(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.
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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.
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