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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 106, May 19-21, 1851

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Identifier: DX01020870

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 106, May 19-21, 1851

Description: Lists topics of a conversation with William Barth and Mr. Creecey.


scene, and from no other place [as Castle Williams] is their obtainable so fine a view of New York. There were the great cannons with their dumb malelovent [malevolent] mouths gaping over; the green islands, and the city. Descending, we walk through a garden wherein lay captured artillery, of which three of the lookers on had memory. Some from Vera Cruz, Palo Alto, Berra Gorde &c. Talk of men slain by them, or of those who had scaped. / And all this work lay embryo, latent in Roger Baron’s brain, as in Oxford cloisters he concocted his subtle grain! / The soldier’s trade is often, I think unjustly decried. Methinks he who leads so hard a life, risks and endures for so little, ranks higher than the smug tradesmen, approved and legally robbing behind a counter. A greater latitude in judging them should be had. The noblest essays in the soldiers trade are Mine Uncle Toby’s defence [defense] of it, and poor, good, noble Don Quixote’s grave, beautiful, discourse on the relative merits of Soldier and Scholar. Evening a long book talk with [William] Barth and Creesey. [Ralph Waldo] Emerson, [William] Shakspere, Homer, [Friedrich] Schiller and Transcendentalism. Creesey has travelled on the shores of Italy, spake of Pompeii, of Agrigentum, of Syracuse, of Scylla and Charybdis. Finally we got to the ghostly; at about 2 getting to bed. A pleasant time.

20. Tuesday. Wet awhile; which having cleared off, I went out, and wandering to the shore [of Governor’s Island], standing on the sands, with the waves plashing on my left made a drawing of the fort, Castle Williams. Returned, parted with [William] Barth, crossed, to New York; called at [Richard] Hutchings, then to Robinson. Drawing; and reading Levers “Con Cregan.” Evening, as I had promised, to [177] Canal Street. A letter from my mother [Naomi Butler Gunn] and from Naomi [Gunn]. Homer Hall out; so returned through the rain, scribbled awhile, and then surrendered myself to the vampires. / Mr [Henry] Hart & Dillon [Mapother] called this afternoon.

21. Wednesday. Got a block to draw the “Castle” on. Engaged in it, and reading till sunset. A letter from Alf Waud. Post Office folks steal the newspapers he sends regularly. Evening to Canal. Writing out a description for printing of the drilling machines, in company of his wife and himself [Alzina and Homer Hall]; she spake but little. After went alone to [174] Mulberry Street. Saw Mr [Joseph] Greatbatch and his wife [Mary Anne Greatbatch]; and Joe [Greatbatch] walked

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1851-05-19

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Books and reading
Armed Forces
Castle Williams (New York, N.Y.)
Governors Island (New York County, N.Y.)
Mexican War, 1846-1848


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