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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 174, October 27, 1853

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Identifier: DX04188881

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 174, October 27, 1853

Description: Describes his ride through Mississippi on the way to Louisiana by horseback, including a wrong turn onto the Vicksburg Road.


fence for a mile’s space, and here the road “forks” in twain. We had been loosely directed; “go on ahead, couldn’t miss it;” so after holding council we struck off into — the wrong road. Three miles riding through the wet forest, up hill and down dale brought us into the Vicksburgh road. No help for it, but to turn back, and by a third reach our right path. Through drenched cotton fields, over open hill sides, where the wind blew fiercely upon us; across scraps of wild forest land; through little streams, down steep muddy banks compelling us to dismount and lead the horses; over wild looking plantations, through gates innumerable we kept on. Sometimes we’d miss our way for a space, but generally kept on correctly. Once we passed some negro women, looking scarcely human. Arrived at a neatly built house, a gentleman came forth, and invited us to alight, we returning a civil negative he gave us directions. More wet cotton fields, interspersed with the tall trunks of the dead trees, which had been girdled. All before us, and beside, like a shoreless sea lay the Yazoo swamp. More plantations, with the negroes “quarters” little huts, some twenty or so together. A young man rides with us for half an hour or so. I talk with him. He, praising the health of the country, told me he didn’t have a fever over one in three years! I had noticed heretofore, in greeting one another, sickness was taken for granted, the rule, not the the [sic] exception. As thus, “How’s your chills, to day Mr - ?” or “How many of your folks are down?” Onwards till nightfall, and then we came in sight of the accursed river Yazoo. We had intended journeying two miles or so farther, but were so tired and wet that we resolved to try the hospitality of a house close at hand. So [Oliver] Kellam and [Keane] Richards went in to see the mistress of the house, as the master was temporarily absent “in the Swamp.” Their request was granted immediately,

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1853-10-27

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Swamps
African Americans
Yazoo River (Miss.)


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