Jervis McEntee Diaries

Friday May 28, 1886

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, May 28, 1886, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Friday, May 28, 1886 The morning broke splendidly with every promise for a fair day. Fitch and I breakfasted at the Union Square hotel very sumptuously after which I went to the Studio Building where I met Gaul with his lunch basket about to start for the foot of Rector St. where the boat for Sandy Hook was to leave at 10.10. We went down together by the L-road and found Story and Bristol there. Presently Parton, Wood, Beard, Whittredge, Guy, Brown, Nicoll and Champney came. We had a charming sail down the bay and noted that they were putting the skeleton of the statue of Liberty on the pedestal which impressed me more favorably than I supposed it would from descriptions of it. At Sandy Hook we walked across through the woods about a mile to the beach where we ate our simple lunch and spent an hour very pleasantly when we returned to the pier and took a train for Highlands about five miles distant. Here two of the party crossed the long bridge and made arrangements at Thompsons Hotel for our dinner at 5 and we spent the intervening time on the beach watching the sea and the breakers. It was a perfect day and we all enjoyed the delicious air. We had a very comfortable dinner and left by the train at half past five for Branchport and came to N. Y. via Perth Amboy, Rahway etc. arriving there about 8. Nicoll and I went to the Century and had a pot of tea and staid there until midnight. Coming to my room, some one called my name on the corner of the street just as I was about to cross to the Park. A young man presented himself and said "you dont know me" I answered "I did not." He said "I am Jonnie Wight" He looked well and not at all dissipated, said he had come from Colorado with a drove of cattle as a "cow puncher" as he expressed it, simply a man to look after them in the train. Said the man he came with was in the city but he didnt know where as he (John had stopped at Newark). That he was to meet him the next day when he was to pay him sixty dollars, meanwhile he had no money and didnt know where he was going to sleep. Said he had drank no whiskey for three years, but admitted he took a glass of beer occasionally. Said he had saved eight or nine hundred dollars and was going to buy a little ranch. I didnt take much stock in his story but thought as he looked so well it might possibly be true. I gave him all the change I had twenty cents at which he expressed great satisfaction, and after a little more talk we parted, he to spend it for beer probably, possibly to look for a place to sleep.

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