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[newspaper clipping]
  We herewith present a portrait of George
Alfred Townsend, the most widely known of
American newspaper correspondents.  He was
born at Georgetown, Delaware, January 31,
1841, and is therefore thirty-three years old.
This fact will surprise thousands of our read-
ers who have heard and read of the cor-
respondent for these sixteen years.  The
anomaly is explained by the fact that Mr.
Townsend began to write when a boy and
made his mark instantly.  His father and
mother were Marylanders, from the remotest
part of the Eastern Shore, and his birthplace
was incidental to a clergyman s change of
parish.  His only brother is a lecturer at the
Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia,
and in his profession is no less widely recog-
nized as a man of intelligence and promise.
  The life of George Alfred Townsend has
been fresh and unique amongst newspaper
men, attended with much travel and adventure,
and his themes and style are therefore buoy-
ant, enlivening, and original.  His versatility
and dispatch are instanced by the great number
of places at which he appears, the vivid manner
he has of sketching men, things, and atmos-
pheres, and the apt, quaint, and often profound
generalizations he makes in the course of his nar-
rative.  He has been an ardent historical student,
particularly of American local and neighbor-
hood history, and the free and manly flow of 
his ideas borders upon humor on one side and
eloquence on the other.  Few American jour-
nalists have equal felicity to lay a subject or
character bare, and at the same time qualify 
severity with some magnanimous concession
which gives the verdict the power of justice.
He is essentially a teacher and illustrator, with
the poetical and practical qualities combined
in very rare proportions.  As an author and a 
lecturer he has had success in equal measure,
apparently without great effort, and his income
for several years past has been about twelve
thousand dollars per annum.  The calls upon
his pen are bounded only by the limits of
strength and performance.  He resides in
Washington City, where he has a family, and
of the interests of that city, to which he is
attached by geographical and social ties, he has
become a warm champion.  Among the jour-
nals to which he has been a fertile contributor
are the New York and Chicago Tribunes, the
New York World and Herald, the Cincinnati 
Commercial, the Boston Post, the New York
GRAPHIC, the Cleveland Leader, the Missouri
Democrat, and the Philadelphia Press.  He has
three times visited Europe, and been in every
State of the Union and in the West Indies.

Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Nineteen: page two hundred and sixty-four
Description:Newspaper clipping regarding newspaper correspondent George Alfred Townsend.
Subject:Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Townsend, George Alfred
Scan Date:2010-06-17


Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Nineteen
Description:Includes Gunn's descriptions of his experiences as a war correspondent for ""The New York Tribune"" in Virginia while traveling with the Army of the Potomac during the Peninsular Campaign; the Siege of Yorktown; the Battle of Williamsburg; his departure from Alexandria on the steamer Kent; the ruins of Hampton, Virginia, after it was burnt by John B. Magruder; touring the gunboat Monitor; the death of Fitz James O'Brien from a gunshot wound; Jim Parton's temporary separation from Fanny Fern; and seeing Robert E. Lee's house in Virginia.
Subject:Civil War; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Marches (U.S. Army); Marriage; Medical care (U.S. Army); Military; Military camp life; Peninsular Campaign (Va.); Prisoners of war (Confederate); Siege of Yorktown (Va.); Slavery; Slaves; Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Washington, District of Columbia; Alexandria, Virginia; Hampton, Virginia; Yorktown, Virginia; Williamsburg, Virginia
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.