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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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[loose newspaper clipping, beginning of article missing]
designs, and to his fate, was a famous figure in
the fifties.  Though an American of the Ame-
ricans, he was the son of a Scotchman, but on
the mother s side he had Kentucky blood in his
veins.  He was trained for the ministry, and
the rigid personal morality which he acquired
in that process never forsook him through life.
He was quite remorseless in the pursuit of his
ends, but he was ascetically pure and temperate,
and he had the greatest horror of profanity.
He went to Edinburgh to study medicine,
finished his education in a tour through the
Continental hospitals, and returned to America
in practice, but not for long.  Next he went
into the law, then into journalism.  He was
still some years short of thirty when he
was ready to become a filibuster.  He was
a man of exceedingly few words, but such
as they were they gave him unbounded in-
fluence over the fierce adventurers that followed
his banner.  He found his first true vocation in
leading a filibustering raid into much enduring
Mexico to conquer new territory for the South,
and extend the empire of slavery.  In 1853 he
captured La Paz, got himself proclaimed
President, and gave as many other offices of
State as would  go round  among his motley
following.  They were but a handful, and they
were not strong enough to hold their prize.  The
Sonora Expedition proved an utter failure, but
WALKER came off with a whole skin.  One of
his companions, who afterwards served in the
American Civil War, said  the Rebellion was a
 picnic to it for horrors.   Next he turned his
thoughts to Nicaragua, and once more leading
a handful of adventurers, captured Granada by
a coup-de-main, and soon had all Nicaragua at
his feet.  He became General-in-Chief of the
little State, and afterwards President, and he
lost no time in reinstating slavery with all
the solemnity which the occasion demanded.
He took pious credit to himself for bestowing
 comfort and Christianity  upon the blacks.
But Providence proved ungrateful.  Great
Britain was jealous, the Union, as a Govern-
ment, gave him no support, and Guatemala,
San Salvador, and Honduras took the field
against him in support of the independence of
their neighbour.  With the aid of an American
ship of war they drove him out, and he retired
to his own country, but only to meditate a new
venture.  A year or two later, with another
desperate band, he set out for Trujillo, in
Honduras, and captured the place; but he had
hardly done that before a British war steamer
came in sight, captured him, and handed him
over to the outraged native Government.  He
had an exceedingly short shrift.  He was tried
one day by court-martial and shot the next.
So died the last of the filibusters, in his thirty-
seventh year.
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Thirteen: page two hundred and forty-six
Description:Newspaper clipping regarding William Walker.
Subject:Gunn, Thomas Butler; Mexican War; Slavery; Walker, William
Coverage (City/State):Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua
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.