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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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inflictions, to which the execrable quality of the recent feeds greatly
contributes.     Unpleasantly fragrant cow-beet, putrid sour-krout,
dish-clout soup, and lukewarm water  form the staple of our mid
day meal, and one has to take refuge in hominy and dried apples
from sheer hunger.     Reynolds, (who has been a butcher, and who
looks born to the vocation,) has a private conference with Engineer
or Head Steward, and learns particulars of the Captain s history,
how he was a low Deutche boatswain in the U.S. navy, how
he became Captain of a Jamestown steamer, and thence, making
himself useful on board the  Atlantic  (during her memorable accident
voyage,) got promoted to his present perch, which he has but
recently assumed.     How he, the Captain, aims at doing the econo-
mical, to curry favor with Owners of vessel, sends back the good meat
brought aboard, and is detested by the crew.  How he intimated
subsequent to our memorable deputation, that  the Scoundrels  (we,  
second cabin-eers)  didn t know when we were well off!   This is
noised abroad and the Captain is decidedly unpopular.               I
got hold of a  Pictorial Picayune  for July 4 of the present year,
and there find a pictorial detail of poor Yatman s duel hoax, evi-
dently the work of Alf Waud, the here figuring as  Phatman. 
Singing, and an abortive attempt at dancing occurs on the fore-deck
at even-tide, the sunset being beautiful to see.   Subsequently,
I fetch Conwarth from his berth to look over the vessels side, upon
the myriad of phosphorent sparkles, which fall in a perpetual shower
from the great paddles, dance amid the foam-flakes dashing by
the vessel s side and drift far off into the darkness astern; while
from the first cabin saloon comes the bumping and jolting of dancers,
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Seven: page one hundred and twenty-six
Description:Describes the captain of the ''Washington.''
Date:1855-07-31
Subject:Cavendy, Captain; Conworth, William; Food; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Ocean travel; Reynolds, Vincent; Transportation; Travel; Washington (Ship); Waud, Alfred; Yatman
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.