Jervis McEntee Diaries

Sunday March 30, 1879

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, Sunday, March 30, 1879, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Mary and I went to hear Mr. Chapin in the morning. I came afterward to my studio and sent a card for the Academy reception to Mrs. Hugh and then went to Booths to dinner. After dinner he and I walked up to call on Eastman but they had just gone out so we walked back and stopped at Giffords. We found them at dinner with Geo. Fuller & Weir. Booth staid a while and went home leaving me. At ten we all left. I went to the Century where I had some supper and met Stedman who introduced me to Col. Lawhorn Bayard Taylors brother-in-law who married Emma. They live at Colorado Springs and are intimate with Helen Hunt, now Mrs. Jackson. I asked him about Taylors first wife. He said she was a lovely woman the daughter of farmers, but her father was an intuitive gentleman. She was in every way a fit companion for Taylor who loved her devotedly. He married her on her death bed but had she lived she would have grown with his growth and been able to adapt herself to the station he filled so perfectly. Her name was Mary Agnew and Lilian was a pet name for her. One of his earlier poems written in Italy at Florence beginning "Dear Lilian all I wished is non / I sit beneath Italias sun" was addressed to her. He told me he used to hear him say sometimes "if I can get over the 21st of December I will be all right." It was the anniversary of her death and it came up to him always to influence all his plans and evidently kept a most tender place in his loving heart. The papers today had encouraging notices of the Academy and the Herald referred to my picture as being in the place of honor.

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