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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 11, page 92, August 21-22, 1859

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Identifier: DX03080546

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 11, page 92, August 21-22, 1859

Description: Describes letters sent to Frank Cahill from his mistress, Isabella Clemo.


down. God bless all the girls [Eliza, Matty, and Sally Edwards]!

22. Monday. Writing, chores and sick continuous headache, unfitting me for anything. Out for a walk down Broadway at 4 P.M. [Phonography] in the evening. Sick and sad and tired. I have had in my possession for the past week or so, two piles of letters written by girls of the town to [Frank] Cahill and [Bob] Gun, who severally have handed them to me for perusal. They afford curious insight into a side of life oftener depicted in conventional than truthful colors; of which, too, facts are hard to come at and proportionately valuable. Men familiar with such are commonly not of the capacity to offer them, if loose-souled enough to talk freely. These letters, in conjunction with what I have heard from their recipients, as from the Arnolds [George and Jack], [Jack] Sears and Tracy, give me at second hand, information they have paid a dearer price for. So now for them. The first and smaller batch were written to Cahill by Isabella Clemo, or “Bella” as she commonly signs herself. Like her companion she is a mulatto or colored girl, said to be very pretty. Both are at the present time inmates of a brothel at the corner of Broome and Wooster Streets. Sears has succeeded Cahill in his connection with “Bella,” as he preceded Gun with his mistress. Well, this Bella’s letters, thirteen in number, directed to [132] Bleecker

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1859-08-21

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Bohemians (New York artistic and literary movement)
African Americans


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