The Jervis McEntee Diaries - June 16, 1883

Diary Entry:

Saturday, June 16, 1883 I begin my new diary with a history of poor Maurices last struggle. He had been writing all winter in the County Clerks office in Kingston at a good salary and had lived at home, occasionally giving Sara money and some of the time being companionable and helpful in the care of my mother. The work was about finished, I think entirely completed on Saturday June 2. We noticed that he had been drinking and two or three times he failed to come home to tea which he always did with great regularity. Sunday 3rd he was at breakfast and he and Downing walked out towards the cemetery to try to see a strange bird he saw the day before (and which we saw on our return from the cemetery yesterday). Shortly afterwards he disappeared and we saw nothing more of him until the following Monday afternoon (11th) when Mrs Davis saw him stagger up to his room. The servant said he asked her to get him something to eat and she took him some bread and meat which however we found afterwards he had not touched. Sara was up very early and went to his room and told him the girls need not wait upon him and that if he didnt behave himself he would not be allowed to stay here, to which he made no reply, but must have gone off directly after. Dr Smith found him Wednesday 13th afternoon at Anderson Jansens drug store corner of Union & Foxhall Av's, in a very alarming condition, and sitting there suffering great pain. He sent for a carriage to Patchins and had him taken to Girarads and they brought him over here, greatly against his wish. Girards wife who came over with him describes him as evidently in great pain, almost paralyzed and unable to express himself except that he did not want to go home and that they had deceived him telling him they would not take him home. Tom the driver assisted him up stairs and Mary said it seemed such agony to him that she begged them to carry him, but he straightened up and said no, no, and cautioned them not to disturb his mother. They undressed him and put him in bed where he seemed to suffer less. Dr Smith had come to see him and told Sara he was in a critical condition and cautioned her not to arouse him as he feared delirium. Poor Sara was awake all night here alone in the house, for I went to N. Y. that day, and kept watch of him leaving his door open and going to the stairs to listen at any noise she heard. She said the wind blew with a mournful [?] and poor Maurice moaned and signed with every breath. She thought however it was the same thing he had so often gone through and did not go into his room which now she bitterly regrets. That is the awful thought to me to think of him suffering there alone with no one even to give him a drink of water. Dr Smith came again at 9 in the morning and said his pulse was stronger. Sara went in again and gave him a little water which he clutched in a wild frantic way, but as Dr Smith had cautioned her not to arouse him she was afraid to disturb him further. He soon became quiet again and Sara believing his end to be near sent for Girard. He died quietly moaning away his breath before he got there at 9.30 Thursday, June 14th. A notice of his death appeared in the paper with an announcement of a strictly private funeral on account of my mothers condition, but the coroner decided it his duty to come here with Dr. Smith and take his statement. Of course his sudden death will give rise to all manner of speculation. Some one said he lay one day on the steps of the old Senate House in Kingston intoxicated and that he was at [?] hotel in Kingston when Dr Wurts was called to see him, but he had gone. Evidently he has suffered everything in these last days. Perhaps I ought to have gone and looked him up and brought him home, but I could not and more than likely he would not have let me come near him. I think of him this mid June morning at rest from all his misery but with a tenderness and a pity for his sufferings which I did not believe had survived the misery he had cost us. I wrote to Skillman this morning in answer to a kind telegram he sent my father. Have been at home all day filled with a sad regretful feeling and unable to get poor Maurice out of my thoughts. I am glad Mary and Downing are here. Yesterday when Marion came home from Dobbs Ferry by the day boat she walked into the sitting room and suddenly came upon poor Maurices coffin standing in the middle of the room. Such a look of surprise and awe as passed over her face. She could not speak for some time. She had had no intimation of Maurices death and supposed at first it must be her Grandmother. The weather is almost chilly this evening and my father had a fire in the dining room. I wrote to Eastman a detailed account of Maurices death.

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