Thursday May 15, 1879
Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, Thursday, May 15, 1879, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Have felt very troubled and unhappy all day. I do not see how I am to meet my engagements. I find I lack fifteen hundred dollars to pay the interest on our mortgages, my rent and some other bills and I see little prospect to obtain it. I feel a sense of impending disaster and contemplate with alarm the possibility of losing all our property and most of all our home. I am almost distracted when I think of it and know not what to do. I have been painting all day on another portrait of Gertrude I began some time ago and this evening I went up to Eastman Johnsons. He seems to have enough to do and is able to pay his way. It has always seemed a cruel thing that all my life long I have had to wrestle with these sordid and degrading worries. I am tired of it. Poor dear Gertrude is spared her share in my unhappiness and in days like these I sigh and yearn for her sweet sympathy that never failed me in my troubles. If I had only myself to consider I should not fret but I cannot bear to have my father and mother disturbed in their old age. I think the way American Artists are treated is a shame to our people. I am sure that in almost any other country with my position I should be spared all this.
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