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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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the afternoon, writing at night.  Adam of Mentz.      Wrote a letter to Washington
Irving, asking for his autograph.
  19. Tuesday.  To the Post Office, (meeting George Brown by the way, who with white
teeth & trousers, and sanguine hair, stood ventilating himself at the door of a dry goods 
Return, an hours idling in the Nassau Street bookstores.  Bought Carlyle s translation of 
Wilhelm Meister;  Macaulays Lays of Ancient Rome, & a volume of Hood.   Writing.
At 5 or so called on Roberts, and with him to Brooklyn where getting ready the boat
we started for a cruise; a dull sky overhead, the water of a grey-brown tint;
adjacent shores cold-looking; and a brisk breeze blowing, sending the water flying
from the sharp forepast of the little vessel.  Coasting Governors Isle, then far
out to the right, then across to Staten Island shore, then to Gowanus; by the
time the red flaming disc of the sun appeared, low on the horizon, tinting a path 
of wave tops with glory, above him rosy bosomed clouds, and far over all a heavy
mass of indigo.  (Fancy in such scene as this, the vast shoulders and head of
some submarine Titon upheaving from the deep, to take a glance at the sinking
day-god; with thick, unkempt hair and beard, seaweed, sea flower and coral-deck-
ed, and placid vast kindly features & human expression.       Could such thing be,
much like Bulwer s last Faun must our Tritonic-titon feel, as we  human
mortals  now with our stupid wisdom commonplace  stedfastly persist in blinding the
minds eye with our Mammon god.     I would we could believe such things.)
Landing at Gowanus, took as Robert s phrased it  a nip , then to the  pavilion  of
an intimate of his, who not proving at home, we after an half hour or so, devoted
to very indifferent oysters, set sail again.       By this time it was quite dark, no moon 
visible, though an infinitude of stars.   A brisk breeze sent us flying through the tranquil
water, through Buttermilk Channel, and coasting the Long Island shore, an hour
and half saw us back to Gray s bath.   Weary work with sails & accesaries; then
good bye and back to New York and bed. (Barth had called during my absence)
  20. and 21. Wednesday and Thursday.  Sticking in doors both days, scribbling
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Two: page one hundred and fifty-seven
Description:Describes a boat tour around the New York islands taken with Roberts.
Subject:Barth, William; Books and reading; Brown, George; Governors Island (New York County, N.Y.); Gunn, Thomas Butler; Hood, Thomas; Irving, Washington; Leisure; Roberts; Staten Island (New York, N.Y.); Writing
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]; Brooklyn, [New York]
Coverage (Street):Nassau 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.