Search Our New Beta Online Collections!

Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 144, May 12, 1858

<< Back to search results

View this document

From collection:Part of:

Identifier: DX03536527

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 144, May 12, 1858

Description: Describes Mrs. Cooper, Catharine Potter's mother.


dirty and unpicturesque enough, with her leaky tar barrels fastened on deck and small, cramped cabin. The men had mostly red flannel shirts, striped pants and caps — some looked half-mulattos. The day was sunny and breezy. There was an hour or more of delay, the ricketty looking steam tug not being powerful enough to tour the ship off, she fouling against another vessel — so I left. Post & Pic Offices. [Robert] Gun not been at the latter all the morning. (He didn't come home last night, and seems to have been in a "bust" since Sunday morning. Paper will go to the devil — and serve it right. ("The Mejor" was present, but embraced an opportunity to clear out with most amusing celerity on my appearance — being evidently afraid he'd be called upon to tell some fresh lie by way of excusing himself for not refunding my bowie-knife. Gun's canine acquisition of last night proves to be blind of one eye! The old woman, Mrs Cooper, with equal folly and cruelty, had him driven forth into the streets again . . It would have been truer kindness to have killed the poor starved beast. This mother of our landlady [Catharine Potter]'s is an example how unvenerable and hideous old age can be. I believe she's eighty. She has a large, coarse, common, intensely Irish face, is touched by paralysis as one can see by the nodding of her head, troubled by a cough, but otherwise unusually healthy considering her age. (She takes shower-baths almost every morning throughout the winter.) She is grossly ignorant, talks vulgar-old-woman's grammar, a tyrant and slave-driver to the Biddies, a sycophant and toady to the boarders — especially to [William] Leslie and such as have money. He uses very little ceremony with her and once requested her to "shut up," by the title of "you miserable old wretch." She is a flatterer and an eaves-dropper — used to carry and invent

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States
New York

Dates: 1858-05-12

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Ships
Old age
19th century


| More

Disclaimer: We are working to create a web-based collection index. Information available through this website should be considered "draft only."