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to wait.   Soon the distant roar of one of the huge, high pressure Mis-
sissippi steamboats is heard, and she is seen afar off, doubling the
 trend.    Half an hour and she is close up to us, has responded to
the niggers energetic waving the flag, by two strokes of her bell;
and runs in against the steep bank for me.     I shake hands with Oliver
Kellam, with a hearty  God bless you!  say good-bye to his uncle,
give the nigger a quarter dollar and jump aboard.   Carpet bag and a big-
bear skin presented to me by Oliver are thrown in, and in another 
moment the  Swamp Fox  is steaming with me, up the Mississippi.
It is a huge vessel, heavily laden, with sugar and molasses, bound for
St Louis: not a regular Mississippi, but a Red River boat, tem-
porarily withdrawn in consequence of the shallowness of the latter.   I
pay my $15 for passage to Cairo, at the mouth of the Ohio, thence
designing going to Louisville, New York wards; secure my cabin, and
walk about.         The boat is, like all Southern ones, high pressure, machi-
nery open on the lower deck; draws but little water 3 1/2 feet.  The rushing
river roars by the unguarded deck scarcely a foot below it.   In the fore-
part, on the heaped up barrels, bales and cordage are some half dozen
negroes, a mother and her woolly headed offspring, one or two men, and
children.  They belong to one of the passengers, who is taking them up the
river. /  A dozen or more rough men, the  hands  of the boat are bury-
ing themselves about the raging fires; two wretchedly anatomical cows
are wedged up betwixt the wood piles, which occupy all the space left
available by bales and barrels.       The aft part of the boat is inaccessible.
  Above, the passengers stroll about on the open space fronting the cabin,
or on the roof; some play cards within.         There are a party of re-
turned Californians, perhaps twenty.   Some have the hugest beards and
the longest hair, others have slightly abridged both, others denuded them-
selves to the stupidity of clean shaven faces.         I talk with some of them,
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Six: page one hundred and ninety
Description:Describes the beginning of his journey up the Mississippi River on the steamboat ''Swamp Fox.''
Date:1853-11-12
Subject:Gooderich; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Kellam, Oliver; Mississippi River; Swamp Fox (Ship); Transportation; Travel
Coverage (City/State):[Transylvania, Louisiana]
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.