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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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was more romance than I could ever fancy my life would witness.
All the time too about me was that beautiful, loving face about
me, and that dear, pure, sweet voice so loved   years ago!
     I don t know, guage as I will, my own heart on this matter.
When I wrote her name, those few seconds ago, I had a strange
quiver at heart.    One would think the matter ought to be dead
enough,   but at all sorts of long intervals up-turn these resurrections
of buried hopes and day-dreams.        I think of her, hardly as a
living woman now   (no word have I had of her for three years;)
buy as though she had retired into some Cloud-land, nevermore
to emerge from it.  /  I know not if by wishing it I could have
her for my wife; at all times I should wish it  
     But a I write it, I think, Oh God! Yes! To have her,
whom you did so love, in your arms   never to part from each
other again in the world!    
     I think if ever I do marry, I shall, at all sorts of cold,
lonely times, be haunted with a sorrowful thought that Mary
Bilton should have been my wife.      I drank so heartily at the
Circe-cup of Boy-love, I shall be intoxicated all my life.  I 
can fancy myself quite an old man, thinking of her,   of her
face, her hair, her songs, her beauty, of old time sunlight in
Kings Road and Leyton lanes.
     I think I d be willing to die now, could I weep out my
world-wearied heart on Mary Bilton s bosom.      A foolish thought.
Cowardly too, but I feel it.
  21. Wednesday.  Drawing till 3.  Down town in the morning
to breakfast at Goslings, posted extensive letter for Boutcher, &
home newspapers &c.         In afternoon, having supped at Erfords,
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Six: page two hundred and twenty-two
Description:Reflects on his past love for Mary Bilton.
Date:1853-12-20
Subject:Bilton, Mary; Boutcher, William; Dreams; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Marriage
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]
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.