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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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	The Gallows on Gibbet Island.
close on shore, almost in front of the spot where
the gallows was erected, could be seen the sloop
E. A. Johnson, on which the wretch committed
the triple murder he was to die for.        It had a
gay flag with its name on at the masthead and
oystermen, friends of the murdered captain aboard.
If Hicks looked about anywhere he must have
seen it. (We had observed it before, at Canal
Street.)   Marching out, four abreast, up the little
pier and a hundred yards or so to the right, we
found the gallows standing on a green sloping
bank, close by the water s edge, behind it a
hollow square of U. S. soldiers, into which we
were conducted and told to seat ourselves on the
grass.       One supporting beam of the gallows ended
in a narrow inclosure of rough planks, their
tops being left uneven; in this were the weights
and man appointed to cut the rope which loosen-
ed them and effected the execution.   We were
close behind the gallows, at a few yards dis-
tance.        They put the cap over the murderer s face
(his arms were closely pinnioned behind) and in
a minute or so he stood with the rope about his
neck, the sheriff on one side, baton in hand.
This he struck thrice, with a pause between each
blow, on the enclosure.   At the third Hicks  body
rose swiftly, with no jerk or extreme violence,
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Thirteen: page ninety-six
Description:Describes going to witness the execution of pirate Albert Hicks on Bedloe's Island.
Date:1860-07-13
Subject:E. A. Johnson (Ship); Executions; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Hicks, Albert W.
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]
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.