Search Our New Beta Online Collections!

Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 14, page 23, October 3, 1860

<< Back to search results

View this document

From collection:Part of:

Identifier: DX01308777

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 14, page 23, October 3, 1860

Description: Discusses writing an article about the procession for Republican candidates.




“World” Office by midnight, and there wrote for an hour and more. Here’s some of it, badly-done enough, heaven knows!

[newspaper clipping]


At twenty minutes past 8 o’clock the procession turned the corner of Eighth street into Broadway. Here the concourse was unusually dense, had been so indeed for the preceding hour and a half, especially on the adjoining block, in the vicinity of the republican head-quarters and the New-York hotel. An occurrence, still fresh in the minds of Now-Yorkers. had excited an indefinite though general apprehension that some demonstration hostile to the political objects of the procession might be attempted causing reprisals on the part of the wide-awakes; hence from an early hour the street in front of the hotel, and its corner on Waverly place, was crowded. The building itself presented simply its ordinary appearance; its large empty balcony only distinguishing it from the neighboring tenements, in which every window, housetop, and “coign of vantage” had its occupants, in the shape of eager spectators. The entry of the hotel was thronged by its occupants and outsiders, some expressing the warmest of political sentiments in opposition to the republicans; but nothing further indicative of a disturbance could be apprehended. Three policemen were more than sufficient to preserve order.

As the torches of the wide-awakes began to move down Broadway, the scene was striking and even magnificent. Some of the delegations marched eight abreast, others in larger numbers. Some turned the Eighth street corner in military style, others performing that peculiar serpentine movement denominated, probably in honor of the republican candidate, the “rail-fence” one [Abraham Lincoln], which had a very picturesque effect, especially when viewed from above. With the bands playing, the populace cheering and clapping their hands, the line of torches continually increasing, lighting up the fronts of the houses, the huge pendant banners, and suffusing the trees and quiet night overhead in a crowd of luminous vapor, anything more effective could scarcely be imagined. It was however, a subject of general remark that gaps and intervals occurred in the line of march, damaging its picturesqueness and continuity. There were breaks in it and pauses, some of fifteen and twenty minutes long, perhaps unavoidable in the outset of so extensive a procession, and certainly of lesser occurrence towards the latter part of the celebration.

While passing the New-York hotel, occassional [sic] hisses and derisive cries arose from the wide awakes, mixed with occasional exclamations of “nigger-stealers,” “traitors,” &c., most of them originating from a knot of a dozen or so of spectators of no very reputable appearance in front of the pavement. These were responded to by cheers, laughter and clapping of hands on the part of the republicans, and sometimes the contest, confined to these demonstrations assumed amusing proportions. Generally the opposition confined themselves to hissings, mingled with an occasional demand for a cheer for [Stephen] Douglas or [John] Bell and [Edward] Everett, which were answered by hurrahs for the republican candidates. In only one instance was the peace broken. A so-styled “union” man, who had been prominent in his objurgations of the wide-awakes, presently insulted and struck one of them. The assailant was instantly arrested by the officers and conveyed to the Fifteen ward station house.

Steadily, and, in time, continuously, the procession defiled down Broadway; seen from the house-tops, it resembled a fiery serpent. The enthusiasm excited by it, was however, only fitful and occasional.

[Gunn’s diary continued]

Sweetsir, [David]. . . .

coverage:New York, New York, Church Street

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States

Dates: 1860-10-03

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Diaries
Politics and government


| More

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