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gardens and trees.   Everybody was exhilarated about it, anticipating it
would end the Yellow Fever.   All this day we stayed at Mc Lean s,
I was too queer to go on, and the rest wouldn t do so without me.  Kellam
went on to Lexington, where he returned not, that night.
  25 24. Tuesday.  In the saddle again.  Met Kellam after an hour s
riding; but he went on back to Mr Lean s, again to join us, just as
we rode through the little town of Lexington.  There were some twenty
negroes, some boys, girls and children, neatly attired; sitting on benches
in front of the Court house, for sale.   I had seen a placard intimating
it, at Pontotoc.       Onwards.    We were now on the Yazoo City road,
as was every mile intimated to us.   The horrible name was everywhere,
and as we knew how terribly the pestilence raged there, it seemed like
slowly riding to one s death.  Benton we reached by 5. It presented
a dismal appearance, the little store deserted, broken window panes, and
placards pasted over doors intimating whither former occupants had fled to, or
where medecine might be bought. (Yazoo City, some 10 miles distance had
blighted it.)    There were very few people in Benton, and they came to
the house doors at the sound of our horses hoofs, wondering who might be
the daring  drovers  who would defy the pestilence for gain, by riding towards
the plague stricken city.      The inn we purposed putting up at lay a
mile farther on.     I shall never forget that sunset, over where the
doomed town lay.      It was a close, hot, sultry, oppressive night, and there
was a glare of pitiless colors, uncommon to look upon, in that sunset;
green and orange predominating.  That sunset, with its attendant sen-
sations, (sickness had thoroughly unhinged me, so that I thought it equal
chances whether I lived or died)   might haunt me.   I never want to
see the like again.      When we had put up at the inn, (a poor place
enough;) we heard more of it.   News of the deaths of that day, and the
fresh cases that had appeared.    One man, having had his brother die at
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Six: page one hundred and seventy-one
Description:Describes spending the night in Benton, Mississippi, a town nearly abandoned due to yellow fever.
Date:1853-10-24
Subject:Diseases; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Keane, Maurice; Kellam, Oliver; Richards, Addison Keane; Travel
Coverage (City/State):Lexington, [Mississippi]; Yazoo City, [Mississippi]; Benton, [Mississippi]
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.