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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 213, December 5-6, 1853

@ Missouri Historical Society


Comments on the book, Health Trip to the Tropics by N.P. Willis. Transcription: newspaper on the Editorial Sanctum;) then to [Edwin] Weed’s, and to Wells and Webbs. Then to room [290 Broadway], dinner at 1, and drawing all the afternoon. [Alfred] Waud came up, and in the early part of the day [Charles] Welden. Evening called for [Charles] Damoreau and he came up into my room for short space. / Ran all through N P Willis “Health Trip to the Tropics,” which had been left for me by Welden yesterday. Brilliant, readable, sensuous books, like all of Willis’s. But he’s blundered about the Mammoth cave here and there, and awfully perverted truth about the guide Stephen [Bishop]. I can very well understand how a pretty sharp, intelligent n----- has been flattered into a most overweening estimation of himself, when such romancing has appeared in print about him. It’s all bosh about his being part Indian, he don’t look “Castilian;” and with his “knowledge of geology” “you might choke a daw withal,” or astonish a gaping nobody, but that’s the amount of it. / One thing Willis has noted right well, the utter absence of all scent of vegetation in the Cave, “the skeleton Air,” as it were. And again, the multitudinous variety of objects, overcrowding you with sensation. Thinking over them in detail, I now wonder I marvelled not more, then. So is it also, with respect to Lake Superior, which is rapidly becoming Fairy Land to me, for Evermore....
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