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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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has a friend stopping here with her, as a comfor- 
ter.   She is a widow, has been married twice, and went
to Caliornia, via Mexico, in 1849, lived in tents, kept
a boarding-house &c and tells amusing but exaggerated
stories of her San Francisco experience.   She s not at
all good-looking though, I think, good-humored, professes
to be a Swedenborgian in creed and talks palpable Yankee.
Among other things, in conversation with Mrs Church and
myself, one evening, she narrated a facetious (!) dialogue
between herself and her mother, an old woman of seventy,
in which she had rallied her parent about how she d look
in her coffin, told her she shouldn t let a good, new
night-gown be wasted on her corpse, with much more
of the same delightful jocularity!          This is a bit of
Yankee nature I have noticed heretofore   the absence of
all feeling of the sacredness of death or parentage.   I dare
say this woman is a good average daughter, but jesting
on such a subject argues a coarseness of nature which
is   thoroughly American!         /           Leslie s engagement
with Miss Bella Farr has snapt   perhaps permanently.
Cause a spice of jealousy on his part and an indefinite
conviction that she didn t manifest enough fondness for
him!   He told her this, suggesting they d better postpone
matrimony till spring &c and subsequently wrote her
a letter which made a break-off optional.   Now he
begins to calculate on getting his presents   pretty valuable
ones   returned!         This is his account.    They may
splice matters again.    I suppose the girl knowing she
has money and other admirers, not knowing much
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Nine: page one hundred and eighty
Description:Regarding the end of William Leslie's engagement to Bella Farr.
Date:1858-08-12
Subject:Farr, Bella; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Leslie, William; Patten, Willis, Mrs.; Women
Coverage (City/State):[New York, 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.