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accompanying us until we were safe on our way,) were presently on Lethe.
Winding along, the black void above, and by the overhanging cliffs,
rock-islets and promontories, we held our way.   The first arch was now
visible, but barely practicable, the Great Walk still half submerged, necessitating
much jumping and even wading, and my boots were speedily filled with water.
Echo River being reached in safety, Mr Miller and another attach  of the 
Hotel, who had accompanyed us, turned back.   We, embarking in another
boat held on, and another landing place being reached, Alfred intimated he was
about to go under the Second arch, inquiring who wished to accompany him,
and who would foot it through Purgatory.  I preferred the watery way, as
did Maurice Keene, one of Kellam s Kentuckian born friends.  So, crouching
low under the black arch we glide, our sable boatman propelling us onwards
by the light of our three lamps placed on the fire-plank; now issuing his paddle,
now with hands upon the low ceiling as motive power.  Low curving the arch
bent over our squatting forms, to meet the dismal pool on either side, in the
solid liquid blackness of which our lanthorn glare was redly reflected. The waters
were scarcely a fingers length from the gunwale of the boat, deep withal, no 
	shore
or projection visible. That was a solemnly passed five minutes, to crouch down
with the pitiless rock pressing over you, the horrible waters below, solid
blackness before and behind, and to think of green trees and birds and bright
sunlight high up over you,   as Schiller has it  
                           To think of light and Air above
                             Of Human Voices and Human Love 
Right glad was I to round to where the other twain awaited us, yet I would
not willingly have missed that grisly ferry-path.   Of the length of these sub-
terranean rivers tis difficult to judge, so prone are you to imagine then longer
than they are.   Lake Lethe, (Mr Miller is my authority,) is 150 yards at
low water, when boats are kept at its entrance, and at the first Arch.   In
high water at the Second and Third, (where Purgatory and Echo River join)
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Six: page one hundred and forty-nine
Description:Describes a visit to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.
Date:1853-10-03
Subject:Alfred; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Keane, Maurice; Kellam, Oliver; Mammoth Cave (Ky.); Miller (Kentucky); Richards, Addison Keane; 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.