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light it burns, dancing on the fluted rock screen, the jagged cliffs and
boulders below, the fearful gulf sloping sheer, straight downwards from where
we gaze, all eye, awe, and admiration.   From Shelby s dome, above, to
the bottom abyss  tis 160 feet.         Quitting this, we ascend a ladder
and proceed towards the Bottomless Pit, which ends the range of Deser-
ted Chambers, which are half a mile in length from their starting place.
     Across this awful pit no human foot had ever sped, until a Georgian
gentleman, and Stephen, by means of a ladder crossed the black chasm,
twenty feet in width, and over two hundred in depth.    A bridge with stout
handrail from an outstretching point now gives easier access, and although
it creaks and vibrates is safe enough.    Paper saturated with oil is ignited
and dropped flickering down; and one s hair bristles with horror as lower,
lower down it falls, till a faint sparkle in the mirk midnight brooding below
shows where it has alit. Ugh! what a fall ! To go crashing down there,
out of Life and Hope and Love!    Albeit styled Bottomless, it is 120 
feet from the bridge level.   /      The bridge being crossed, we speed along a
devious passage for a space; and here, again two routes present
themselves.          Deciding we entered, crouching low, the Valley of Hu-
mility, past the Scotchman s trap, (a huge Slab as if placed for capturing,
so called after Donaldson:) through a sand embankment. into the Winding Way, or Fat 
Man s Misery.
 Tis a low, serpentine passage won through a winding cave perhaps a hundred
feet long, and scarcely a foot and half wide.  Heaven knows what pre-Adam-
ite days witnessed all these awful caves.  How they must have rushed, roared
and surged in the darkness!    Emerging with no small satisfaction into
Great Relief Hall, there to stand upright again, in its ample space
we turn to the right, making for River Hall, at a hundred yards
distance.  Here anon  reach
Bacon Chamber, the low, spacious ceiling of which is all covered with
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Six: page one hundred and thirty-five
Description:Describes a visit to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.
Date:1853-09-30
Subject:Bishop, Stephen; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Mammoth Cave (Ky.); Travel
Coverage (City/State):[Kentucky]
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.