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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 84, March 5, 1858

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Identifier: DX03471245

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 84, March 5, 1858

Description: Describes Mr. and Mrs. Willis Patten and their son George.

Transcription:

men profess they wouldn’t be troubled with too many children. There’s hardly any sort of confidence respecting their wives, men don’t tell you in this damned country. Let me sketch the Patten family now they happen to be prominent. He [Willis Patten] is a hard featured, stolid-looking man, portly in figure, black-haired and dyspeptic as a true Yankee. He has a peculiarity unpleasant, dissonant, brattling voice, which you can’t fancy capable of expressing anything ageable. He is dogmatic, pig-headed, opinionative, but good intentioned and I believe honest-hearted. He would do a man a kindly turn, if asked. He is down-easter, and during the war of 1812 the British burnt up some boats or fishing smacks of his father, by the light of which flames he always looks at everything English — for he has the stupidest Anglophobia. His wife — then, I suppose, a pretty, chattering give-you-a-bit-of my-mind half-a quarter-educated Yankee girl, with curls and a slim figure — married him for position. At that time he possessed $100,000 which he lost within two months, and since then they have been struggling under all sorts of adverse circumstances. She has stuck too him well enough, and last year, when he’d nothing to do and trying to get his present berth as harbor-master, she immolated herself at her sewing-machine. I believe she got him office, by her incessant importunity. Their boy George [Patten] is a little brute, used to steal money from his father’s pockets and lie about finding it in passages, came home once with some small plunder he’d got from a fire and wished that more fires might occur, in view of such windfalls. Both father and mother used to lick him, without any beneficial result. He would come and bump up against old Patten during dinner with “You’ve got my chair!” He’d question “What?” and “How?” at every

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States

Dates: 1858-03-05

Type(s): Diary
Page

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

Subjects: Children
Diaries
Women
War of 1812
Sewing
Fires

Permalink:
http://collections.mohistory.org/resource/182029

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