Tuesday August 31, 1880
Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, August 31, 1880, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Tuesday, Aug 31, 1880 [Newspaper clipping attached] Weir and I went to Hudson to attend Gifford's funeral, by the 11 o'clock train. Major Wilkinson met us at the train. A party of friends was to come from N. Y. to arrive there at 2 and we went to the hotel and awaited them and had lunch there. Platt and his wife, Mr & Mrs. Wheeler, Guy, Mr. Wilson, Blauvelt, Richard and Cyrus Butler, Hubbard, Whittredge. The services were at his fathers house at 2 oclock and Dr. Bellows's discourse was a most appreciative exposition of Giffords true and noble and simple life and character. One thought struck me forcibly, that the face of the dead reflected the whole life and bade all look upon Giffords serene and hopeful and contented face. He read a letter Gifford dictated to his mother, who is a professor of religion and always wished he might be. He told her he was happy, ready to die and had the consciousness of having done his duty as he understood it. His faith in immortality was strong and settled and he was entirely prepared to die. Platt, Richard Butler, Weir, Whittredge, Hubbard and I acted as bearers and placed him in his grave. It was a beautiful day and as Dr. Bellows remarked it was fitting that the painter of the summer should go to his rest on this last beautiful day of the summer. He was buried in the cemetery in the family plot just outside the city. His father and mother his wife, and his sisters and brothers were all present and bore themselves with the greatest calmness. It was death in its fairest guise. After the funeral we all, some fifteen or twenty of his immediate friends went to the house where dinner was prepared and at six we left for home. Mrs. Church and Church were present and wanted me to go home with them to pass the night, but I felt I ought to go home. Dr. Bellows went with them. As I came home in the twilight I looked at the beautiful mountains where we had been so much together and which glorify so many of his canvases and felt how henceforth they would be sacred ground to me in memory of him and dear Gertrude.
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