Search Our New Beta Online Collections!

Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 167, August 29, 1851

<< Back to search results

View this document

From collection:Part of:

Identifier: DX01043116

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 167, August 29, 1851

Description: Describes attending the funeral of Sarah Richardson.


presently all are seated in the front room — more people having assembled; among them Mrs [Cornelia] and Mr [Samuel] Blood, (the latter of whom gave me a grave; tailor-like shake of the hand;) and a Wesleyan minister arising and placing his hands on the back of a chair, stood forth and spake awhile, as I suppose, is here the custom. A good man, I doubt not, yet what he said was just the common place view of the matter, and clean Kain. That men were wont to look upon such cases as judgments; wrongly, instance “tower of Siloam” &c — that such belief was right as applicable to Nations, not individuals; — that we should from such losses, endeavor to raise our affections to things above &c &c. ( Instead of as should be, holding more dear and cherishing kindy feelings & sympathies, checking selfishness, spleen and evil passions — He might have done infinitely better, but had it not in him. Oh! How much more of Eloquence was there in the shaking of poor [Joseph] Richardson’s knee, as he with handkerchief to face, sate in his corner. What had he not to think of. Of her [Sarah Richardson’s] distant Yorkshire kin — of her coming to this land to die; — of how solemnly the sunlight streamed in, of the people about; — why they were there; of the gap henceforth at his lonely home; of that it was a cruel, present Fact that she was Dead. Presently they bore the body down stairs, the custom-styled mourners lining the way; these carriages were hastily filled, and through the living streams of city-life proceeded the array. All as intent on their own detail affair; of life, as will be those who gaze on the funeral of oneself. Men will read newspapers, pay and receive money, sat their dinners and remark on the weather that day, most assuredly — but ‘twill be all over with thee O mortal. I walked on till the arrival at the Battery, (the destined place of interment was Greenwood,) and then, having no coin in pocket for stage fare on the other side of the Hamilton Ferry, and being unwilling to borrow of strangers; quitted them. A walk with long steps under the trees in the blessed holy sunlight; long deep shades crossing the greensward, otherwise so bright in the sun. What are the first objects that open on the spirits eye, in its birth in a spirit-word. Gazes it not

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1851-08-29

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Funeral rites and ceremonies
Battery Park (New York, N.Y.)


| More

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