Jervis McEntee Diaries

Saturday September 14, 1889

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, September 14, 1889, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Saturday, Sept 14, 1889 The morning was undecided in character but in the afternoon the sun came out, there was no wind and the air was soft and bright and quiet. A little after dinner while Calvert and I were sitting on the front porch Cantine came up and told us he was authorised to offer us $27,000 for the whole homestead property from Marys lane to mine and from Chestnut to Holmes St's. We declined the offer on the ground that we had gone too far with our proposed sale to recede and also that it was not enough. He rather (it seemed to me) argued that it would be well to accept but I had no idea of accepting even $30,000 now and told him so. He said the offer came through a real estate dealer and he did not know who it was from but finally said, without our asking the information, that he suspected it was Sam Coykendall. Calvert went home by the 4.05 train having I hope got over his siege of carbuncles and boils. He is not to be here at the sale, having engagements in New York. Sara and Cousin Rachel have been over to Mrs. Van Deusens to hear Mrs Field and Mrs Hammersley preach and pray or something of that sort. Girard came in about 7 o'clock and told me Cantine had been in and told him of the offer he had made me and Girard had replied that he thought we were right in rejecting it while Cantine seemed to think we should have accepted it. I am surprised at this. Girard thinks the next offer will be $30000 and he thinks we ought to accept it and stop the sale, and he says he saw John McEntee this evening and he said we were right in refusing $27,000 but that we should certainly accept $30,000 and Calvert agreed with me. I try to look at the thing calmly and dispassionately. We gave Cantine, before he went to the sea shore the refusal of the place at $30,000. Meanwhile, and partly originally at his suggestion we decided to lay out the place on smaller lots and when we had so decided both Calvert and John advised me to write to Cantine at once and tell him that the offer we had made him would cease on Sept. 30 [sic], which I did and at the expiration of that time we went directly to work completing our plan and rather congratulating ourselves that the offer had not been accepted as we hoped to get considerably more for the property. Now we have sent out circulars, advertised etc. and had a number of people here to make inquiries and my idea is to go straight ahead and carry out the plan we have deliberately decided upon and not be discouraged or driven from our purpose by forebodings of failure. We have limited the lots and if necessary after selling one or two we can raise the limit and no combination can get the property below our limit. I feel quite sure some one wants the place and that person relies a good deal on discouraging us. I am not sanguine but I believe it will at least advertise the place and we will get, in the end much more money for it, and in this conviction with only Sunday between now and the sale I propose to go to bed and sleep soundly in the conviction that I am right. We have tried for years to sell the place as a whole without success and reluctantly I accepted this later plan of selling in lots and for my part I propose to abide by it.

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