I was very glad to get your letter and to learn so many things about you that older people forget to mention. You are doing very well to learn to ride on horseback, for when you travel in Europe and in other countries, you will wish to go to many places where there are no roads for carriages and where one can only ride or walk, In the Alps, we always ride mules or go on foot, and that is rather hard work, especially for young people. Even Carrie, who sometimes walks ten or twelve hour in a day, rides when we can get horses or mules in the mountains, and we should have to give up many pleasant journeys if we could not ride. I send you a photograph of the little Princess Margaret of Savoy [not included], who is about a year older than you. Her father, who is dead, was the brother of the King of Italy, and was Due of Genoa. Her mother is a daughter of the King of Saxony. (The Princess is very beautiful, & the photograph is by no means as handsome as she.) She is also very intelligent. She speaks German, French and Italian well, and English intelligibly. She is very fond of reading English, & is so much pleased with some of Collin Sewell's stories that she sent your aunt several questions the other day about the stories, which she wished Miss. Sewell to answer. Her governess, Miss Arbesser, a young German lady, is one of your aunt's most intimate friends, and always spends one or two evenings every week at our house. Carrie frequently sees the Princess at Mss Arbesseer's rooms. Your uncles Charles is now at Milan, but will return to Turn soon, and I suppose will not remain much longer in Italy. You will soon be old enough to learn French, and I hope you will be able to speak it, so that when you come to Europe you can talk with the people you meet. Almost everybody here, even the children, speaks both French and Italian, and if you can speak French you can travel pleasantly almost anywhere. Carrie taks drawing lessons, and her master says she will soon be able to draw very well. It is a very fine thing to know how to draw, & I dare say you could soon learn to use a pencil very nicely. Your Aunt & Carrie send a great deal of love as does your affectionate uncle." GEORGE PERKINS MARSH (1801-1882) represented Vermont in the US Congress (1843-1849), until his appointment by President Taylor as Minister to Turkey. President Lincoln named him as the first US Minister to Italy in 1861, a post he held for over two decades until his death. Fluent in many languages and a prolific author, Perkins was one of the first to write about how human activity was reshaping the ecosystem, often with disastrous results. (For example, he noted how deforestation was leading to desertification in the Sahara.) Man and Nature (1864) warned of environmental degradation and advocated reforestation, watershed management and conservation. A revised and expanded version of this treatise was later published as The Earth as Modified by Human Action. He married Caroline Crane Marsh, herself a noted poet and scholar, in 1839. Mrs. Crane's niece Carrie Marsh Crane accompanied the Marsh's on their European travels until her death in a shipwreck in 1874. Mailing folds. Fine condition.
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George P. Marsh - Autograph Letter Signed 06/24/1864: $1,350