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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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  Down stairs during the evening, talking with
Mrs Gouverneur and Miss Church.
  I have learnt, from the landlady, Mrs Potter,
the details of poor Levison s death-scene   which are
such that I can scarcely fancy anything more appal-
ling.    With the exception of the landlady each person
present seems to have entirely lost self-control.
Haney flung himself on the floor, shrieked out, held
his hands up to his head and cried  Oo-o-o-o-o! 
John Levison, (the brother) behaved  as if crazy 
was perpetually applying himself to the gin-bottle
and carrying it out to the two amateur watchers,
sitting on the staircase.  They kept coming in 
says Mrs P,  and going to the fire place to spit,
again and again.        I declare it was nothing but
spitting and drinking.      And Patten, that bulky
hard-featured, discordantly-voiced, Hippopotamus-
like man would come forwards with his hands
in his trousers pockets, and stare into Levison s
face with a look of stolid fright.   And there
the dying man lay  with his eyes rolling.  Mrs
L fetched from the adjoining room fell swoon-
ing to the ground, and was carried out    
  Horrible!  Horrible!  No solemn, sorrowful recogni-
tion of Death as  something that had been thought
of, as an old, old, sad story, that we must
submit to, and if we can do no better let our hearts
break in silence                      But instead of this
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Eight: page one hundred and sixty
Description:Describes William Levison's death scene, as heard from Mrs. Potter.
Subject:Church, Mrs. (Andreotti); Gouverneur, Mrs. (Gill, Griffin); Gunn, Thomas Butler; Haney, Jesse; Levison, John; Levison, William; Patten, Willis; Potter, Mrs.
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]
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.