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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 1, page 60, March 8-9, 1851

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Identifier: DX09948490

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 1, page 60, March 8-9, 1851

Description: Describes a visit to William Barth on Governors Island.


hour left and returned to [177] Canal.

9. Sunday. Joe [Greatbatch] calling with the intelligence that Mary Anne [Greatbatch] was sick, accompanied him to Clarkson Street. There for an hour, seeing all of them, then returned. Alf [Waud] being disinclined to accept [William] Barth’s invite, set off alone, crossed to Brooklyn, hunted up a boatman, and was pulled across through the driving spray and sunny waves. Arrived at the Hospital [at Governor’s Island] and found Barth, installed in a clean, tolerably spacious white-washed room, a huge coal fire glowing intensely at one end, above the mantel piece divers books, a skull and cold dissecting knives. Three power pots in window and a small iron bed-stead in the corner of the room.

Dined, he having done so, and sat reading [Thomas] Carlyle’s Latter day pamphlets during intervals of his absence, on “Hospital Steward” duties. Book talk, and in the evening the company of an acquaintance of his, one Creecy from Missouri. [words crossed out] A tall, keen looking and long sided lad man with a history. His father a wealthy planter, he himself being intimate with a handsome girl, discovering reason to suspect her virtue he broke off the affair; and after a month wooing his father was wed to her. So his sons quitted the parental roof, and the old man moved further west. / Some book talk, a little whist playing, and more talk. At about 11 or twelve we go to bed. Barth in his own hard bunk, I on a straw-made one in adjoining room, where I lay listening to wind howling without, and thinking fitfully. Talking a little, the door of communication being open. Among other things quoth Barth suddenly.

“I wonder whether Mary Bilton is married?”

“I wonder!” echoed I

“She was a handsome, pleasant girl. — I wish her name was Mary Barth, and she was here beside me —”

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1851-03-08

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Governors Island (New York County, N.Y.)
Armed Forces
Books and reading


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