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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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                       Mary Bilton.
to rally her.     Her figure was quite womanly,
her shoulders (how often have I stooped to
kiss them, when she sat at the piano!) and
bust were beautiful.       She possessed a delicious
contralto voice, clear, sweet, and musical;
it used to affect me with an intensity of plea-
sure, akin to pain.         When she came home,
from the Harmons  school and Kennington, I
remember, and sang, in the dear old King s
Road front parlor; there was quite a crowd
collected in front of the area.       I dare say
they had an indefinite impression that she was
a professional.        She knew a good many
songs, some of which I can hardly hear, now,
without a bit of a pang.       She worked hard
in the family, which was rather Micawber-
ish, though never to the extent of downright
penury, doing all sorts of things, even, I 
suspect, helping to scrub floors.  They never
had regular servants, though more charwo-
men and hangers-on than would have absorb-
ed the wages of one.   Mary could cook a din-
ner, make her arm dresses and bonnets, dance
and show as well in a ball-room as though
she were ignorant of all but the latter   be-
fore she took to religion.     She was good-hu-
mored, frank, sometimes rude, scarcely
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Thirteen: page sixteen
Description:Regarding his memories of Mary Bilton singing.
Date:1860-06-10
Subject:Bilton, Mary; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Music; Women
Scan Date:2011-01-29

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Thirteen
Description:Includes descriptions of boarding house living, his freelance writing and drawing work, antics of New York literary Bohemians, Frank Cahill fleeing for England after spending money that was meant for ''The New York Picayune,'' visits to the Edwards family, the state of Charles Damoreau's marriage, a sailing excursion to Nyack with the Edwards family and other friends on the Fourth of July, a fight between Fitz James O'Brien and House at Pfaff's, witnessing a fire at Washington Market, the execution of pirate Albert Hicks on Bedloe's Island, an excursion aboard the ship Great Eastern, a vacation at Grafton with the Edwards family, his growing friendship with Sally Edwards, Lotty Granville's behavior with Brentnall and Hill at his boarding house, Frank Bellew's return to England, and visits to dance houses in the Fourth Ward with friends for an article.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Bohemians; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Marriage; Publishers and publishing; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Grafton, New York
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.