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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 141, May 4-6, 1858

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Identifier: DX03534005

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 141, May 4-6, 1858

Description: Regarding the women in his boarding house visiting a spiritual medium.


at our table for some time, and the woman [Mrs. Porter] has an extensive outer reputation. A friend of [George] Arnold's went to her and came back perfectly converted — said she told him all his life "gave him hell" &c — for his misdeeds. Well, one evening I went. It was a dead failure, and I formed a very unequivocal opinion as to the woman's character. The business consists of incoherent nonsense, guess work, free love jargon and outrageous obscenity — spiced higher or lower according to the auditor. Well, I let out enough, at table, of the result of my visit to convince Mrs P. [Patten] that it wouldn't be "proper" to simper and cut jokes about "such a woman as that" — so, ever since, she has decared with an air of great wisdom "that her mind's quite made up about Spiritualism!" Your very proper, respectable people like a taste of the nasty occasionally — and especially to snuff about the edge of it. As for superstition there's not a woman in this house (except perhaps Mrs Church) that hasn't had her fortune told. Mrs [Elizabeth] Gouverneur went to, I don't know how many fortune-tellers, and Mrs [Catharine] Potter with her.

5. Wednesday. A letter from Hannah [Bennett]. How love has developed and deepened her nature. She writes womanly, earnestly, with strong sense and judgment of those about her. She has been at books too, at my suggestion no less than her own inclination. For news "that chit" Edwin Bolton has got married to unknown to his friends to a poor young Banbury dress-maker who is likely to become a mother. In doors all the miserably wet day, writing, doggedly. Out of sorts.

6. Thursday. Wet again continuously. Down to to the Post Office, coming back all-bemired to work. A repetition of

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States
New York

Dates: 1858-05-04

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Mediums
19th century


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