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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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I can scarcely fancy, from her daughters complexion,
a perfect negress, yet I inferred so from the story.
The mother s owner was father to this girl, and
a brother of hers, now at sea.      She has been a
protegee of the Willis family.           The girl is
handsome possessing rather a Jewish face,
delicately shaped acquiline nose, and hair of such a
deep, lustrous, silky black that I have never seen its
equal.       To see the sunlight rest upon it was to marvel
that hair could be so lovely. No painting or words could
do justice to it.         Her complexion is of a warm,
sunny tint, such as you might fancy proper to an
Italian girl, her eyes full and modest, her face clear
and perfectly proportioned, her manner reserved.    One
would never suspect the existence of negro blood in her.
I was told that she had been highly educated; but
was conscious of the prejudice against her birth here  
as how should she escape knowing it?                  We
all went to the Fort Green heights after sunset, and
stayed about two hours, Oliver Dyer accompanying.
  18.  Friday.  A letter from Cornelius Bagster,
requesting me to meet three ladies, on the arrival
of the Fulton, (which came yesterday.)      So, in the
afternoon to Edwards, to inquire of one of the Mrs Ed-
wardses (who had come back to N. Y. in the same
vessel), about these ladies.       Then to the ship.  Learnt
that a brother had met  em, therefore there was no
need of me.       Drawing.
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Eight: page twenty-nine
Description:Describes Louisa Jacobs, daughter of Harriet Jacobs, who is living with Fanny Fern and her family.
Date:1856-07-17
Subject:Bagster, Cornelius Birch; Dyer, Oliver; Edwards, George; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Jacobs, Harriet; Jacobs, Louisa; Slaves; Women
Coverage (City/State):[Brooklyn, 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.