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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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[newspaper clipping]
  DEATH OF A LITERARY CELEBRITY. William H. Levison
died early yesterday morning, at his residence, 132
Bleecker street.   Mr. Levison was born in the State
of New Jersey, and early adopted the stage as a profession,
but an affection of the spine compelled him to relinquish
it when he was already recognized as one of our leading
comedians   He then devoted himself to literature, and 
his  Julius Caesar Hannibal Lectures  became almost as
well known in Europe as through the length and breadth
of the States.  He was one of the originators of Negro
entertainments, and his verdict was always received as
final by other darkey professors.  Some years since he
became the proprieter of the New York Picayune, the
most successful of American comic papers.  It can
be said of him that he never made his wit the vehicle, in
one single instance of any thought which could bring a
blush on the cheek of innocence, and his  Sermons 
contain a wholesome and humorous philosophy, clothed
on racy and genial humor.  His heart and hand were
ever open to the young aspirant for literary honors,
and many an eye will be moist on hearing the sad news
of his death.  About a fortnight since Mr Levison lost
an only child, a young girl of ten years of age.  This
produced such an effect upon him that he did not leave
his house afterwards.  The illness which carried him off
was Bright s disease of the kidneys, accelerated by
grief.  He was only thirty four years of age, and leaves
a young widow to mourn his early and unexpected
death.

[handwritten by Gunn]
Written by Edge.
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Eight: page one hundred and fifty-six
Description:Newspaper clipping regarding the life and death of William Levison.
Subject:Actors; Edge, Frederick; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Levison, Ellen; Levison, William; Levison, William, Mrs.; New York picayune.; Obituaries; Publishers and publishing
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]
Coverage (Street):132 Bleecker Street
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.