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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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our Creator knows and we may   someday.
             x                x               x                x
  A lowering chilly day.     I had been in-doors all
Thursday and felt feverish and nervous.          Walked
up to 27th Street and called on Bellew.            After-
noon in doors, and evening at Mrs Jewells.
              x                 x                x
  I must put down, here, one of the oddest and most
revolting things I ever heard.    On the day of Ellen
Levison s funeral, one of the women present, a  friend 
of the family, said to the bereaved mother  Oh! Mrs
L, do let me know when you remove Ellen to Green-
wood.   It s so long since I ve had a good cry that
I should like to come!                       It was using
the dead child s body as a substitute for an onion.
  21.  Saturday .  M ller, a German sculptor,
who had some acquaintance with Levison, came to
take a cast of his face, which, Mrs L consenting
to, was performed, myself being present.    The
countenance was more sharply defined, the nose more
prominent, the forehead seemingly higher than in life.
First the operators oiled and buttered the countenance,
then passed a string down the face centrally, from fore-
head to chin, and then poured on a suffiency of
plastor of paris to form a thick mask.      This when
nearly solid was divided in two by pulling the string
through it.      Held up, the reversed likeness was quite
startling.       The operation took place in the smaller
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Eight: page one hundred and fifty-seven
Description:Regarding German sculptor Muller coming to take a cast of William Levison's face.
Subject:Bellew, Frank; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Jewell, Mrs.; Levison, Ellen; Levison, William, Mrs.; Muller; Women
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]
Coverage (Street):27th 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.