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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 13, page 122, July 30, 1860 [newspaper clipping]

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Identifier: DX02736054

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 13, page 122, July 30, 1860 [newspaper clipping]

Description: Includes a newspaper clipping describing an excursion Gunn took aboard the Great Eastern.



An Excursion aboard the “Great Eastern.”

Frank Leslie’s paper which by this date (August 6) should be in print, yet as I, at this present time of writing am at least 150 miles from New York and a day or two from the receipt of F.L’s paper — I shall use the report of the N.Y. World adding personal experience in condensed form subsequently:

[newspaper clipping]

From early dawn to nine o’clock in the morning the public—the interested public—were flocking down upon the wharf, the wharf where they had been accustomed to see the big ship. At the last named time there were at least 10,000 people, congregated. The two steamers which were to carry the passengers, or rather excursionists, on board, made their appearance and were greeted with loud cheers; and had it not been for the very efficient police force on hand the boats would soon have been crowded, but it was otherwise, and the most of the passengers were the officers of the ship and the waiters, who formed a goodly number. A few minutes past nine the boat started for the ship, and thus was inaugurated the


The boats left so that about every twenty minutes one had taken its load on board and the other was waiting at the dock for another. The early passengers were those who are never late, or those who alalway [sic] intend, if possible, to get their money’s worth. Most of them had little if any baggage. As the mid-day hour drew nigh, came, and was passed, so the numbers increased; and, as if baggage was a sign of greatness, they had not forgotten to bring with them huge trunks, such as are seen on a transatlantic trip, or a season at Saratoga. Any amount of blanket shawls, umbrellas, and a host of little comforts which were deemed necessary for the trip, and as it turned out they were not all unnecessary. The excursionists formed a motley group. City and county were each largely represented, and nearly every state in the Union bore its share in the gathering. The old and young, priest and people, and in fact every profession, rank and grade, were present. The embarkation on board the ship was performed in excellent order, and without accident, and as each person entered the deck-gangway his ticket was taken, the detective police gave him a scrutinizing look, as the happy man was on the deck of the Great Eastern on her first departure from the Bay of New-York. At 3 o’clock the steam which had been rushing from the escape pipes for the last two hours was louder in its tones than before, and dense clouds of black smoke were pouring out of the five funnels, and the scene on board was one of pleasant excitement. On looking shoreward one was wonder-struck to see so many human beings upon the docks, and the shipping lying at them; the day of her arrival was meager in comparison with this one; thousands, yes tens of thousands were scattered for miles upon the New-York side, while hundreds were upon the Jersey side, all anxiously awaiting the sailing of the ship. The river was crowded with boats of all sizes, filled with those who were to accompany her down to Sandy Hook. Owing to the lightness of the wind and the absence of the yacht fleet from our waters, there was not quite such a spread of canvas as there was on the day of her arrival, but the numbers on board of the steamers were far greater. Thousands of cheers were given, and tens of thousands of handkerchiefs were waved. At three o’clock the sailors were heard singing at the forward capstan, and thither the excursionists thronged. The men were singing, in true sailor style, a song very popular among them, a verse of which runs:

“Don’t you see the bulljine coming—

Ah, ah, ah! A-ah!

And don’t you hear the bell a-ringing?. . . .

coverage:New York, New York, Cliff Street; Franklin Square; Pearl Street

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1860-07-30

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Diaries
Ocean travel


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