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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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of life aboard, as experienced by a Second Class Passenger aboard
the Washington.   You rise at somewhere about 7, descend
amid the chaos of boxes, to washing and dressing, then out, and
by 8 to breakfast, which is rough but plentiful.  Beef steak,
veal, lobscouse, old potatoes, rice, and indifferently good tea and
coffee are served on thick and well chipped earthenware, the Stewards
assistants being civil and assiduous.   Another table  follows the first
one, as we have 200 passengers, and this occurs at each meal.
Breakfast over you have till 1 P M for reading, smoking, idling
and general fraternization .   The Germans, of whom we have a large
number aboard, lie about on bulk heads, pace up and down or
congregate together in the fore-part of the vessel, which appears to be
particularly their domain.     They sport all sorts of queerly-fashioned
habiliments, capotes with peaked hood on top, (like to mediavel English
citizen dress,) scanty coats of unnatural color, tight pantaloons, loose
pantaloons, gaily braided caps, ugly shapeless hats, shoes as if
the foot had been dipped in ink and permitted to dry, flabby, sloshing
list slippers, gaily worked slippers, and tight, knobby corn-sug-
gesting boots.     Among them are wiry haired, grim old men, women
who in their youth could never have looked pleasant or feminine, young
buxom frauleins, and stumpy, harsh speaking young men.  Some
are destined for Cincinatti, St Louis and the west, others purpose
to remain at New York.     Many English we have on board pro-
ceed for Canada, where they have, or intend to make homes, some go
to the States; but there are (to my present knowledge) only two Ame-
ricans here, one being chummed in our cabin.       Dinner consists of
indifferent soup, joints of beef, mutton or veal of endurable quality,
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Seven: page one hundred and fourteen
Description:Describes his journey across the Atlantic to New York on the ''Washington.''
Subject:Clothing and dress; Food; Germans; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Ocean travel; Transportation; Travel; Washington (Ship)
Scan Date:2011-02-02


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.