Jervis McEntee Diaries

Friday October 6, 1876

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, Friday, October 6, 1876, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Went up with Calvert & Bowyer on the 5 o'clock train but returned again Thursday morning as it rained and promised an unpleasant day. Downing came in in the evening and staid in my room while I went to the Century to attend a trustees meeting. Today I have been trying to design a picture but it is hard work and I get very discouraged. When my work goes well I feel well. I am going to paint a 12x20 picture and if it promises well will paint a larger one for which I prepared a canvas yesterday. Genl. Seymour called today. Has just returned from Pensacola. Expects to be retired next year and go to Europe to live. Mrs. Lord and her daughter called. They are army people and are stationed in Tucson and know Lucy. She wrote that they would call on me. While they were here two other gentlemen called, one of them a Southerner who has spent much time abroad. I did not learn his name but there was a slight bogus air about him. Recd a letter from Gertrude. Laura at the last report was no better and Gertrude feels discouraged. I wish I could send her some cheering news, she is very unhappy without me there. She enclosed a long letter from Lucy with an account of them camping on the mountain. Spent the evening at Bayard Taylors. He and Mrs. Taylor are alone now Lily having gone to Vassar College. She is the first student who has ever entered the Sophomore class and thus omitted the Freshman year. Taylor had many hopeful messages for me. Among other things he said the paragraph concerning Escosura's praise of my picture he cut from the Express and sent it to me with some other remarks attending it and a short note which I never received. He had it put into the Tribune and told me it had been copied far and wide. It seems vain in me to think so much of these personal matters but my salvation depends upon the esteem in which I am held in my profession. I feel a weight of responsibility which I never felt before and a necessity for putting forth exertions I never did before. He told me also that in Clarence Cooks latest notices of the Exposition which have not yet been published there are exceedingly complimentary notices of me. He told me in confidence many things of his connections with the Tribune so that it seems to me he is a most valuable and useful man there.

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