Born and raised in England, Thomas Butler Gunn first worked as an illustrator for the famous British satirical journa
Covers the period from September 23, 1860 to December 31, 1860.
Gunn reveals a rumor among the Bohemians that may have originated with Clapp or O'Brien, "She was one of the Allie Vernon stamp, a married woman, her maiden name Gertrude Louise Vultee, her married one, Wilmshurst. Her husband edits a feeble weekly, entitled the "Traveller," in this city; both he and she lived with "Ada Clare" otherwise Miss Micklehenning – the fast literary woman. Shepherd tells me that the Bohemians had a whispered rumor that the affection between these women was of a Parisian, Sapphic charater – it may be so, or only a monstrous canard originating in the depraved minds of such men as Clapp or O'Brien. Judging from "Ada"'s writings, one might credit it" (16-17).
Gunn says Allie had previously known Clapp and wrote for the Saturday Press, "Since their nonintercourse, Haney contrived to do Sol a service. Allie wrote a few things for the "Saturday Press"; had known Clapp before, in her Bohemienne days, when she was hawking her writings, and a more vendible commodity, about the low newspaper offices in New York. Well, Clapp affected to admire her verses, called upon Haney and incidentally, inquired for Sol's Brooklyn address. He didn't get it, however, and Haney told Cahill to give Sol a caution. No more of Allie's writings appeared henceforth in the "Saturday Press!" (102).
Gunn details De Walden's entrance, "De Walden came in about midnight, with his white beard, and laying his gouty leg upon a chair, treated the party and talked Bohemianish about Addey's "Momus" enterprise, scoffing at that ill- advised ex-bagman and "the Almighty Newman."
Gunn describes a conversation with Will Waud, in which they talk of Waud's and Eytinge's reconciliation: "Will Waud came up after dinner and stayed the afternoon. Among other things talked of, he gave me the particulars of his reconciliation with Sol Eytinge, which was characteristic enough on the part of the latter. Waud was standing at the portal of Crook and Duff's when Sol approached, in company with Anthony, the engraver, and apparently "goaded to it by the recollection of his wrongs," seized Waud by the coat and began howling him about in a promiscuous manner. Sol was exceedingly drunk and irascible, Anthony pacifically so. Waud shook his assailant off and Sol was borne into the barroom, struggling with his friends, among whom was Mort. Thomson. Waud waited and walked about, being unwilling to leave under the imputation of avoiding Eytinge. Presently he emerged again, when there was another brawl, Anthony clamorously interposing, informing them they were both d____d good fellows and insisting that there should be no fight. Sol blustered, and declared that he could lick Waud in ten minutes, that Waud knew he could lick him, &c. &c. At length they were hustled into the barroom to drink together, when J. Wood appeared, whom Sol taxed with having received and talked about a letter from W. Waud, reflecting on his wife – the immaculate "Allie," telling Wood that he was a d____d liar and the like – to which Wood responded by telling Sol that he was d____d drunk. Nothing came of the affair but drinking and a reconciliation, as rational as the quarrel had been. The others insisted on Waud's accompanying them to Hoboken, and he had to give them the slip surreptitiously. Since then, he and Eytinge are as much friends as ever they were" (35-37).
Gunn annotates a newspaper engraving of Thomas Nast, likely drawn by Sol Eytinge: "Copied from a similar photograph to the one sent to 745, but on an enlarged scale – drawn probally by Sol Eytinge. Makes him took a good deal older more manly, and much too tall" (69). - ILL
Gunn describes a conversation with Jesse Haney about Sol Eytinge and Allie Vernon, alluding to Allie's affairs with various men: "Some chance remark brought up the subject of Sol Eytinge and "Allie Vernon," when a few facts turned up in elucidation of the past. Haney thinks that Allie was really not married to Covill; there was also another male favorite in possession, even when Sol was enjoying Allie's favors! She did the passional attractive business to all Sol's friends, both before and after the marriage, would lie between Sol and Cahill and squeeze the hands of both. Haney declares a visit to Sol's involved the utmost awkwardness and the dreariest experience. To escape from Allie's indirect importunities, he made love to Josey; which set her so conceited that she immediately imagined herself "in keeping," as her sister was, and quarrelled with Allie on the strength of it! Sol spoke to Haney about his presumed liking for Josey; would not have been unwilling to let him have her. Since their non-intercourse, Haney contrived to do Sol a service. Allie wrote a few things for the "Saturday Press"; had known Clapp before, in her Bohemienne days, when she was hawking her writings, and a more vendible commodity, about the low newspaper offices in New York. Well, Clapp affected to admire her verses, called upon Haney and incidentally, inquired for Sol's Brooklyn address. He didn't get it, however, and Haney told Cahill to give Sol a caution. No more of Allie's writings appeared henceforth in the "Saturday Press!" (101-102).
Getty Gay's death is described, ""Getty Gay" one of the literary unfortunate females and Bohemiennes is dead. I never met the woman, but have heard of her often enough. She wrote trash for the Sunday papers and once brought something to the "Pic.", when Cahill saw her and proposed using it, paying for it himself, by way of commencing an intimacy with her. Gayler was said to have been one of her male "friends" in the Ornithorynchus' time, I have heard that he quarreled with Wilkins about her. She was one of the Allie Vernon stamp, a married woman, her maiden name Gertrude Louise Vultee, her married one, Wilmshurst. Her husband edits a feeble weekly, entitled the "Traveller," in this city; both he and she lived with "Ada Clare" otherwise Miss Micklehenning – the fast literary woman. Shepherd tells me that the Bohemians had a whispered rumor that the affection between these women was of a Parisian, Sapphic charater – it may be so, or only a monstrous canard originating in the depraved minds of such men as Clapp or O'Brien. Judging from "Ada"'s writings, one might credit it. This wretched "Getty" "quitted this world of care and pain, and found rest and peace with her Creator" – I quote the "Traveller" – on the 21st, being about twenty years old and dying of consumption. What a life, and what a termination to it! Bohemianism! were there no Bohemians in Sodom and Gomorrah, I wonder?"
Gunn states that Gayler was a friend of Getty Gay, "Gayler was said to have been one of her [Getty Gay] male "friends" in the Ornithorynchus' time, I have heard that he quarreled with Wilkins about her" (16).
Gunn describes meeting Gayler and Joe Harper at Crook and Duffs, "Met Gayler and Joe Harper at Crook and Duffs, the former slightly offensive, his normal condition – a little braggart, too, this time" (41).
Gunn and Damoreau go to the theatre, "To Laura Keene's theatre together, seeing a spectacular burlesque of the absurdest sort. The house was crowded and we stood during the two acts, at the third I was recognized [sic] by Welden and beckoned to a seat between him and Smith, of the Times. Frank Leslie was among the audience."
Mullen is among several Gunn saw at Pfaff's, "Turned into Pfaff's, thinking I might find Shepherd. Only Mullen, F. Wood, Launt Thompson the sculptor, Sears and one Shanley present, the last an Irishman, not unlike O'Brien. I sat half- an-hour drinking with them; the talk was dreary enough, Phallic, newspaperish and the like" (30-31).
Sally tells Gunn that it's Nast's birthday when he sees them at the store: "I saw all of them in the store, smiling and saucy and Sally whispered that to- day was Somebody's birthday – little Nast's" (10).
Haney and Gunn have a conversation about Sally Edwards and Nast: "He regrets he ever made the offer; thinks it a mistake altogether; asserts he should not have done so but for her encouraging it by the assurance that Nast had got his dismissal. He spoke more than once of her questioning him during his suspense and passion, whether Nast would do? – I think that always occurs to him in connection with Sally now – it is the turning point of her character in his opinion. Further he supposed I might be exercising a morbid influence on her" (38)!
Gunn suspects Sally Edwards would marry Nast if he came back: "She set her cap at Honeywell a little, perhaps to convince Matty, he might be captured. If Nast came back, every way improved and as much in love as ever, she would probably marry him" (40).
Sally Edwards inquires about Nast, "She wanted to know if they'd heard anything of Nast at the "Ill. News" office, adding, with a look which said I will do it! though you say what you may – "Father and mother might like to know!" We had more confidences, some about Haney. Neither he nor Hayes turned up during the evening" (56).
Gunn mentions that Thomas Nast is working for Gluseppe Garibaldi in Europe: "Down-stairs, saw a photograph of Nast, which had just arrived, with letters from him. In consequence of his sending no address on his leaving England, Jack, his principal correspondent, didn't know where to write to him, until, I suppose, the arrival of the letter, which awaited our return from Grafton Centre. Nast is on Garibaldi's staff, has been under fire, rooms with Colonel Peard, "Garibaldi's Englishman," and writes that he has to rise at 3, to ride till 10 before breakfast, also that he expects to re turn to New York a general, apprending, as is Tommy's wont, a fancy sketch of himself in that capacity. As the girls wrote notelets to him, he responded in similar proportions. Matty's and Sally's, which I saw, are penned in the scrimpiest, most niggling of chirography, boyish and iterative to the last degree and ill-spelled. His portrait represents him in volunteer costume, a loose shirt (red flannel probably) and trousers, gaiters a la Zouave and mandarin cap, a la Anglais. As far as could be judged from the small size of the countenance, Nast is much improved, grown more manly, his nose defined, his whiskers sprouting. Enough of him for the present" (68&72).
Gunn includes an annotated newspaper engraving of Nast while working on Garibaldi's staff: "THOS. NAST, ESQ., OUR SPECIAL ARTIST, NOW ATTACHED TO GARIBALDI'S STAFF, IN HIS CALABRIAN COSTUME. [Gunn's handwriting] Copied from a similar photograph to the one sent to 745, but on an enlarged scale – drawn probally by Sol Eytinge. Makes him took a good deal older more manly, and much too tall" (69).
Gunn wants Sally to find a husband who will let them remain friends: "Get married Sally! take Nichols or Nast or any good fellow who'll love you and let us be friends always" (75-76).
Jack exhibits locks of hair from the Edwards' for Nast: "Sally reading "Chuzzlewit." Jack returning with Eliza, exhibited locks of hair from the entire family, designed for transmission to Nast" (77).
Sally refuses to admit interest in a photograph of Nast: "I discovered that some allusion on my part to "Chuzzlewit," in my talk on the eve of Nast's departure had made her desirous of reading it. This night I had brought a brief, ridiculously written article by one of its editors, from the Illustrated N.Y. News, accompanying a cut of Nast, from a similar photograph to the one sent to the family. Sally wouldn't allow that she possessed interest in the subject" (85).
Gunn recalls the letters Haney wrote after Sally Edwards' rejection: "In the letters he told her of his love for the family – its very name commending strangers to him – and, after his dismissal, counselled her against mistaking her feelings towards Nast or accepting him from any but the honest dictates of her heart, with infinite solicitude and tender magnanimity. I could well understand her saying that he had never appeared to so much advantage as under rejection. But he adhered to his conviction that she had betrayed a lack of kindness; intimating also that she might not be unwilling to encourage a renewal of his suit, now, – at all events that she has learnt to estimate him differently. I told him, as I think, that the girl only wishes to have his good will, being pretty well convinced that they never would have suited each other. His passion, she instinctively felt, was a serious affair, dreading the responsibility of becoming the wife of a man who could become exacting, who was too keen sighted and too much in earnest to be put off with mere liking such as would have satisfied Nast. This, her girlish hesitancy in such a crisis, little Tommy's passion, her supposition that Haney took possession of her too suddenly, the opposition of Anne and the others, all had their influence on Sally. Apropos of Nast, I find he was in love with a visitor at Mort Thomson's, before he knew Sally. The girl was from Rochester, engaged to be married, and Tommy actually visited that city, for love of her, I think subsequent to her becoming another man's wife – whether he knew it, I know not" (89-90).
Gunn describes a short letter and caricature of Fanny Fern drawn by Nast: "Jack was writing again to Nast, this evening, in answer to a letter just received from him. It was a very meagre one, containing no news, and a carica- ture of Fanny Fern – an imaginary copy of a photograph she destroyed in a fit of low spirits, as related by Ed. Welles. He, by the bye, has recently heard of a brother's death, which explains his absence from 745 of late" (95).
Sally probes Welles about Nast's past: "The girls were full of spirits and good-humor. Sally in the new dress looked capitally, and soon questioned Welles with characteristic dexterity about Nast's former flame and journey to Rochester, which "Tommy" had denied or concealed from her. Welles corroborated the information and Sally told me of her manoeuve. I am pretty sure she has kept back a sly item or two concerning her relations with Nast, indeed she allowed it by implication" (125).
Gunn and Sally Edwards debate Nast's past: "The little revelation about Nast's previous flame and Rochester expedition has effected a good deal, not to his advantage, in Sally's mind; she returned to the subject and compared herself to Tom Pinch on his discovery of the true character of Pecksniff. I defended Tommy, arguing that at his age the passion and the ignoring it was natural, if he had been older he might have known the chance of discovery rendered it the wiser course to admit the folly. "But," said Sally, "if he did it once, he may again with some other." Nast has evidently told unnecessarily strong fibs about the matter. Sally broached the subject as soon as possible. "I expected to see a redness of the eyes indicative o, in a mild way of crying," I suggested, "you bore the confirmation well and characteristicaly – have you spent the night in burning up letters?" "What have you got in your head, now?" she asked, laughing but curious, and then fell to talking of Nichols' gratification at a compliment she paid him" (127).
Gunn adds a side note about Nast's father: "I don't think I ever put down that Nast's father was one of Dodsworth's well-known brass band before. He died not long before Tommy's introduction to 745" (128).
Gunn details a secret correspondence between Sally and Nast: "Sally corresponded secretly with Tommy Nast, since his absence in Europe; he petitioned for it, said he couldn't go away without it. She has written him four letters, he more to her. I think the correspondence has ended now, whether by his or her cessation, I'm not sure, I imagine the former, as before telling me, she made me promise that I shouldn't pity or sympathize with her. How she contrived the correspondence is a secret. Eliza knows of it, is Sally's confidante. This is the "little confidence" heretofore alluded to" (155-156).
Gunn notices that Mrs. Edwards never speaks of Nast in Haney's presence: "Mr & Mrs E. came in and Haney going out to fetch Eliza home, Mrs E. took the opportunity to speak of Nast – she never mentions little Tommy in Haney's presence, I notice" (166).
Gunn wishes for Nast's safe return: "We have a friend this year with glorious Garibaldi, Of theatre des Edwards the capital Grimaldi, Not least in our esteem though mentioned last, Health and a safe return to artist-hero Nast" (230)!
Gunn writes about passing Fanny Fern and Neal downtown, "Downtown. Passed Fanny Fern with Grace, the former grinning, on the arm of Neal of the "Tribune," he with a Scotch cap, curly hair and as if proud of his position.
Gunn mentions Shanley when describing an evening at Pfaff's, "Sears and one Shanley present, the last an Irishman, not unlike O'Brien. I sat half- an-hour drinking with them; the talk was dreary enough, Phallic, newspaperish and the like. De Walden came in about midnight, with his white beard, and laying his gouty leg upon a chair, treated the party and talked Bohemianish about Addey's "Momus" enterprise, scoffing at that ill- advised ex-bagman and "the Almighty Newman." The Irishman, Shanley, seemed to have some wit in him;"
Gunn says that Stedman was suspicious about his article, "But half my article in paper, the rest probably crowded out, though praised. Stedman suspicious about it" (57).
Gunn says that Stedman filled him in on the library sale, "Stedman called in the evening, just as I was turning out, to report the Academy of Medecine and the Burton library-sale. He had dropped in at the latter and told me particulars, sparing me that visit. Left him in Boweryem's room with its occupant and Stockton, went to Academy, then down Waverly Place (how I longed for half an hour's drop in at 745, to see a few kind faces, into omnibus and so to the dreary office down town" (61).
Gunn describes his visit to Stedmans, "In the evening to 14th street, visiting Stedman. He wasn't at home for half an hour, during which I conversed with his pleasant wife, their child lying sleeping on the bed. Stedman came uptown anon and I stayed till past 11. I think he is a trifle autocratic in his connubial relations; he spoke of his being "very strict" anent his wife's proceedings in the sanatory way, during her temporary absence, in a tone I didn't sympathize with. It suggested the old superstition of the woman the inferior animal. I must sketch Stedman at length one of these days" (149-150).
Gunn insinuates that Stedman wanted a part in the "Century", "almost entirely about McElrath's resuming the "Century," getting it for nothing from Gibbons and about Stockton finding employment thereon, to the dissatisfaction of Stedman who was greedy of having his finger in the pie" (183).
The Vault at Pfaff's
27 Memorial Drive West, Bethlehem, PA 18015