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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 13, page 221, September 8, 1860

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Identifier: DX02803019

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 13, page 221, September 8, 1860

Description: Describes visits to dance houses in the Fourth Ward with George Boweryem, Jesse Haney, Charles Damoreau, and N.G. Shepherd, escorted by Sergeant Williams.



A Sailors’ Dance-House.

At his instance out we [Gunn, George Boweryem, Jesse Haney, Charles Damoreau, N.G. Shephard, and Sergeant Williams] started into the wet night. (I have omitted, by the way, to mention that some “charges” were heard by the other serjeant, one funny. It consisted of two tailors, accused of “lashing out at one another” with umbrellas in the Bowery. They were both Irish and discharged with a joking reprimand. They radiated in talk, a la Mrs Quickley or Flora Finching.) After trying one or two subterranean doors, unsuccessfully, Williams entered from the street, a dance-house. A raised orchestra at one end with four or five musicians, a liquor bar, no windows, sailors and waterside men sitting round the room on a bench, and some dancing with “the girls.” These were half a dozen coarse women, of ages averaging from twenty to thirty-five or forty, dressed showily with preposterous, ungainly hoops which, in conjunction with their motions, displayed a good deal of leg. They were all cleanly dressed, had on white or pink stockings and cloth boots. Some had hideous faces, hard, merciless, brutal in feature, hardly a touch of humanity in them, others were not so repulsive, one had really a fine face. All were rouged, all, of course, prostitutes. They lived in the house, paying $7 or $8 board, weekly. From this place to another, not twenty steps distance, a smaller den, where was a

coverage:New York, New York, Church Street

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1860-09-08

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Clothing and dress
Dance halls


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