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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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nephew John, who came out at his invitation.(The
Tews, also his nephews, Mrs T, their mother, being sis-
ter to the elder Conworths, had heretofore lived on this very farm,
and I fancy there may be some soreness and grudging lingering
in the minds of the stalwart brothers at John s superior good
fortune in getting the land.)   To go back to Conworth pere.
It is a marvel that a man can have lived so long in this great
world knowing so exceedingly little ot it as he.  No woman s
existence has been more completely horizoned by the rim of
tea cup and slop basin.   A kindly, simple hearted man of,
I think, narrow capacity, he, having vegetated rather than li-
ved for nearly eighty years, now manifests symptoms of
intellectual decay.  His wits   God help us   are not so
blunt as they should be   an old man, but honest as the
skin between his brows.  His pleasures and troubles are alike
trivial.     His one hobby is Adam Clarke s bible; and compa-
ring text with text, especially on the subject of prophecy and
Revelation.   He does this in the simplest, barrenest manner.
Its profitless as milking he-goats into a sieve, as Rabelais
has it.  He will talk to you of the Millenium, defining its
duration, will back Daniel as a prophet in despite of canu-
chism and other Rabbinical objectives; will set innocent little
traps to induce you to read this or that comment on scriptu-
ral texts.  Doubt never seems to have occurred to him, now
can I fancy he has encountered any of the struggles which
beset stronger souls who are in earnest on the awful ques-
tion of existence.     If one were to cry Pshaw upon his
dead Hebrews, to tell him that you believed that no one human
soul would be damned, that the miraculous was the element
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Nine: page two hundred and nineteen
Description:Describes the Conworth family.
Date:1858-10-11
Subject:Conworth; Conworth, John; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Religion
Coverage (City/State):[Paris, Ontario]
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.