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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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  From the twentieth to the end of the Month.    I must attempt
to lump together the details of these, perhaps the most wretched
days I have ever experienced, all confusedly horrible as they are
in my memory.     I ve touched the verge of lunacy,   looked within
and beheld its unspeakable horrors,   almost been dragged within.
How, day by dy, it grew upon me,   the dread of coming
madness, I can scarcely put down.   I was very, very much
alone, despondent and devoured by a burning anxiety to get on
with my book   which very anxiety defeated itself.     I d sit
for a whole morning, with a burning, throbbing headache, trying
painfully to write, feeling as though life, salvation depended on
my progress.    Each night, as I lay down on my floor bed,
 t would be with an impatient, wearying wish for the morrow,
that I might be up and do an immense day s work.    And when
the morning sunlight came slowly flushing the [word crossed out] brickwork
of Stewarts   (with which I am so horribly familiar,)   just as
it had yesterday, and for so many yesterdays    twould seem
so real, remorseless, cruel, that it frightened me.     Then came
the sordid drudgery of cleaning up, fire lighting, coal fetching from
the lower depths of this detestable building, then out to my
breakfast, generally at Sweeney s, where I d fancy the very
waiters marked my scared and anxious face, and were gentler
towards me than usual.        Sometimes, when a steamer was in
I d go to the Post Office for papers, and the sight of my mother s
handwriting would affect me most distressingly, even to tears. I d 
seem as if destined never to see her more.          Banks came up
sometimes, and his visits were half a kindness, half a nuisance.
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Seven: page one hundred and seventy-three
Description:Describes experiencing anxiety and depression.
Subject:Banks, A.F.; Gunn, Samuel, Mrs.; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Mental illness
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]
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.