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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 24, November 3, 1857

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Identifier: DX03421442

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 24, November 3, 1857

Description: Describes a picnic at Hoboken with other New York artists and journalists.


incessantly. Soon the fellows got to boxing — we had brought the gloves. [Frank] Cahill and [Fitz James] O’Brien had a spar or two in which O’Brien did not come out best. Then, three boys appearing, one with a gun, we fell to taking sixpenny shots, at caps, hats or trees. This continued for a long time everybody scattering about among the rocks and trees promiscuously. Some got down the face of the cliffs, and were reviled or pelted in friendly sort by the others. The drinking went on, and the day grew towards sunset. O’Brien perhaps appeared more affected than the rest of the party. He had proclaimed his intention of getting Cahill drunk, and though remonstrated with, had given so much liquor to the Jersey boys — two of them — that they were half intoxicated. I was very quiet, and did not develop till the return, when I appeared all at once to tumble down a perfect abyss of drunkeness. Night closed round and there was originated a general movement towards departure. Then the extravagancies commenced. O’Brien began hurling his plates, mustard-pot &c over the cliffs and set fire to his basket. I got it and stuck it up in a tree where it burnt with splendid effect — which the party were not too drunk to notice. [George] Arnold imitated O’Brien in destructiveness. [Jesse] Haney was very busy packing things in our basket, numbering forks &c, ramming in pies, cheese and tobacco in a manner which would have been unspeakably ludicrous to a sober observer. Anon we all began to move. Along the cliffs and down the long stairs. I went down first carefully and thoughtfully, thinking — as I remember — that, careless walker as ordinarily I am, that I’d better get out of the crowd, or I should be chaffing and romping and so risk a fall. How the other fellows got down I only learnt subsequently, and what follows is gathered from the rest, with fragmentary remembrances of my own. O’Brien had a very bad tumble, and rolled down six or eight steps — would, probably have broken every bone in his body but

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1857-11-03

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Bohemians (New York artistic and literary movement)
Drinking of alcoholic beverages


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