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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 21, December 8-9, 1850

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Identifier: DX09775408

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 21, December 8-9, 1850

Description: Describes a conversation with William Barth, a fire, and his melancholic thoughts.


Barnums’ we return, and more fumigation &c at [177] Canal. Talk, his stories presenting fine raw material for an novel a la Lever. General Twigg’s in Florida, with his style of converse hit off. Addressing his troop. “You Gaw-damned chicken-stealing sons of bitches! — now which Gaw-damned one of you has been to my hen-coop and stole a turkey?” Anon, being at some review, parade or the like. “Gaw damn my military eyes!” I’ll be gaw damned if the soldier’s don’t know a gaw damned more about it than their officers.” Bed at 12, [William] Barth returning with [Alfred] Waud, to share his for the night.

9. Monday. Office all day. Run over to the Era Office. Waud came down in the afternoon. Whiskey &c at Sherwoods with the boys, and Macnamera: then another call at Era Office, then to Canal. Waud goes asleep on Charley [Brown]’s bed; and [Dillon] Mapother coming, induces me to go out to the scene of this afternoons fire at Broad Street. Quiet walk down through the chill refreshing wintry night, several engines passing us, in returning. Arrived, we find the lower wall of the story alone standing, masses of smoke, another and intermittent ever changing fire gleams inside from the burning cotton bales, two heavy streams of Croton water pouring in. A reeking damp, smoky, lurid mist, wet, pools, mud, hose pipes every where; firemen “hu-hu”ing and singing a monstrous hymn like chant; or now and then a company returning with their machine. Walked to Jersey Ferry with Mapother, and there left him on the old Aresseth then along the North River back to Canal, taking a peep at the moon and broad river from the end of one off the piers by the way. Clear cold moon, very low and near the horizon and drifting clouds scudding athwart the sky. Thoughts of little Jersey; of anticipations and expectations on my arrival in this city, when America was fairy-land and terra-incognito to me. Of home, of genial Christmas; of how dull and melancholic I seem to grow day by day; — of how thin my face, and how weary my heart.

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States
New York

Dates: 1850-12-08

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Boardinghouses
19th century
Fire fighters
Armed Forces


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