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boat the paltry triumph of getting ahead of us !           There was no danger
in this case, because no very hot contest; the  Naomi  dropped astern &
we were victors; but it was a pretty race in its way, and very suggestive
of what occasionally occurs.      Seeing the raging fires, and the men piling
up the wood within, and taunting one another with hoarse cries; the
black surging water rushing against the low fore-parts of the two boats,
and then whirling off down the roaring channel between them; the sparks
flying out among the woodpiles and barrels; the passengers crowded at
the sides erected and intent;   seeing all this I could very well fancy
what a genuine Mississippi steam-boat race was.    /           It was
a very beautiful sunset this evening, the rarest colors all softening into
one indescribable hue; a few stars, brighter than I ever saw before set
in it twinking brilliantly.
  14.  Monday.  Onwards still.  Pausing  to wood , as heretofore
sometimes.   A great pile would be found on the low banks of some plan-
tation, bargained for, planks thrust out, the pile measured, and then
the deck  hands  would swarm out like bees, and bring the wood in in
an inconceivably short time.     Yesterday we emptied a huge flatboat of
its load, its drifting down the river, attached to us; and the water rushing
in at the fore part as the men lightened it.         /           Four or five great
cumbrous flat boats passed today, floating New Orleans wards.    Wild
shores still, and long sandy islands; cotton-wood and distant forest
growth, no human habitations.       Writing during the Evening.
  15.  Tuesday.  We have passed Memphis, at 5 in the morning,
therefore unseen, and now have the Tenessee shore on our right.  More
wooding, another huge flat boat relieved of its cottonwood load.  This must
be a profitable trade to the sellers, as the Steamboats use enormous quantities.
Clerk estimates $1500 may be required in the journey from New Orleans to
Saint Louis.          Took a ramble below, to the storm part of the vessel, over
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Six: page one hundred and ninety-two
Description:Describes a race between the steamboats ''Swamp Fox'' and ''Naomi'' on the Mississippi River.
Date:1853-11-13
Subject:Gunn, Thomas Butler; Mississippi River; Transportation; Travel
Coverage (City/State):Memphis, Tennessee
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.