Lehigh University
The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
Previous Issue Next Issue
Previous Page Next Page
0 matches
	        At Charleston.

[newspaper clipping continued: first column]
ton architecture is universally prone,) have given
these old mansions a hybrid character curious to
contemplate.  It is as though Sir Charles Grandison
were offering his arm to a Mexican donna, the Spec-
tator coquetting with a lady out of Gil Blas.  Steep
pediments, columns of bastard-classic order and
elaborately-formal windows alternate with jalousie
blinds, Moresco arches, suggestions from Seville
and bits of the Alhambra, affording a sort of tran-
sition to the directly Spanish-American houses,
some of which might have been transported bodily,
like the Chapel of Loretto, from New Granada.  As, 
in Charleston each private house of any pretensions
generally differs from its neighbors, you may be-
hold in one street or row an English country
mansion of the time of George I., a sea-side villa, a
Spanish-Mexican house and a trim, white, wooden
American one, the last of which run to classicality
and increase in numbers and newness on the out-
skirts.  In the city some of these are very hand-
some and surrounded by ample pleasure grounds.
They seem to endeavor to look as old as possible, as
if in deference to its prevailing air of antiquity.
  Down-town (we go thither to business, as in New
York) the situation and general disposition of
which, as you have been pretty frequently informed
of late, Charleston resembles.  The river-side
streets, lanes and wharves are not unlike those of
the  quaint old-fashioned quiet town of Newport, 
though a trifle dingier.  I have an English book,
 imprinted  just after the great fire of London, and
illustrated with engravings on copper, the houses
in which were immediately suggested to my mind
by some adjacent to the Cooper river, not far from
the Battery, in Charleston; which Battery, a
pretty place (neither a dirt-pie on a large scale, nor
a civic dumping-ground), with its trees, posts and
esplanade, I pronounce also, on pictorial authority,
very much akin to the Marine Parade of some 
English sea-side watering-place.  The houses on
one side of it, by-the-by, are good examples of

[newspaper clipping continued: second column]
Charleston privacy and individuality; I doubt if
one of them is of the same fashion, or stands upon
the same line or angle.
  East Bay, with its brown or brick stores, its occa-
sional tiled roofs, its wagons, bales, boxes and bar-
rels, (the latter signs of business now, alas! la-
mentably few,) its river-side laborers and negro
carmen, its wholesale smells, glimpses of shipping
and cobble-stoned alleys, reminds one in many 
respects of a parallel locality in New York.  Though
in the latter city Broad street cannot, I believe, 
boast of a bank after the model of a Doric temple,
nor one next door to it resembling a miniature
Moorish palace.
  Turning upwards from East Bay into the quiet
and shabby side streets, I may mention, for the sake
of its peculiarity, a rather startling sign or combi-
nation of them, originated by an ingenious manu-
facturer in iron.  It resembles a general stampede
of articles, both offensive, allegorical and utilitarian,
in the direction of over the way, by means of a fire-
escape.  A brightly-gilt cannon is foremost, an
American Eagle with pendant steamers next, a
combination of an anvil and a ship third, followed
by a confusion of wheels, a coffee-mill and a Pal-
metto branch!  Not far from this, in an adjacent
street, I saw another sign with the inscription,
 Slaves for sale here. 
  Broad street (like Broadway, scarcely worthy of
its title), with a battered Custom-house and Post-
office at one end, and inclining to the patrician at
the other, exhibits a plentiful variety of different 
colored and fashioned houses.  I think I observed
one of every tint, including bright blue.  Here,
down-town, are the banks, the public offices, the
latter always more or less of the Queen-Annish
order.  Let me state, too, that Charleston has hand-
somer, costlier and more permanent looking 
churches than any city of a similar size on this side
of the Atlantic.

[Gunn s diary continued]
almost entirely about McElrath s resuming
the  Century,  getting it for nothing from Gib-
bons and about Stockton finding employment
thereon, to the dissatisfaction of Stedman who
was greedy of having his finger in the pie.     Af-
ter half an hour at the Consulate went to the
 Courier  office and there, in a little front room
on the second floor (American) with which I became
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Fourteen: page one hundred and eighty-three
Description:Conclusion of Gunn's article for ''The Evening Post'' about his impressions of Charleston.
Subject:Books and reading; Century.; Charleston courier.; Gibbons; Gunn, Thomas Butler; McElrath; Stedman, Edmund Clarence; Stockton
Coverage (City/State):Charleston, [South Carolina]; New York, [New York]; Seville, [Spain]; London, [England]
Coverage (Street):Broad Street; Broadway
Scan Date:2010-04-30


Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Fourteen
Description:Includes descriptions of attending a lecture by J.H. Siddons on Queen Victoria; seeing tightrope walker Charles Blondin perform; boarding house living; his freelance writing and drawing work; visits to the Edwards family and his friendship with Sally Edwards; a visit of the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII of Great Britain, to New York; his work as a reporter for ''The New York World;'' a visit to a dog fighting establishment; an evening spent at the 4th Ward police station awaiting 1860 election returns; and Gunn's experience as a correspondent for ""The New York Evening Post"" in Charleston, South Carolina, in the aftermath of South Carolina's secession from the federal government.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Civil War; Elections; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Military; Police; Publishers and publishing; Secession; Slavery; Slaves; Travel
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Charleston, South Carolina
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 2010 Missouri History Museum.
Source:Page images, transcriptions, and metadata of the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries have been provided by the Missouri History Museum.