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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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                 Picturesque Scene.
the night.    The masts of the shipping in front
stood out black and ragged, looking curiously
irregular out of perpendicular.   Disembarking,
again on the New York side, we mounted the
piles of the ferry-wharf and surveyed the bur-
ning area.         Not many projecting objects were
standing, it appeared a bed of bright fire,
a row of men sharp and blackly-defined on
a pier before us and more farther on, seem-
ingly in the midst of the conflagration.  When
we got out into the street again, the steam fire-
engines were at work, puffing like a Mississippi
steam boat.      We made two attempts to get into
close quarters with the fire, threading the intrica-
cies of butcher s shops, amid the suspended car-
cases of sheep, by potato sacks, where rough
men conversed or boys lay sleeping, through
crowds of firemen and lookers-on, but could 
not penetrate very far, being checked, good-hu-
mouredly enough, by the police.    Ahead of us
was a blur and smother of conflagration, in
front, an engine with a row of men, seemingly
up in the air, working heavily, the machine rocking
to their labour with a ricketty thud, disorderly
monotonous to the ear.       Homewards by an
overcrowded 3rd Avenue Car.        The last south-
ward view we had of the fire, presented an omi-
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Thirteen: page ninety-one
Description:Describes witnessing a fire at Washington Market with Haney and Shepherd.
Subject:Firemen; Fires; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Haney, Jesse; Police; Shepherd, N.G.
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]
Scan Date:2011-01-29


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.