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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 13, page 108, July 18, 1860

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Identifier: DX02725710

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 13, page 108, July 18, 1860

Description: Describes a street brawl involving Fitz James O'Brien, N.G. Shepherd, John Marsh, and a black man they insulted by refusing to ride in a streetcar with him.



A “free” Street-Fight.

men quitted the car, the insulted negro doing the same. Forthwith he marched up to the March [John Marsh], pitched into him, blacked his eye and gave him a richly deserved licking. The neighborhood of Varick Street being a low and niggery one, Africa had plenty of champions, black and white. [Fitz James] O’Brien was collared and throttled and [N.G.] Shepherd, taking off his coat, had a turn up with a red-shirted rowdy, whom the others told him he vanquished. It was a “free fight” and the “swells” got generally mall mauled. Shepherd went into a grocery-store, “to get a cheese-knife or something,” and on emerging saw Marsh knocked down by a blow “straight from the shoulder” of the African Hercules. Finally the three well-dressed rowdies were hustled into a car and discharged at a drug-store in the 6th Avenue. There Marsh insulted the shop-man on the old abolitionist question and another fight was imminent – being only prevented by the accidental presence of a coachman or hack-driver who knew and championed Shepherd. Anon the three adjourned to Reilly’s tavern, in University place and got very drunk indeed. Shepherd concluded with the intimation that he was “going to Jenny (at ‘30’) to get doctored!” Marsh and

coverage:New York, New York, Church Street

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1860-07-18

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Diaries
African Americans
Slavery, abolition, and emancipation


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