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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 14, page 45, October 1860 [newspaper clipping]

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Identifier: DX01316972

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 14, page 45, October 1860 [newspaper clipping]

Description: Article from the New Yorl World by Gunn regarding a visit of the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII of Great Britain, to the United States.



The Coming of the Price of Wales to New York.

[newspaper clipping]

When a king or prince appears in the old plays, he is invariably preceded by a flourish of drums and trumpets, in recognition of his superiority over the ordinary personages in the drama. The historian or student who, curious in antiquarian knowledge, shall in some future Astor library, a thousand years hence, turn over the records of to-day as conserved in the newspaper, refashioning from the ephemeral and hastily chronicled details in which the age writes itself, the dead past—such a historian or student will find ample reason to suppose that we Americans have retained the spirit in which the old dramatists wrote. Our drums and trumpets are, metaphorically, in active operation just now; reminders of coming royalty encounter us everywhere. Our newspapers are full of the one topic; editorials, lectures, news-items, paragraphs and advertisements all turn upon it, claiming preference in public attention above all others. Perhaps no two individuals in this city of New-York, at the present time of writing, could converse for the space of twenty minutes without some allusion to the Prince of Wales. We are, emphatically, in the midst of “a sensation.”

And our interest is natural enough, and at least two-thirds honest. We need not take shame to ourselves for it, not be alarmed lest it be inconsistent with our republicanism—that can take care of itself. There is always some truth underlying great manifestations of popular feeling, which commonly justifies their existence. In this case no very minute examination or analysis is necessary to discover the source of our interest in the royal visitor.

He is, say those who pride themselves on their cool-headed capacity to take a common sense view of the question, simply a young man of good education and manners, of no extraordinary capacity—except for dancing—who has, in not one respect or particular, given promise of, or done anything to raise himself in unbiased estimation above the level of average human respectability. Conceding him amiability and good intentions, both of which are not uncommon accompaniments of youth, we see nothing beyond these in him, and object, as Americans, to any furore about him.

Such reasoners ignore or wilfully forget the youth’s position and its possibilities. If he survives, he will be the king of the most powerful, the most permanently established of European governments; an empire boasting that the sun never sets upon its boundaries. And more than that—one standing in direct parental relations with our own; one identified with it in traditions, history, literature, and social usages, as in aspirations and faith in liberty and humanity as the basis of all governments. The prince is virtually England’s future, personified, and as such we instinctively receive him.

His personal authority as king may be, as it is, more limited and straitened than that of our own chief magistrates, but history bears pregnant witness of the wide-spread influence, whether for good or evil, of regal character and example. The superiority of the morale of the court of Queen Victoria over that of every other, past and present, is confessedly due to her alone. Carefully reared under her training, and that of her no less judicious husband, it may be hoped that the prince will emulate his mother’s virtues. He becomes the center of American interest for this, among other and no less worthy reasons.


The weather was propitious for the occasion. No lovelier autumn day ever dawned upon the harbor and city of New-York than that on which its thousands were astir with. . . .

coverage:New York, New York, Cliff Street; Franklin Square; Pearl Street

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1860-10

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Diaries
Armed Forces


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