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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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							11
 Ruth Hall ,  is a light haired, dogmatic, conceited
man, addicted to talking in a damnably opinionative
man.    Walt Whitman is six feet high, nearer
forty than thirty, I should say, very much sun-
burned and rough handed.        He is broad in propor-
tion to his height, has a short, partially gray beard
and moustache, and a neck as brown as a berry.
His face is very manly and placid.       He wears a
wide brimmed low crowned felt hat, a rough, loose
coat, striped shirt (with perceptible red flannel one
under it,)   no vest,  loose short pants, and big
thick boots.           Thus accoutered I find him lounging
on the sofa beside Fanny Fern, his legs reposing
on a stool or chair.     She is, as usual, very brightly
dressed, never in precisely the same costume as the
one you last look on.         Parton seated in an
arm chair, in short, brown, loose in-doors coat, white
pants and low shiny shoes, listens, leaning forwards
to Walt s talk.        Parton has a thin face, sallow 
complexion, acquiline nose and darkish hair, which
he wears rather long.   One of his eyes, too, has a
peculiar expression which I take to be partly wall, partly
strabismus.            He looks a student.         Dyer will
probably be sitting  tother side of Fanny, perhaps
with his arm resting on the sofa behind her.       In
the rear, Fanny s elder daughter Grace (Eldridge)
will be reading.   She is a tall, fair haired girl
of 16 or so, with an innocentish face,   very fond
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Eight: page seventeen
Description:Describes his visit to Fanny Fern and James Parton, where he encounters Walt Whitman and Oliver Dyer.
Date:1856-06-30
Subject:Dyer, Oliver; Eldredge, Grace (Thomson); Fern, Fanny; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Parton, James; Whitman, Walt
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]
Scan Date:2011-02-02

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Eight
Description:Includes descriptions of the process of publishing his book, ''The Physiology of New-York Boarding Houses;'' his poor mental state upon returning to New York from England; meeting Walt Whitman; visits with Fanny Fern, James Parton, and Harriet Jacobs' daughter Louisa who is living with them; a visit to the Catskill Mountains with the Edwards family; moving into the boarding house at 132 Bleecker Street; working on the publication ''European'' with Colonel Hugh Forbes; the death of publisher William Levison and his daughter Ellen in his boarding house; visiting the scene of the murder of a dentist to get a sketch of the suspect; visiting Newport, Rhode Island, on assignment to sketch for Frank Leslie; and the death of his brother-in-law, Joseph Greatbatch.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Bohemians; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Medical care; Mental illness; Publishers and publishing; Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Newport, Rhode Island
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.