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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 174, September 4, 1851

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Identifier: DX01046314

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 174, September 4, 1851

Description: Describes a walking trip taken with Arthur Mason, including bothering a snake.


purchasing a quart of milk at the grocery-store, sate on a log by the river side and ate the remainder of our crackers for breakfast. That done, we mount the winding road, and impelled I think by evil influence, strike of mid the rocks, thinking to thus mount to the summits of the Palisides. Rough progress was it, Hoboken cliffs made tenfold more difficult. Clinging to trees and twigs, now crawling hands and feet, across a bare spot, where a fall would have resulted in a tumble of a hundred feet or more, now making devious way through brake and underwood, on we go, and still upwards and yet upwards. Anon [Arthur] Mason shouts out to me that there’s such an ensanguined great snake, and that he nearly placed his hand on him, whereon Serpent put up his head and tongue and hissed. Upon which I with big tall stick make way to the place and Mason providing himself with another we make an onslaught on the reptile. But he got away mid the rocks & holes, and perchance had we known that it was, as we afterwards learnt a copper-head snake, and very dangerous, poisonous, we might not have cared to have looked for him as we did. / Finding we could not clamber to the rocks summit, for when, at least I think 300 feet had been scaled, there rose up sheer bare abrupt rocks, jutting forth and unapproachable, we made our way back for the road. Two or three hours must we have been in this world of rocks and Caves, and at length coming on to the road, I risked a scramble down a steep bank, fell, and sprained my ancle [ankle] horribly. Sat awhile in great pain, then hobbled to the beach, and bathed it. Then tock counsel. Mason wishing to continue his journey, I to get across to Yonkers. Sought for a nigger owning a boat hardby; he being out we lay down in a hollow of the cliff-side. Mason bathed, and I dozed, my ancle swelled extremely but I not in much pain. Nigger arriving, he was a far young one, wouldn’t be bribed to take us over. & spake as do all the aborigines in their humbugging Jersey state, surlily. So,

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1851-09-04

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Food
Grocery trade
Rock climbing
African Americans


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