Jervis McEntee Diaries

Wednesday October 29, 1884

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, October 29, 1884, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Wednesday, Oct 29, 1884 Tom and I mended the gate on the side hill which the rabble broke down yesterday at the alarm of fire. Drove my father out for a ride by Steep Rocks and home by the Flat bush road and through Kingston. This afternoon put on some of the double windows. Sara, Girards wife[,] Jamie, Girard Jr & Charlie drove Billy down to see the great Republican parade. We drove down to the strand and then came up and took up our position in Spring St. opposite the Baptist church where we waited more than an hour. The procession was to start at 9 but did not move until 10. Major [?] and Sams places were gay with chinese lanterns. When the procession came up Muts St. they set off fireworks very near us which frightened Billy so that he leaped into another wagon beside us. As soon as possible I got out and got him by the head but he jumped and reared in perfect terror. Some one came to get the women and children out, when I discovered he had broken the harness in his plunges. I thought I would be obliged to let him go but the thought of his tearing through that crowd gave me renewed strength to hold on and finally a man Mr. Mayer, brother of the wagon maker, came to my assistance when we turned him round and with great difficulty got him a little beyond the noise and tumult. Then we led him clear around by the Ulster Academy home Mr. Mayer going with me. Billy was terror stricken and when we got to the barn found his mouth was bleeding from a cut in the lip I thought. Meanwhile it was raining and I did not know what had become of Mary and her children, but after the horse was put away I walked down the street and met them coming up pretty well wet through. Sara came around with me. I went with the horse and wagon against my better judgment for I thought it an unsafe place particularly with women and children. We had a most fortunate escape from a perilous situation. My father had a letter from Mr. Jervis today. I had one from the Art agent of the New Orleans exposition asking me for pictures but was obliged to reply that I had nothing. It is raining and has seriously interfered with the parade which must have been a very successful one as to numbers although I saw but little of it.

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