Jervis McEntee Diaries

Monday August 26, 1872

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, August 26, 1872, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Monday, August 26, 1872- It is a month today since I left home for the sea coast. I joined Gifford and Whittredge in Hudson and the following morning (July 30) we left for Gloucester where we arrived the same evening. After staying a day or two at the hotel we got board at Mr. Abm. Day's where Gifford and Whittredge had staid before and where we were very comfortable. I remained there until Monday Aug. 19 when I left for Boston to visit Mrs. Sawyer at College Hill. I found her entirely alone Mr. Sawyer being in Rondout. I remained here until Wednesday morning when I went to Nantucket via Woods Hole to visit Eastman Johnson. Arrived there about six o'clock in the evening and found him on the dock waiting for me. I staid with him until Friday morning when I left for N.Y. I stopped two or three hours at Martha's Vineyard to see the camp meeting and the cottage city. Went to Fall River via Middleboro and took the steamer Providence for N.Y. I had telegraphed to Boston for a state room but failed to get one and was obliged to sleep on a mattress in the state room ball. Reached N.Y. about 6 in the morning and went to Vaux's where I expected to find Gertrude and Mary but they were there, Gertrude having decided not to come down. Girard and I breakfasted together and we both came home on the 11 o'clock train where I was glad to be again after having knocked about for a month, a part of the time enduring a good deal of discomfort. I don't think I have gained specially in health by my sea side experience. I enjoyed it but to be candid not over much. The coast and the whole region about Gloucester are very interesting but the whole thing was so new to me that it would take a longer time for me to get into entire sympathy with it. I made about twenty small sketches (I only took my small box) but it is doubtful whether I will ever use any of them. I found Eastman very nicely situated in his home at Nantucket. The house and all its surroundings are very plain. All the furniture is what he has picked up there and he has no carpets and no useless furniture but it is very pleasant and cosy. He has a good large studio and had one fine study which he had made up in the town; a grape arbor with hollyhocks. We took a walk thru a part of the quaint old town and I should have liked to have staid longer and seen more of this very peculiar place. Numbers of people are beginning to go there now and in a year or two I dare say it will be a regular watering place. On the steam boat going there I got in a conversation with a young man whose name I think is H.G. Barnard. He had been a Presbyterian but had been turned out of the church for heresy. He had no belief in the bible as an inspired work and gave me several instances of what he conceived to be misstatements and fallacies as well as bad morals. I would have liked to talk more with him as he was very intelligent and besides his religious doctrines he gave me some very curious information regarding spiritualism. He disgusted one man with his frank and free criticism of the Old Testament but I confess I was much interested.

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