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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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purchasing a quart of milk at the grocery-store, sate on a log by the river
side and ate the remainder of our crackers for breakfast.       That done, we
mount the winding road, and impelled I think by evil influence, strike
of mid the rocks, thinking to this mount to the summits of the Palisides.
Rough progress was it, Hoboken cliffs made tenfold more difficult. Clinging
to trees and twigs, now crawling hands and feet, across a bare spot,
where a fall would have resulted in a tumble of a hundred feet or more, now 
making devious way through brake and underwood, on we go, and still
upwards and yet upwards.     Anon Mason shouts out to me that there s such
an ensanguined great snake, and that he nearly placed his hand on him,
whereon Serpent put up his head and tongue and hissed.     Upon which I with
big tall stick make way to the place and Mason providing himself with another
we make an onslaught on the reptile. But he got away mid the rocks &
holes, and perchance had we known that it was, as we afterwards learnt
a copper-head snake, and very dangerous, poisonous, we might not have cared
to have looked for him as we did. /  Finding we could not clamber to the
rocks summit, for when, at least I think 300 feet had been scaled, there
rose up sheer bare abrupt rocks, jutting forth and unapproachable, we made
our way back for the road .   Two or three hours must we have been in 
this world of rocks and Caves, and at length coming on to the road, I
risked a scramble down a steep bank, fell, and sprained my ancle
horribly.               Sat awhile in great pain, then hobbled to the beach, and
bathed it. Then tock counsel. Mason wishing to continue his journey,  I to
get across to Yonkers. Sought for a nigger owning a boat hard-by; he being
out we lay down in a hollow of the cliff-side.     Mason bathed, and I
dozed, my ancle swelled extremely but I not in much pain.     Nigger ar-
riving, he was a far young one, wouldn t be bribed to take us over. &
spake as do all the aborigines in their humbugging Jersey state, surlily.   So,
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Two: page one hundred and seventy-four
Description:Describes a walking trip taken with Mason, including bothering a snake.
Subject:Food; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Leisure; Mason; Snakes
Coverage (City/State):Hoboken, [New Jersey]; Yonkers, [New York]
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.