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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 7, page 154, October 8-9, 1855

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Identifier: DX03953433

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 7, page 154, October 8-9, 1855

Description: Describes meeting Mary Brainard for the first time.

Transcription:

to stay there, on account of — He [Alf Waud], with his "wife [Mary Brainard]," board in rather an out of the way place in Hoboken. I saw her for the first time. She is fair in complexion, tallish in stature, and plump in figure. She's evidently fond of him, but I think her nature's no very deep one. She has that air of petted, half-spoiled child-womanishness so common in Yankee females. She said very little, seemed to have no thought of grave consciousness of her position, and be very well content with the exchange of an obnoxious husband [Albert Brainard] for an agreable lover. I believe she feels no jot of moral degradation, and like nine out of every ten of the women you meet here would only become conscious of it through the medium of suffering. She is, I think about to become a mother also. Alf was very cordial, and evidently believes in her, though there may be an undercurrent of conscience telling him that good fruit will scarcely grow from so bad a root. I supped with them in the basement, with other boarders, & afterwards ascended to an upper room. They live, under his own name, as man and wife. We had almonds & raisins, and grog, and Alf read to us, she seated in a rocking chair, at a little distance off, and, as before said saying mighty little. By 9 1/2 left, through the dusky, chill Hoboken streets, and over to the black river to New York, at the upper part of which a great fire was visible.

— Ah, well! My chill little room, (with future hopes of Hannah [Bennett] to wife, and such a home as I’ll then make,) is better than that Hoboken one!

9 8. Tuesday. Writing. A letter from [Charles] Damoreau & note from John Brougham. To the Mercantile all the afternoon. Dropped in

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States
New York

Dates: 1855-10-08

Type(s): Diary
Page

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

Subjects: Pregnancy
Boardinghouses
19th century
Fires
Food
Diaries
Marriage
Women

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