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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 8, page 140, January 20-27, 1857

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Identifier: DX03657791

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 8, page 140, January 20-27, 1857

Description: Regarding Thomas Paterson, who works with him on the European.


[lec]ture on [William Makepeace] Thackeray. Called at Edwards [745 Broadway]; subsequently.

[21. Wednesday through 27. Tuesday] Time rushing by with swift monotony. At the office as usual. [Thomas] Paterson is one of a class of men whom I have had, hitherto, little opportunity of studying. A rather large framed, sandy-haired, stolid but shrewd looking man of, perhaps, thirty five, a trifle deaf, possessing a decidedly Scotch accent. One of the Atheistic brotherhood of Southwell and Holyoke, he on their respective convictments and imprisonment for blasphemy, in his turn assumed the Editorship of the “Oracle of Reason.” The history of this publication and the results springing from it are curious. It was started in London in 1841-2, in order to test and, if possible, do away with the power of judicial prosecutions for opinions sake, and as an avowed advocate and exponent of Atheism. (I have seen the two volumes published.) The greatest daring was exhibited in language, style &c, and to a believer the work — issued in penny weekly numbers — must have seemed inconceivably horrible and awful. The result might be guessed. Southwell, its first editor was imprisoned for twelve months and fined Ј100, Holyoke (the second) for six months. Half a dozen others, sellers of the journal were also incarcerated in minor degree. Paterson had, at various periods, two years. But these sin-

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1857-01-20

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Atheism
Publishers and publishing


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