Search Our New Beta Online Collections!

Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 13, page 227, September 10-12, 1860

<< Back to search results

View this document

From collection:Part of:

Identifier: DX02807512

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 13, page 227, September 10-12, 1860

Description: Includes newspaper clipping written by Gunn for the New York World, describing a barbecue for Stephen Douglas.



A Democratic Barbecue.

bed, because of the presence of “that ‘ere loafer with his black eye [Fitz James O’Brien],” — which by the way he has got painted.

11. Tuesday. Writing up a column of artist-news till noon, then to the office with it. Free for the rest of the day. Billington up in the afternoon. Writing and drawing (“Nick-nax” block.) [Jesse] Haney to supper and subsequently, till past 10. He came to accompany me in another 4th ward expedition, but the disagreable, half-rainy night deferred it.

12. Wednesday. To the Office. Sent off to Jones’ Wood to report a “Barbecue,” in honor of [Stephen] Douglas and democracy. Rode thither in a crowded 3rd Avenue car, amid the “unterrified” and the unwashed, fellows with dirty teeth and imperfectly-shaven necks. Let my “World” description tell the rest of the details:

[newspaper clipping]

Passing the beggars, the lager bier stalls, the weighing and blowing machines, pedlars of Douglas medals, and venders of miscellaneous merchandise lining the avenues to the grounds, the scene presented on entering was a very lively one, though at that time (12:30), not more than two thousand persons had arrived. As intimated, however, the crowd kept momentarily increasing. Strolling hither and thither, the spectators found more than sufficient means of amusing themselves. There were lager bier stalls, games of chance, four stands for public speaking, the major one gaily decorated with flags and banners, and a good band which played continuously. There was [Charles] Blondin’s rope, stretching over the trees, the daring Frenchman aloft in a box, superintending the fastening of the guys, and his agent whom he carried pick-a-back over Niagara, standing on the grass, obeying his chief’s directions. Best of all there were the preparations for feeding the multitude. These transpired in an open area covering about half an acre, closed in on three sides by trees, and on the fourth by the fence surrounding the “weed.” A stake rail, about three feet high, had been erected to keep off the crowd. Within this were the edibles and their appointed distributors.

Such spectators as had felicitated themselves on the prospect of beholding the roasting of an ox, were disappointed. The ox was present, but cut up, dissevered and dissected. A large square hole, excavated in the side of a hill, and a ponderous spit, like a young tree with handles, but the aid of which the carcase, impaled upon the spit, was said to have been roasted, remained, plain to everybody’s view, but these scarcely sufficed to convince the incredu-

coverage:New York, New York, Church Street

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1860-09-10

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Food
Tightrope walking
Niagara Falls (N.Y. and Ont.)


| More

Disclaimer: We are working to create a web-based collection index. Information available through this website should be considered "draft only."