Congress and the Smithsonian
MARSH'S CELEBRATION of the Gothic migration to New England coincided with his own departure for Washington as a member of the House of Representatives. He had reentered politics in 1840 to support William Henry Harrison for the Presidency. In the Whig party, Marsh was on the side of the angels. The AntiMasons were extinct; the Democrats had all but ruined Vermont by abolishing the protective tariff on wool. As county keynoter, Marsh scored the twelve years of Democratic misrule which had left the "country depressed . . . industry prostrated . . . political rights & sacred barriers of the constitution trodden underfoot, by an imbecile & intriguing administration."1 And at the Whig State Convention in June, 1840, Marsh helped to draw up resolutions in favor of protective tariffs, progress, and reform. On this invincible platform Harrison swept Vermont by almost two to one, and paved Marsh's way to Congress.
The 1840 census led to a Congressional reapportionment that cut Vermont's strength in the House from five to four; the new Congressional district for northwestern Vermont, of which Burlington was the focus, thus contained parts of two old districts. One had been served in Congress by the scholarly Augustus Young, who now retired; the other, by fiery William Slade, a popular, outspoken abolitionist who, as a resident of Middlebury, was unacceptable to the upstate men in the new combined district. In Marsh, Burlington
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Publication information: Book title: George Perkins Marsh: Versatile Vermonter. Contributors: David Lowenthal - Author. Publisher: Columbia University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1958. Page number: 68.
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