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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 230, December 27, 1853

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Identifier: DX04215462

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 230, December 27, 1853

Description: Regarding a fire that destroyed the ship Great Republic.


fire, having caught at 1 or so this morning. Now I, going to bed at midnight, had lying awake an hour, heard the sonorous of clang of the great City Hall bell, toll, toll on, the general alarm for a long time, other bells joining in the clamor. It was an ice-cold, gusty night, the casements rattled, and chimney roared; outside Murtoughs dog howled like a creature in torment. / Set off on the news down Fulton Street, and soon overtook [Charles] Welden, posting thitherwards too, on news intent. So we held on together. In Front Street, where the fire had originated, at a bakery, were blackened walls and ruined, fire-gutted houses, some nine in number being destroyed. The flour had whitened all the house front of the former tenement. The usual crowd of firemen, lookers on thronged the muddy, water puddles below. But the great mass of spectators had were pressing onwards to the wharfs of the East River, where the noble ship lay, burning. Arrived there, we made our way through the throng down the pier adjacent to the Fulton ferry, sideways to which the doomed vessel lay. A monstrous ship, huger in proportion than any ever yet launched, handsome and unique in built withal, and during the brief mouth she lay here had been quite a show sight, people flocking to see her at 25 cents per head. She was now a grander sight, all her huge bulk except just the stern part being ablaze; mast, yards and rigging were all down, piteously trailing over the tall sides or consumed. Her bulwarks were all riddled by the mass of raging flame within, great quivering lambout fire-tongues soaring upwards; her perpendicular bulwark beams remaining, parallel planks all

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1853-12-27

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Fires
Fire alarms
Fire fighters


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