Jervis McEntee Diaries

Monday December 18, 1876

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, Monday, December 18, 1876, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

I went home Wednesday morning Julia & Marian accompanying me. Went down to Uncle Charles' immediately. Saw John, Julia & Lily. John took me in the parlor and showed me his father in his coffin. It was all so strange and sudden that I could hardly realize that this active man who had been so near to me all my life was gone forever. The funeral took place on Thursday. He was buried in Montrepose. The next day I took a walk around back of the cemetery. I saw his grave at a distance. The sun was shining on it and it did not seem that he was to remain there forever. I felt inexpressibly sad as I thought of him for his life was not a success in a worldly point of view and there was much of disappointment and anxiety in his later years. My father is very calm and bears his loss stoically but at times he feels it keenly. I had a talk with my father on Saturday. He told me he had made his will and how he had disposed of his property. That he had thought about it a great deal but that now he had it arranged satisfactorily. He has appointed John McEntee, Jas. Van Deusen and myself executors. He wants my mother to stay there if she survives him and wishes Gertrude & me to live there with her, but I did not like to ask him particularly how he had arranged it nor to seem to influence him in the remotest. He was very much affected while talking with me and it was a solemn occasion to me. I forgot to mention that Emmet McEntee came to Uncle Charles funeral and returned Saturday. Lily Taylor came up from Vassar College on Saturday to spend Sunday with Laura & Julia. Sam Coy Kendall has given Maurice a position on the Freeman again but his conduct gives no hope that he will stay there long. I returned to N.Y. this morning. Annie Norton came with me and Lily Taylor as far as Pokeepsie. It has been very cold and the Norwich was three hours getting over the river the first time this morning. We came the second trip. It has snowed all day, rain here at first and tonight is cold and windy. Went to the Council. The free school scheme was accomplished, I being the only one opposed. I combated it with all the power I possessed but without excitement and now that it is done shall worry no more about it. Stopped in at Bayard Taylors a moment on my way to Council. Read me an exquisite poem he wrote yesterday "Peach-bloom". Calvert & Bowyer dined with me but I miss the family and my heart is tied to home so much that all is sad and lonely and dismal here. I only think of the time to go home again.

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