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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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of dusky, murky smoke choking the clear fresh morning air
and soaring up into the pure blue ether.   Soon other engines
& hose carriages had arrived in great numbers, yet at least
twenty minutes clapsed ere they had plated one stream of water 
on t, and the lower story was then blazing fast & furious.
A great crowd blocked up the street, spite of the heat &
smoke.   Getting on an elevation I remained viewing all.  Men on
house-tops & at windows, firemen running to & fro hoarse shouting,
sturdy workers at the engines, streams of water rising into the
building, fellows pelting casements to smash the stubborn glass
behind which the devilish element lit up wicked illumination,
great pieces of stone work & brick toppling down, ladders
roused, & all the accompanyments attendant on the ground
dwells  twixt the two elemants.   Three stories all on fire,
and the policemen are busy moving the throng on, as from the
top of an adjoining wall firemen are seen with a ladder thrust-
ing at the slender wall.        It tatters & falls, in pieces at
a time, with great crash & blinding smother.   Firemen
are busy preventing the spread of the flame to the rear of
the adjacent houses.            Unable to penetrate to Broadway
I pass round & calling at the corner house of Duane &
Broadway, Watson s place.   Door closed at his room,
so I ascended to the roof, and emerging on a broad
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Five: page fifty-two
Description:Describes witnessing a fire at a confectionary and French chocolate factory.
Subject:Firemen; Fires; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Watson, John
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]
Coverage (Street):Broadway; Duane Street
Scan Date:2011-02-02


Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Five
Description:Includes descriptions of Gunn looking for drawing and writing work among New York publishers, witnessing a fire at a chocolate factory, attending a religious camp meeting, his friendship with Lotty Whytal, the 1852 presidential election, a visit to Niagara Falls in the winter, a visit to Toronto, Canada, and the Crystal Palace in New York.
Subject:Gunn, Thomas Butler; Railroad; Publishers and publishing; Religion; Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Niagara, New York; Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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.