Jervis McEntee Diaries

Tuesday December 9, 1884

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, December 9, 1884, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Tuesday, Dec 9, 1884 I commenced a little picture 15x18 but I seem to have no ideas and my work is not interesting to me. I suppose I have been in just this state before but it alarms me as if it were the premonition of failing powers. Downing came in and spent an hour with me and we talked about selling our place which we are all agreed is the thing to labor for. He had hardly got away when Sam Coykendall came. I think he came expecting to have me broach the subject which I did after a little. He professed that his wife did not want to go on the hill but I saw that that would not be in the way. I told him we were making an effort to sell and advised him to buy it as emminently adapted to his needs and said we would sell at a reasonable price and told him how much land we proposed to sell. I told him he would regret it if some one else bought it as it was a valuable place and the only one in Rondout. He showed I think that he would like it and said he would talk with his wife and see me again. I do not know how to talk with these sharp business men but I have always believed that the best diplomacy was frankness and I relied on that. Told him why we wanted to sell, that it was too large and too much care and expense and that we wanted to live in my smaller house. I am afraid he will be inclined to wait thinking we will be obliged to sell before long and that then he will get it at his own price but at least I have opened the subject and now it remains to be seen what will come of it. I wrote to Sara about my interview with him.

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