Jervis McEntee Diaries

Wednesday December 14, 1887

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, December 14, 1887, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Wednesday, Dec 14, 1887 Painted a little picture 15x18 a recollection of an effect I saw while I was at home, the sunlight shining out from a dark sky and illuming the trees on the hill in front of our house against a dark grey sky. Sent the deed for Coykendall to Girard. Lent two of my pictures to Bowyers friend for the D. K. club--Winter sunset after a storm and A November day. I went to a business meeting of the Academicians at the Academy this evening. There was as usual no quorum, but there were present 25 members. We discussed the idea of raising money to enable us to send three pupils abroad for three years. The matter has been under consideration and there is hope of securing money which has been pledged for art purposes. The Council with Edgar Ward and Nicoll were instructed with carrying out the plan. It was a pleasant meeting and I rather enjoyed meeting the Artists. They all seemed happy and I wondered if any of them felt as discouraged as I do. When I got to my room at nearly midnight I found a letter from Girard wanting me to endorse his note for $1500. He told me when I was home that Coykendall would discount it for him and that Elting Anderson had agreed to endorse it. Now he declines. It gave me a shock and I hardly know what to do, but reflecting over it a little I wrote him that considering my own embarrassed condition I could not do it, but if it would be any help I would endorse a note of $500. Even that I ought not to do and he knowing my anxieties ought not to ask me, but I would do so much. He told me Sunday his business brought in $3500 a year and yet he has not paid any of his debts, since I helped him two years ago. I begged him to set about extricating himself from this slavery and showed him he ought to apply at least a thousand dollars a year to paying his debts. But he is careless and thriftless and relies too much on borrowing and I cant be dragged into his troubles when he wont make an effort to help himself. I told him I did not want to be unkind, but that he must not rely upon me. I mailed the letter and hope he will get it tomorrow and went to bed disheartened and discouraged.

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