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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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54
der, he talks lucidly enough.   They say he has been violent. God
help him, poor fellow!
  4.  Friday.  To Sam s in the evening.   Found him and Min-
nie not very well, and somewhat despondent on account of the stag-
nation of business consequent on the War, increased taxation &c.
  5. Saturday.   To Price s in the fore-noon.  Descending
to the basement rooms in which the family lives, I met Harry s
father.  The little man was unfeignedly distressed, and told me
that his son had been very violent, and was, that afternoon to be
conveyed to a Bethnal Green Lunatic Asylum, his mother conduct-
ing him thither.   After some talk I entered the room.  Poor
Harry lay on his back, upon a sofa, two men holding him, and
a woman constantly applying ice, in a bladder to his shorn head.
His eyes stared with all the terrible lustre of insanity, he rowed,
and at times struggled violently, wagging his head to and fro,
opening his mouth widely, and occasionally projecting his tongue.  Me
he did not recognize, though upon request, I sat beside him, and
took his hand.     His hallucination appeared to be, that some great
agonizing, overpowering revelation was confided to him, which he must
express,  expire in agony, and live for ever and ever!   Over
and over again did he repeat  Now I have it!  I have it   !  
raising his voice at each utterance, until it reached a frantic
vehemence.    Again, he repeated  This is Madness!  and I think
suffered as terribly as if a fiend rent him.    It was a most
painful scene.   Frequently he called for his mother, and she came.
My name he mentioned, as purporting  to go to America with Gunn. 
He had asked much for me, yesterday.   They anticipate his
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Seven: page sixty
Description:Describes visiting his friend Harry Price, who is suffering from a mental illness and is about to be taken to Bethnel Green Lunatic Asylum.
Date:1855-05-03
Subject:Asylums; Gunn, Minnie; Gunn, Samuel, Jr.; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Mental illness; Price (England); Price, Harry; Price, Mrs.
Coverage (City/State):[London, England]
Scan Date:2011-02-02

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Seven
Description:Includes an account of his family history and descriptions of his visits with family and friends in England, witnessing a procession for Louis Napoleon in London, traveling in Paris with his brothers Charley and Edwin, his friend Harry Price's mental illness, his journey across the Atlantic to New York on the ship Washington, the marriage of Fanny Fern and James Parton, meetings of the Ornithoryncus Club in New York, and Alfred Waud's elopement with Mary Brainard.
Subject:Bohemians; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Marriage; Mental illness; Publishers and publishing; Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):London, England; Paris, France; New York, New York
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.