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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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half-hour s pause during a thunder-storm, which kept us under shelter on a door-
step, we called on Picton.     There with him till 11, talking of topics public,
private & national.     The  Era  exists no longer;   and a new paper yclept
the  Leader  is projected.    Era  paid, though not well enough.     Left, and
parting at Duane, to our separate beds.
  12. Thursday.  Rather a dull morning, scarcely promising the glorious day
which followed.   Taking the cars at Chamber Street, was rumbled on down
Hudson & out in the brink of the North river, till trees and country
replaced timber yards.     The customary travellers, masculines reading the days
papers, the feminines talking with Yankee accent.    A stout man, with a compan-
ion seated behind me.    Pleasantly rapid journey, the Hudson on the left & country
on the right.   Arrived at Yonkers   I alight, and making inquiry, jog down
the railroad track for the space of a mile.   The tall rock  Palisades  on
the opposite shore, summit and base clad in verdure,  the river clear and
sparkling, and the blue  ther without a cloud.      Directed by a Railroad-
Paddylander I, at length, ascend the steep bank,  and winding up a neglected
path, I come suddenly in sight of Fonthill Castle.    A castellated machi-
nilated, half-Tudor-half incongruous Norman edifice, turret rising above turret.
A marvellous sleeping-beauty-in-the wood air about it; grass growing even to the lintel
summer-insects buzzing drowsily, and the wild flowers and cedars gently moving
in the breeze.  I try bell and door handle, walk round the building:   it is
clearly deserted.   Crossing a ploughed corner of land, I skirt a fence, and clamber
into the adjoining grounds.   A little verandah d villa, all deserted: another, and
of greater pretensions, deserted also.       Returning to my Railroad adviser, by his
direction pursued a path leading from the castle door; through a field of rye, the
tall blades of which reached to my shoulders, skirting a little thicket, and 
up a lane, where was a farm-villa, with sheds & prettily covered well.
A word with a red-shirted man in adjoining field had informed me.  that Mr
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Two: page one hundred and sixteen
Description:Describes his journey to Fonthill Castle.
Subject:Era.; Fonthill Castle (Riverdale, N.Y.); Gunn, Thomas Butler; Mapother, Dillon; Picton, Thomas; Publishers and publishing; Railroad; Railroad travel; Travel
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]; Yonkers, [New York]
Coverage (Street):Chamber Street; Duane Street
Scan Date:2011-02-07


Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Two
Description:Includes descriptions of Gunn's attempts to find drawing work among New York publishers, brief employment in an architectural office, visits to his soldier friend William Barth on Governors Island, boarding house living, drawing at actor Edwin Forrest's home at Fonthill Castle, and sailing and walking trips taken with friends.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Books and reading; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Military; Publishers and publishing; Religion; Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, 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.