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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 14, page 55, October 1860 [newspaper clipping]

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Identifier: DX01322106

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 14, page 55, October 1860 [newspaper clipping]

Description: Newspaper clipping describing a firemen's parade in honor of the Prince of Wales.



New-York’s reception of the son of Queen Victoria culminated on the night of the thirteenth October. Nothing so unique, so picturesque, so characteristic of our metropolis as the firemen’s parade has been attempted or achieved during the brief sojourn of the Baron Renfrew in this city. His entrance might have rivaled it in effect and splendor, but for the mismanagement, which gratified the vanity of certain military officials, at the expense of the honest curiosity and cordial interest of one half of our population. The ball was, emphatically, a bungle. But the procession of the firemen proved an immense success—the crowning feat of metropolitan enthusiasm. When the blue-eyed, smooth-faced youth, whom, in virtue of his position and maternity, we have delighted to honor, shall have recrossed the Atlantic, and the remembrance of his progress through his own colonial domains and these mighty states, which sprang into national existence in consequence of the oppressive rule of his great-grandfather [George III], shall appear like a long, dazzling unreal pageant, be sure that one of its brightest epochs will be occupied by the red shirted firemen of the Empire city.

He has never seen, he could not see, anything in Europe like it or akin to it. In military display, the old world far excels the new; it is a necessary—an ornamental appanage to royalty. The reviews of St. Petersburg, Berlin, Vienna, London—not to mention Paris—always martial, and trebly so under its imperial régime—outdo all that our citizen-soldiery can effect in panoply and appurtenances—“the price, pomp and circumstance of glorious war.” It is a national boast, and an honorable one, that we have scarcely any standing army, or need of it; that we can protect ourselves and our rights without resorting to the established organization of “Yahoos hired to kill as many of their species in cold blood as is possible”—as Captain Lemuel Gulliver defines soldiers. Our revolutionary nativity put that fact beyond question. So the traveled American looks with complacency on—

———“the long array of helmets, bright

The long array of spears,” sometimes visible in the Champs de Mars and Hyde park, consoling himself with the thought that the first are worn, and the second leveled, not by the people, but by the myrmidons of royalty. In all probability Baron Renfrew has beheld and admired many such spectacles. He were deficient of the capacity for admiration were it not so.

It was a grand spectacle, admirably executed. New-York, mobile and excitable as she is, never originated or witnessed a finer, or turned out in greater force to do honor to the sensation of the time. We have good antecedents in the way of crowds, as witness [Lajos] Kossuth, Atlantic cable, and Japanese celebrations, but these were rivaled, if not eclipsed, by the tens of thousands who, on the evening of Saturday last, gathered together to witness the firemen’s parade in honor of our royal visitor.

From the east and west and north and south parts of the metropolis they came, simultaneously with shades of evening, all thronging towards the proposed line or march, and especially to the center of attraction, the temporary residence of Baron Renfrew. The night was propitious, clear, and cold, succeeding a bright, bracing, autumnal day—dark, withal, though the stars shone brilliantly. At the appearance exhibited by our city, did not

The man in the moon laugh loud with glee,

“They’re merry! they’re merry on earth!” quoth he? We wonder. Fancy the Diablo Boiteux of witty, world-knowing Alain Rène le Sage, taking a nocturnal flight over the house tops of. . . .

coverage:New York, New York, Fourth Avenue; Fifth Avenue; 14th Street; 23rd Street; 26th Street; Broadway; Chatham Street; Madison Avenue; Union Square

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1860-10

Type(s): Diary


Subjects: Balls (Parties)
Armed Forces


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