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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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warmed in time.    A very small rise fills up the low arches, but one of twelve
feet would be required to close up the avenue of Purgatory.  Were it thus closed
at the commencement of rains or floods, luckless mortals on the other side must
perforce tarry there, no outlet being available.
  2. Sunday.  With Kellam and Stephen set off, as yesterday agreed upon,
to explore White s Cave, a minor attraction, not generally visited, in the vicinity.
Like Knights Templars we bestrode one horse, Stephen walking beside us bearing
the lamps.  Less than a mile of forest road brought us to the place, where
the cave mouth almost hidden by pendant vines and greenery, pierced a hill side,
trees above and all around.      Dismounting, downwards we crept, attired in cave
costume, and swinging our lamps as usual.          Of this place I have no de-
tail of nomenclature and varying peculiarity to give, for unique and sin-
gularly beautiful as it is,  tis but one cavern, a thousand feet long from
entrance to end, partially divided in twain by a wondrous screen of stalactites
and stalagmites; which petrified rock-drippings and adamantine icicles indeed
are around on every side.     From the whole roof they depend, hard but
translucent, slender, long, massive, fantastically shaped, varying ever, strange
ly beautiful as a dream.  Nor this alone, for the floor is all worn into 
winding, shell-like, continuous curves, the hard, sharp clear-cut rock-ridges
serpentining hither and thither, up, down, in and out in the strongest
fashion: the hollows between filled with bright clear ice-cold water, now
deep enough to cover arm to elbow joint, now shallow enow to be bottomed
by finger-point.     For unguessable centuries here hath Nature been silent-
ly at work at this strange witchery, and with what wondrous result! I
never saw, imagined, dreamed of, aught like to it, and for many an
hour, when thoughtful musing, thousands of miles away, will the remembrance
haunt me, that there, amid wild Kentucky Hills, in darkness and with
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Six: page one hundred and forty-five
Description:Describes a visit to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.
Subject:Bishop, Stephen; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Kellam, Oliver; 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.