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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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lie himself was clerk to one Boker, the patentee of
certain  bitters , the recipe of which he, Leslie, purchased
from the inventor, a German who died poor.     Upon
getting it the shrewd Scot started in business for him-
self, sustained actions for infringement of patent &c and
now ships cargoes to California and Australia, buys
up unlimited  barrels  of Scotch ale, manufactures brandy
to order, sells bitters and ginger wine and what not.
The firm is considered a very mean but perfectly reliable
one   this Leslie himself told me with a chuckle.
He is a true Mammonite, and would be merciless in
pursuit of his interest   to which he has the keenest
of eyes.     I have almost shuddered at his details of
low cases in which he has been and is engaged.    Every
touch of humanity and large heartedness seems thrown over-
board   the sharpest, severest and meanest of advantages
perceived and clutched at.     Its war to the last dollar
  ruin your adversary if you can rather than let him get
one cent the better of you.     Leslie is, like most egotists, 
a talker and the  I  is horribly prominent in his dis-
course.    His mind centres in and revolves on the dollar
pivot.      When he spends money on his own indulgences  
he is liberal in small matters   he always talks of
it afterwards, with a sort of regret and yet a respect
for himself for having done so!    Perhaps if one had
to pick out the adjective of all others most suited to
him it would be  pig-headed.      Yet he can do kind-
nesses not inconsistent with his character.     He is a
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Eight: page one hundred and ninety
Description:Describes William Leslie, who lives in his boarding house.
Date:1857-06-13
Subject:Boker; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Leslie, Frank
Coverage (City/State):[New York, 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.