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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 10, page 53, December 24, 1858

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Identifier: DX03243521

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 10, page 53, December 24, 1858

Description: Describes attending the funeral of Anna Thomson, Mort Thomson's wife.


were. Perhaps half an hour or more passed thus, the passage getting fuller all the time, when the clergyman entered the room to commence proceedings. [Henry Ward] Beecher proving to be out of town (Mort [Thomson] knows him very well) a Mr Storrs had been procured at Fanny [Fern]'s instance. I went in with others and seated myself near the head of the coffin, the clergyman standing on my left, Fanny and Grace [Eldredge] to the right, and further on, with chair backs to the wall Mort, his mother [Sophy Thomson] and Ed. Wells, who all three came down stairs at the last moment. So the minister began. It’s not much matter what he said — the best praise that could be accorded to it was that it was kindly monotonous, and so might act as something of a deadener of grief. I'm sorry to say bye the bye that they had given Mort an opiate of another sort, some time back, though none of its effects were visible now. The fellow's face was piteous to look upon — a fixed, contracted crying look — and he shook perpetually, like a paralytic. Grasping his mother's hand as she sat, veiled in her deep mourning, he sat with his head thrown back, as though fixed to struggle with and endure his great grief. I only ventured to steal a glance or two at him, had I done more I should have cried too. It was very piteous. A perceptible odor issued from the coffin which two basins of liquid disinfectants strove in vain to overcome. Well, the clergyman proceeded and in due time ended. Then those who wished to look upon the dead girl [Anna Thomson], ere the coffin lid closed upon her face for-ever, were invited to step for-

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1858-12-24

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Grief
Funeral rites and ceremonies


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