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Alexander Galt Letters

Identifier: SC 01686

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Scope and Contents

(2) letters by Alexander Galt (1827-1863), a sculptor from Norfolk, Virginia, and John Young Mason (1799-1859), Secretary of the Navy and Attorney General to President James K. Polk.

In the 1848 copy-letter, Mason writes that Galt will sail on the Erie ship, under the command of Lieutenant William M. Blair. Mason also tells Galt to secure employment as Blair’s clerk by networking with Blair’s friends in Norfolk. It is addressed from Washington, on July 28, 1848.

The 1849 letter is sent to the aforementioned William M. Blair, now a captain in the U.S. Navy, and discusses Galt’s Italian language studies, art classes at the Florence Academy, and his loneliness in a foreign country (Galt wishes Blair was with him: “how I miss you”). Galt describes sightseeing in Florence, Italy and his interactions with fellow artists Hiram Powers and Horatio Greenough. Galt closes with a plea to hear news from Blair and for him to send along any letters for Galt from the United States. It is addressed from Florence, on February 6, 1849, care of the U.S. Consul, Genoa, Italy.


  • Creation: 1848-1849


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use

Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from the Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical / Historical

Alexander Galt designed a statue of Thomas Jefferson for the University of Virginia. He contracted smallpox while working on a statue of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson and died in 1863.


1 Folder



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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository