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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 145, May 12-13, 1858

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Identifier: DX03537368

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 145, May 12-13, 1858

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


stories to Mrs [Elizabeth] Gouverneur. The old woman [Mrs. Cooper] who in time past used to smoke a short-pipe, until civilization and her daughter stopped that indulgence, would do anything for a glass of hot grog and Mrs Gouverneur used sometimes to give her one. Often of a night have I met her toiling upstairs, groaning, towards Mrs G's attic. Gladdy [Gouverneur] would sometimes meet her by the way with a lie in his mouth, to the effect that his mother was out. (Mrs G. had no sort of scruple in ordering her children to lie in her behalf. Only the other day, May [Gouverneur], while being licked upbraided her with "You can't believe a word that woman says!" She had probably heard this said of her mother.) Mrs Cooper used to beat her daughters cruelly, when they were young — Mrs P. [Catharine Potter] because she wouldn't marry a rich and elderly man. She hates to see Mrs P. reading — like many of her generation — and hides books away from her. On Sundays, after some display of authority to the servants or ordinary meanness, you see her befogging herself in the front parlor in a rocking chair, her head mid-nodding over a ponderous bible. God help her! she may get something out of it, but I think its only a pure superstitious regard for the letter — a confused idea that as she's a very old woman reading the bible is the right thing to do, an infliction that she'd better undergo, in view of being paid for it afterwards. What a sordid life to produce such a result.

13. Thursday. [Frank] Pounden didn't get off yesterday. His Father met him at 3 P. M. A fortnight ago he told me of the probability of his undertaking this voyage, requesting me to keep it a secret. I did so, and only by chance heard of his

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States
New York

Dates: 1858-05-12

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Old age
19th century
Books and reading


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