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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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	      A Sailors  Dance-House.
At his instance out we started into the wet night.
(I have omitted, by the way, to mention that some
 charges  were heard by the other serjeant, one
funny.       It consisted of two tailors, accused of
 lashing out at one another  with umbrellas in the
Bowery.     They were both Irish and discharged
with a joking reprimand.         They radiated in talk,
a la Mrs Quickley or Flora Finching.)              After
trying one or two subterranean doors, unsuccessful-
ly, Williams entered from the street, a dance-
house.   A raised orchestra at one end with four or
five musicians, a liquor bar, no windows, sailors
and waterside men sitting round the room on a
bench, and some dancing with  the girls.    These
were half a dozen coarse women, of ages avera-
ging from twenty to thirty-five or forty, dressed
showily with preposterous, ungainly hoops which,
in conjunction with their motions, displayed a good
deal of leg.     The were all cleanly dressed, had on
white or pink stockings and cloth boots.        Some 
had hideous faces, hard, merciless, brutal in fea-
ture, hardly a touch of humanity in them, others
were not so repulsive, one had really a fine face.
All were rouged, all, of course, prostitutes.
They lived in the house, paying $7 or $8 board,
weekly.    From this place to another, not twenty
steps distance, a smaller den, where was a
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Thirteen: page two hundred and twenty-one
Description:Describes visits to dance houses in the Fourth Ward with George Boweryem, Jesse Haney, Charles Damoreau, and N. G. Shepherd, escorted by Sergeant Williams.
Date:1860-09-08
Subject:Boweryem, George; Clothing and dress; Damoreau, Charles (Brown); Gunn, Thomas Butler; Haney, Jesse; Police; Prostitutes; Shepherd, N.G.; Williams, Sergeant; Women
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.