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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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men profess they wouldn t be troubled with too many children.
There s hardly any sort of confidence respecting their wives, men
don t tell you in this damned country.                Let me sketch
the Patten family now they happen to be prominent.      He is a 
hard featured, stolid-looking man, portly in figure, black-hair-
ed and dyspeptic as a true Yankee.    He has a peculiarity un-
pleasant, dissonant, brattling voice, which you can t fancy capable
of expressing anything ageable.  He is dogmatic, pig-headed, opin-
ionative, but good intentioned and I believe honest-hearted.
He would do a man a kindly turn, if asked.   He is down-easter,
and during the war of 1812 the British burnt up some boats or
fishing smacks of his father, by the light of which flames he always
looks at everything English   for he has the stupidest Anglophobia.
His wife   then, I suppose, a pretty, chattering give-you-a-bit-of
my-mind half-a quarter-educated Yankee girl, with curls
and a slim figure   married him for position.  At that time
he possessed $100,000 which he lost within two months, and since
then they have been struggling under all sorts of adverse circum-
stances.   She has stuck too him well enough, and last year, when
he d nothing to do and trying to get his present berth as harbor-
master, she immolated herself at her sewing-machine.  I be-
lieve she got him office, by her incessant importunity.    Their
boy George is a little brute, used to steal money from his father s
pockets and lie about finding it in passages, came home once
with some small plunder he d got from a fire and wished that
more fires might occur, in view of such windfalls.   Both father and
mother used to lick him, without any beneficial result.   He would
come and bump up against old Patten during dinner with  You ve
got my chair!     He d question  What?  and How?  at every
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Nine: page eighty-four
Description:Describes Willis Patten, his wife, and their son George.
Subject:Children; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Patten, George; Patten, Willis; Patten, Willis, Mrs.; Women
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]
Scan Date:2011-02-02


Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Nine
Description:Includes descriptions of boardinghouse living, a picnic at Hoboken with other New York artists and journalists, his drawing and writing work in New York, attending a lecture by Lola Montez, visits to James Parton and Fanny Fern and the Edwards family, a controversy over Fitz James O'Brien's story ''The Diamond Lens,'' artist Sol Eytinge's relationship with writer Allie Vernon, the suicide of writer Henry William Herbert, antics of the New York Bohemians, the interest of people living in his boarding house in spiritualism, a visit to his friend George Bolton's farm in Canada, a visit to Niagara Falls, and a scandal involving Harbormaster Willis Patten, who lives in his boarding house.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Bohemians; Farms; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Publishers and publishing; Suicide; Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Rochester, New York; Elmira, New York; Paris, 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.