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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  Gorilla Club. 
Our quarters we dubbed  Gorilla Eyry.  When
a good thing was said we beat our breasts
and howled in appreciation.    We had a chorus
parodied from a popular song, thus:
      On the banks of the gay Mis-sis-sippi
	There dwelt a Gorilla alone!
       On the banks of the gay Mis-sis-sippi
	There dwelt a Gorilla, all alone! 
  sung a little after the style of the burlesque
jodel of  Lulli-li-etee!  which I remember
in my boy-days as prevalent in the streets
of London.      Hills, too, and I used to address
one another in the styles of the newspapers we
represented; thus  our mendacious and utterly
shameless contemporary  would be requested to
pass the ham and eggs at dinner, to which
 the incendiary organ of nigger-worshipping
abolitionists  would politely respond; a
form of badinage in which Howell came in
for his share.       In short there was plenty
of fooling and some humor.    Here are a 
couple of verses (slightly modified) which
Hills used to sing, all joining in chorus:
      I wish I had a pile of rails
	To fence my garden rou-ow-ownd
       To keep the nasty neighbor s hogs
	From rooting up the grou-ow-ound!
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Twenty-One: page one hundred and seventy-five
Description:Regarding the ''Gorilla Club.''
Date:1863-01-12
Subject:Civil War; Food; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Hills, A.C.; Howell; Journalism; New York herald.; New York tribune.; Songs
Coverage (City/State):[Baton Rouge, Louisiana]
Scan Date:2010-11-18

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Twenty-One
Description:Includes Gunn's descriptions of his experiences as a war correspondent for ""The New York Tribune"" at New Orleans, Louisiana, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; boarding house living; a visit to the Rawlings family; a fight with Mr. Blankman at his boarding house; his journey on the North Star with the Banks expedition; the re-occupation of Baton Rouge by Union forces; a visit to a sugar plantation in Louisiana; and Fanny Fern's daughter Grace Thomson's death.
Subject:African Americans; Boardinghouses; Bohemians; Civil War; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Military; Publishers and publishing; Transportation; Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; New Orleans, Louisiana; Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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.