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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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						79
           A big Fire at Washington Market.
Worth and family, whom it appeared on the girl
and her brother s entrance, they had followed to the
Rees  residence in Brooklyn.     Jack brought news
of a fire at Washington Market, so after staying 
an hour at the house (we went in at 10) Haney
and I set off to witness the conflagration.  Drop-
ping in at Bleecker Street to change coat, and
pausing at Shepherd s door to invite his company
I saw the evil face of O Brien in his room.
(He appeared at our breakfast-table next mor-
ning.)     To the fire.     Three acres space of sheds
and shanties burning, the top of the market pro-
per covered with human beings, the flames light-
ing up the figures and faces, the streets, river
and shipping with a wondrously picturesque ef-
fect.    Making our way through the crowd and
puddles and over the hose-pipes of the firemen,
which lay strewn around like the entrails of me-
gatherii or other extinct monsters, we went aboard
the Barclay St ferry-boat and so to Hoboken, get-
ting a fine view of the conflagration, both in cros-
sing and returning.   It was a cool, clear night,
a tranquil crescent moon in the sky, her luster
paling before that of the temporary smoke of the most
exquisite colors, here and there diversified by a
great wave of ruddy flame marked the scene of
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Thirteen: page ninety
Description:Describes witnessing a fire at Washington Market with Haney and Shepherd.
Date:1860-07-11
Subject:Boardinghouses; Edwards, John; Edwards, Martha; Firemen; Fires; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Haney, Jesse; O'Brien, Fitz James; Shepherd, N.G.; Worth, Captain
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]
Coverage (Street):Bleecker Street; Washington Market
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.