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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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American never cared a jot for his slave mistress or her
children by him.      See the cruel wrong bred by this.   This
girl, Louisa Jacobs is intelligent and handsome.  I have sket-
ched her heretofore but will do it now more minutely.  No European
would suspect the African blood in her veins; probably she
would be considered a trifle Jewish. (Most likely the name was
selected for that purpose.)   She has the most beautifully silky
black hair I ever saw, without exception, on human head. Only
a rich glossy ripple   such as young ladies produce artificially, now
a days   hints at the dreaded kink, the wool characterizing
the unhappy race.     Her nose is aquiline and delicate, her eyes
fine and lustrous, her teeth white, her complexion a warm yel-
low.   Looking at her full face, you think it perfect   that it
could not be bettered, but the profile is a little too thin   it
lacks fullness, and suggests haggardness towards the decline of
life.     The girl has a sweet, soft, contralto voice, was kind,
modest and self respective, and I do believe would make any
man a good, loving wife.   I ve never seen any one white American
girl whom I d have chosen in preference, and I ve seen hund-
dreds everway her inferior.  (I ve never, for five minutes,
admitted the possibility of marrying aught but an English girl   no
more than I have mating out of my own species.)   Well, this
girl can never be married and admitted into society on this
side of the Atlantic.  Her poor black mother would come and
sit at her husband s table, her relatives, too.  And this, in
republican America, would taboo them.         They thought Ed.
Wells was affected towards her, and Haney told me that
 it might have been  but for her origin.       Had I loved such
a girl, that shouldn t have stopped me, nor all the Americans
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Nine: page one hundred and fifty-six
Description:Describes the daughter of Harriet Jacobs, Louisa.
Date:1858-05-23
Subject:African Americans; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Jacobs, Harriet; Jacobs, Louisa; Marriage; Slaveholders; Slavery; Slaves; Welles, Edward; Women
Coverage (City/State):[Brooklyn, New York]
Scan Date:2011-02-02

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Nine
Description:Includes descriptions of boardinghouse living, a picnic at Hoboken with other New York artists and journalists, his drawing and writing work in New York, attending a lecture by Lola Montez, visits to James Parton and Fanny Fern and the Edwards family, a controversy over Fitz James O'Brien's story ''The Diamond Lens,'' artist Sol Eytinge's relationship with writer Allie Vernon, the suicide of writer Henry William Herbert, antics of the New York Bohemians, the interest of people living in his boarding house in spiritualism, a visit to his friend George Bolton's farm in Canada, a visit to Niagara Falls, and a scandal involving Harbormaster Willis Patten, who lives in his boarding house.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Bohemians; Farms; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Publishers and publishing; Suicide; Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Rochester, New York; Elmira, New York; Paris, Ontario, Canada
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.