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he again started, a negro woman bore him company for some space, she
on horseback also.     Having parted from her, we, at another house were
joined by a boy and two young fellows, who proceeded with us to the Cave
Entrance, which lies, as usual on a rocky-hill side, but quite out of the way
of road or path, you have to ride through the forest for some hundreds of
yards to reach it.       Dismounting, and preparing our lamps, one of the young
fellows, (more boy than man,) was inclined to venture with us, but on his ex-
pressing a mild apprehension that we might be  lost,  Alfred was so des-
perately ironical at the notion that he speedily convinced me he didn t know
much of the place.     It is scarcely ever visited, presenting no very great at-
tractions in points of curiosity;   there hadn t been an explorer for years
two or three, so they told me.     Boy deciding to go, down we clambered, 
descending a very steep and hazardous declivity, over loose rocks, presenting
every unpleasant variety of sharp angles upwards.   I doubt if it could have been
managed but for a stout and very long vine-stem which was fastened above,
to hold on by.                 This Cave I shall not attempt to describe in de-
tail, nor indeed could I.     Three avenues branch off from the entrance
hall, at some little distance from the mouth; each of which we severally
explored.        They are very wild, gloomy, and savage, huge chaotic rock
piles have to be clambered over; long avenues monotonous and wearisome threaded
to the sounds of the shrill gibber of myriads of bats which cluster, hanging 
head downwards in close bunches of about twenty or thirty, from the ceiling.
Like thick black knobs of moss they bespeck the roof for half a mile
together, all the winter; and their querulous gibber, was strange and
solemn to listen to, as we sped on, disturbing them with out lamp-glare.
Some stalactites there are, and queer, fantastically shaped, water worn
niches, or figures, idol or monkey shaped; and some black, terrible
pits.    One of these, respecting which Bird tells a story of two men get-
ting here lost, their lights extinguished, themselves disputing as to which way
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Six: page one hundred and forty-seven
Description:Describes a visit to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.
Date:1853-10-02
Subject:Alfred; 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.