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the piled molasses barrels, some of which leaking, had formed rich colored,
odoriferous puddles on the wet deck.    An Irish family encamped in the rear,
two young, sturdy women, men and children.          Shores of the river mo-
notonous as ever.    Sounding with the lead, when sand bars occur.   By
an hour before sunset we have, on our right reached a line of high bluffs,
perhaps 50 or 60 feet high, bare, variously colored clays, surmounted by
tall trees; these terminating we pass a little town perched up on the
bank, called Randolph.   The river narrows much here.   Various
steamboats pass us.    Once we own aground, but speedily  back out .   I
write all the evening & part of the days.
  16.  Wednesday.  Wrote letter to George Bolton.  Also to my Mot-
her.    River monotonously impressive, fleets of flat-boats passed, &
steamboats seen.          A picturesque night scene.   Stopping  to wood  on
the Kentucky shore, (for we now have that on our right, and Missouri
on our left.) A huge flat barge laden with cottonwood, lying moored be-
neath a steep clay bank, tree-surmounted; is three parts emptied by
the  hands.     The red glare of the blazing contents of two bucket like
wire flames held aloft on either side of the fore-deck; the men in their
rough, picturesque costume, toiling to & fro; the muddy rushing river; 
the high banks growing dim in the distance and shrouded in mist; the
troubled sky above, with sombre, wet-looking clouds moving uneasily all
across the gloomy firmament;   a complete Mississippi picture in its 
way.
  17.  Thursday.  Aroused from an uneasily passed, half sleepless night,
by the intelligence that Cairo was in sight.  So dressing hastily before day-
break, I presently disembarked at the most miserable, dreary, wretched
place in the United States of America, I verily believe.  Situate on, the
Illinois shore at the junction of the Ohio with the Mississippi, Cairo, years
ago was vaunted as a place of mighty promise, land speculations, saw-mills,
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Six: page one hundred and ninety-three
Description:Describes his trip up the Mississippi River on the ''Swamp Fox'' steamboat, and his arrival at Cairo, Illinois.
Date:1853-11-15
Subject:Bolton, George; Gunn, Samuel, Mrs.; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Mississippi River; Swamp Fox (Ship); Transportation; Travel
Coverage (City/State):Cairo, Illinois; Kentucky; Missouri
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.