Jervis McEntee Diaries

Sunday October 13, 1878

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, Sunday, October 13, 1878, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Gertrude and I left home Tuesday morning Sept. 3rd to join Church in Hudson, I to accompany him to the Maine woods and Gertrude to visit at her fathers. We breakfasted at the Giffords and joined Church, Mrs. Church, Will Osborn and Freddie Church who was on his way to school at Concord, at the depot for the morning Boston train. We went to College Hill that night and Church & party left us at Worcester for Concord I to join him in Bangor on Thursday. I left for Boston on Thursday morning and found Church and Osborn on the train. Went to Mattewamkeog that night and next day by wagon to Medway 10 miles where we completed our arrangements for going into the woods. We started on Saturday morning, Mr. Church going up the west branch of the Penobscot in one of the birches of which there were four and Mr. Yeisley, Mr. Osborn and I following the team which carried our provisions etc. in to the carry, where we encamped and remained on Sunday. From here our route lay up Quakers Lake to North Twin, to Pemadumcook, to Ambigegis and over a short carry to Milinoket where we encamped and where we arrived the day we left the Carry Monday 9 Sept. From Milinoket after a time Mr. Yeisley and Osborn left us and Church and I with our two guides John Sanford and George Daisey made an expedition to Katahdin Lake and Mt. Katahdin via Sandy Stream, a very difficult and fatiguing journey. We came out of the woods Saturday Oct 5th and after packing our trunks which had been left at Medway we got into the birches and were paddled down to Mattawamkeog in time for the train. On the way down read all my letters and was so happy to learn that all my friends were well. Church left me at Bangor to stay over Sunday and I took sleeping car for Boston arriving at College Hill about 9 in the morning to find Gertrude alarmingly ill. They had refrained from writing me about it but on Monday Mr. Sawyer told me that she had been taken to Boston the day before by her physician to have her examined by a distinguished physician and that they had come to the conclusion that she had Addisons disease of the kidneys and that her case was all but hopeless. This was a shock for which I was ill prepared and now our great anxiety was to get home. I had one of my bad head aches on Sunday and Gertrude sleeping so badly we were in no condition to travel on Monday. We did come on Tuesday however via Hoosac Tunnel. The accomodations in the Wagner car were very inadequate and I had to improvise a bed for her as well as I could. She got to Albany with less fatigure than I expected. Here we had to wait two hours and the journey from there to Rhinebeck in a close, dirty car was very fatiguing. We were thankful to get in our large comfortable room where they had a fire on the hearth and Sara, Lucy and Gussie were ready to do every thing for. She had not slept for five days and nights, slept none to speak of that night and was very low indeed. Friday night Dr. Noxon came and gave me to understand she was near her end. Saturday (yesterday) I telegraphed Dr. Joslin to come up for consultation and he came by 11 o'clock train. Sara, Miss Noxon, Dr. Ingalls and Joslin were present at a careful examination conducted by Joslin. They agreed upon its being Addisons disease but most fortunately Dr. Joslin was perhaps the one physician in New York who had ever had a case and he had had two both of which were cured and one more strongly marked than Gertrude's. He was most hopeful and encouraging. Left her course of treatment for Sara to carry out and he and Miss Noxon left by 6 o'clock train. Gertrude was quite bright and not at all nervous all day but slept none last night only for an hour from 6 to 7 this morning. All day today she has been exceedingly nervous and she seems to me so to need rest and sleep that my alarm and anxiety are being constantly renewed. I write to her father daily. Sent him the encouraging result of the consultation yesterday.

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