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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 166, October 17, 1853

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Identifier: DX04181563

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 166, October 17, 1853

Description: Describes attempting to stop at a house in which the residents had Yellow Fever before moving on to a house in Mississippi on his way to Louisiana by horseback.


had been ducked in the river, and the house of ill-fame torn down. That night, some individual, whether from pity or other motive managed to secrete one of the Unfortunate Females of the demolished house in the hotel. It being discovered, he took refuge in Mr [Keane] Richard’s room, whither the virtuous Tuscumbrians pursued him. / Onwards, and for a long days ride, some 32 miles. For an hour or more in darkness, riding through a horrible swamp, a death cold dank feeling freezing you to the bone; rotting vegetation, cane, and trees falling and fallen. Over dangerous bridges formed by mere loose planks, or trunks of trees thrown over transverse ones; through mud, mire and water and dense darkness we rode, at speed too. A halt in the gloomiest part of this region. A house, which is hailed with the inquiry can we stop there. A voice faint and hollow, as though from a charnel bids us ride on “He and his family were down with the Fever.” So we rode on, and Heaven be thanked out of that accursed swamp into a little town. Harrisburgh, Mississippi. Here we found good accommodation. The old woman, mistress of the house, was a kindly lady, although she did smoke a short pipe. She was Tenessee born and gave a dismal account of the sickliness of the place. The man who lived in it had done so, if living it might be called for some years. He ferried people over in winter and made “heaps of money.” He and his family always had the “fever and ague”; sometimes very bad. There were two other guests, surveyors for a line from Cairo at the Ohio’s mouth to Mobile. The host moved in and out but we saw not much of him. Some little talk of the yellow fever &c and to bed. Maurice Keene discovering the beds to be feather ones, did as occasionally heretofore, repose on chairs. Sometimes he’d lie on the floor, till the cold overcoming his resolution, he’d creep in with Richards. I shared his objection, a very wholesome one against the softness of feather beds, but preferred them to

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1853-10-17

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Diseases
Yellow fever


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