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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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strangely shaped rock pendants, like unto geologic hams, petrified, can-
vas  covered swine s flesh, in varying joints.  It must have been water-
worn in the rock, which may have offered more or less resistance, according to
its hardness.        From the right here branches forth an Avenue to the
Mammoth Dome, the hugest one in this subterranean world. A vast
hall, black as Erebus, three hundred feet by a hundred in diameter,
two hundred in heighth; standing high on the loosely piled rock floor you
may feel the awful pall of darkness blanking out all light, life, 
and creation, even as though they had passed away for evermore.  Black-
brooding Night rests solemnly, intensely, terribly on you.    A place where
Time, and Space exist not, where the Majesty of Darkness is everything.
A rapid, painful, booming, humming, brain-pulsation, a feeling of utter in-
significance and awe are with you.      Fit place this for the Titan-
born twins Otus and Ephialtes to hold the sateless god of blood captive,
fit place for Ares to lie prone in brazen chains, threefold bound at
their feet, as in Flaxman s drawing.               But back speeding, we
from River Hall approach the Dead Sea.    Fast grip on the iron-
handrail now, (every necessarily here placed), for the slippery rock, down-sloping,
glides off into a murky pool thirty feet below, some two and twenty deep.
But for aught you see it may be twenty fathom, and with sullen plunge
and dismal plash go the stones we hurl over to its bottom.     A steep ladder
next, and firm holding to each round down we go; and so deviously for a
few steps round a rock corner,   an ugly bit, for the rock-floor slopes
horribly, and you have the full conciousness of what is below, in mind.
But  tis done, and we near the rivers.   To the right flows Styx, unseen,
though over it we pass, (after threading a rough avenue,) on the so-called
Natural Bridge, a chaos of rocks fallen from above; and before us,
on the left hand, approached by a muddy slope lies Lethe s sluggish
pool.   Just beyond the Bridge the rivers join, though not from any diserna-
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Six: page one hundred and thirty-six
Description:Describes a visit to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.
Subject:Gunn, Thomas Butler; Mammoth Cave (Ky.); Travel
Coverage (City/State):[Kentucky]
Scan Date:2011-02-02


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.