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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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in honor of the national birthday.
                  x                   x                      x
  It is vanity to hope for happiness in this
life.   No man ever compassed it, or contentment.
Least of all is it to be won by inquiry.     Those
have reached the nearest to it who lead natural,
unquestioning lives.    It is well to give up trying
for it.
  We can by no means understand God, or the
awful mystery of existence, even in the smallest
measure.        It is well to renunciate this attempt,
  Our business in this life is to work.  Wo be
unto us if we neglect or palter with it.
              x                x                    x
  4.  Friday.       Walked down town wards to
the Park and Nassau Street, amid the salt-petre
rejoicings of the day.      Met Welden and Moore
momentarily, and the former remarked that I
looked  miserable.    Truly I felt so.     A shower
of rain sent me back in an omnibus.        Alone all
the afternoon, mostly writing to Hannah.          In
the evening, at Levison s suggestion, with him to
Madison Square, to see certain fireworks.    It was
but a poor display, but I was not sorry to go.    I
was the means of giving a child pleasure, by holding her
in my arms to see the display.          Returning through
the explosive streets, to a small celebration on our door-
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Eight: page twenty-two
Description:Describes seeing fireworks for Fourth of July with William Levison at Madison Square.
Subject:Bennett, Hannah; Fireworks; Fourth of July; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Levison, William; Moore, Mr.; Welden, Charles
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]
Coverage (Street):Madison Square; Nassau Street
Scan Date:2011-02-02


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.