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countred another Lake acquaintance.   An old man, Virginian born, but here
abiding, had been engaged in farming, but was now building houses, which
he showed me, adjacent to the spot on which we met.    Into his buggy,
with himself & little son, and to the State Prison.    A spacious, fine
building with trees & ornamental walks around, inside a large, ornamen-
ted open quadrangle, where some deer lay on the distant grass.   Twenty five
cents each being paid, with a guide we rambled all over the buildings, first
visiting the prisoners cells, (narrow, and in the thickness of the inner prison
walls,) then themselves at their various avocations.      In spacious work-
shops they were employed, some making planes, turning, doing saddlers,
work, weaving, making agricultural instruments, seythe handles, cradles,
or playing hammer and bellows in the smithy, making homes, & what not.
All were attired in prison costume, woolen trousers & shirt, striped horizon
tally with white and dark buff.   Some had repulsive faces, others only
common ones.   Some negroes were there.    Flogging is used, in case
of continuacy, or attempts to escape.       The briefest space for which a
prisoner is incarcerated is for one year, the longest, for Life.   They
are well fed, exceedingly so, for prisoners, judging from what was told
me.     At 5 1/2 P M each one is locked in his cell,   allowed during
winter a candle, and perchance books given out by the minister.    How
horribly must that thick lattice work of iron jar-to on a man s ear, he
condemned for life; in the long darkling winter weather, with perchance
the black shadow of murder hanging over his soul!            Different capi-
talists have contracted for the prisoner s labour;   they finding tools
& material.       One man, a New Yorker, Hayden by name is
spoken of as an immense capitalist, who years back started from his native
city with but a shilling in poke.           All this prison seems in excel-
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Six: page one hundred and nineteen
Description:Describes visiting the State Prison in Columbus, Ohio.
Date:1853-09-23
Subject:Gunn, Thomas Butler; Hayden; Prisoners; Prisons; Travel
Coverage (City/State):[Columbus, Ohio]
Scan Date:2011-02-02

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Six
Description:Includes descriptions of Gunn's writing and drawing work in New York, a visit to the Catskill Mountains, attending the wedding of his friend Charles Damoreau (Brown), a visit to the Crystal Palace in New York, his friend Lotty's difficult marriage to John Whytal, a sailing trip around Lake Superior, a visit to Mackinac Island in Michigan, a visit to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, and a journey by horseback from Kentucky to Louisiana with friends.
Subject:African Americans; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Marriage; Native Americans; Publishers and publishing; Slavery; Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Michigan; Wisconsin; Ohio; Kentucky; Mississippi; Alabama; Louisiana
Note:Thomas Butler Gunn was born February 15, 1826, in Banbury, England, and came to New York in 1849. During the Civil War he worked as a correspondent for the New York Tribune and the New York Evening Post. He returned to England in 1863, and died in Birmingham in April 1903. The collection includes twenty-one volumes of his diaries, including newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, sketches, and various other items inserted by Gunn. Diary entries date from July 7, 1849, to April 7, 1863, and include his experiences with the New York publishing and literary world, his descriptions of boarding houses, his travels throughout the United States, and his experiences traveling with the Federal army as a Civil War correspondent.
Publisher:Missouri History Museum
Rights:Copyright 2011 Missouri History Museum.
Source:Page images, transcriptions, and metadata of the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries have been provided by the Missouri History Museum.