Jervis McEntee Diaries: March 23, 1877

We went home on Saturday morning. It had cleared off but the weather was sullen and when we reached Rhinebeck it had grown very cold. I was much shocked at the ferry. A seedy looking young man spoke to me who proved to be Billy King whom I had known as a bright boy of 15 or 16. He had become a confirmed drunkard and loafer. He wanted to go over the river and having no money the captain put him ashore where he stood and cursed him. I would gladly have paid the poor fellows fare but Winter told me he only wanted to go over to loaf about some new hole. He had a pretty sister with whom as a boy I was in love. I wonder where she and his poor mother are and whether they live to see his ruin. Sunday and Monday were like the depth of winter. Snow on the ground and ice forming in the river. Tuesday night we went to Kingston to see the children play "Red Riding Hoods Rescue". Wednesday was my fathers 77th birth day. We had Genl. Smith, Mrs. B[?] and Aunt Christina to dinner. The General and my father are very intemperate temperance men and we had a warm discussion at dinner. I spoke too emphatically, which is one of my faults of which I am conscious. We came home Thursday and in the drawing room car met Gifford. Mary Morrell called just as we reached our rooms and invited us to spend the evening with them to meet Miss Adelaide Phillips the singer which we did and she sang for us delightfully. She is a real artist and to my great satisfaction spoke warmly in praise of other singers. We were the only ones there except the judge & his wife. I found a letter from Booth at my room and one from Robt Gordon wanting me to secure Homers picture "Cotton Picking" for a friend of his, which I did for $1500 including copyright. I amuse myself in my morning walks in visiting various parts of the city and often go to the Bowery to see the different sort of people and habits which prevail there. Yesterday was much amused by the new "American Museum" where they have a "fat woman" a "tattooed man" and two "wild boys". The pictures on the outside are wonderful beyond description. In the crowd on the opposite side of the street, which had stopped to regard a picture of the act of tattooing a man, painted on an enormous transparency on a wagon, was a man afflicted with a peculiar nervous disease and who attracted as much notice as the museum. Saw in Canal St. a mother stop with a little child in her arms, to show it a gaily painted wooden figure of an Indian woman. The delight of the child was unbounded.

< Previous Entry | Next Entry >