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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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 and the black tempest swilled and gathered up apiece ,    Just in time were we to
fasten boat and cover up contents, and make a rush for an adjacent hotel pavilion,
when down came the driving rain, mid a tornado of dust, covering trees & uproar.
All sate under terrace imbibing smashes, sarsaparillas & the like, and thus &
in converse passed three hours or so, the storm having been succeeded by a dead
calm.  Embarkation at length, leaving Swinton & another Engraver, who had
but intended a days cruising.  Tacking to & fro, now being rowed, towed along
by the other boat, but making little progress, till an hours space, when a fair breeze
sprang up, and we coasted along in the sunset, looking out for a space where
to  camp .    At length, warned by the increasing murkiness of the gloaming a
spot is selected; fronting a little bay where the water was of as deep or green as
the tall trees which covered the high banks. A few little wooden buildings
on our left, ^|before| us the wide water, and on our right the mass of yellow
of deep red and purple barred west. A heavy sullen swell of the water and
again overcast sky indicate rain, and scarcely had we got canvass tent &c
in shore than it commenced. Fireflies gleaming through the foliage, musquitos
buzzing, rain pouring into the tall grass & wild flowers.  All busy, fixing the
tent  gaints an old skeleton of an antediluvian boat, but ribs only, and there
so decayed that Roberts tumbled through  em with fearful havoc to them & 
peril to his sconce.  Divers aboriginal boys about, and indeed the barbarous
people shewed us no little kindness, for they lent hand to and tent tying. No 
poles were out, but tent was fixed up indifferently well, and ere long we and
the aborigines were inside.   A little imbibition & converse, the rain plashing dis-
mally outside.  A pad of milk gotten & marvellously soon disposed of.  Aborigine
go off, and the rest, save one play cards as to who s to cook breakfast in the morn.
I be on the damp grass beside & doze  though uneasily.     Game over, great unrol-
ling of blankets, and placing valases & carpet-bags for pillows, at length all be
down, as close as anchovies in a barrel, Lantorn overhead, which ere long in ex-
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Two: page one hundred and thirty-three
Description:Describes a sailing trip taken with Roberts and other men.
Date:1851-07-10
Subject:Gunn, Thomas Butler; Leisure; Mosquitoes; Native Americans; Nature; Swinton, Alfred; Thunderstorms
Coverage (City/State):[Staten Island, New York]
Scan Date:2011-02-07

 

Volume
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.