The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 92nd Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts, Royal Academy, London, 1860
Record 2 of 6

System Number: 12440
Date: 15 July 1860
Author: Robert Edward Lee[1]
Place: San Antonio
Recipient: Mary Anna Randolph Lee[2]
Place: [Arlington?]
Repository: Virginia Historical Society Library, Richmond, VA
Call Number: Mss1 L51 c258
Document Type: ALfI[3]

San Antonio Texas

15 July 1860

I have recd by the last mails dear Mary your letters of the 27 Ult[im]o & 1st Inst: enclosing notes from May C. & May Goldsbrough, of whom I was glad to hear. I am also glad to learn that you & all around you are enjoying your accustomed health & that you are preparing for your visit to St Catherine's[.] I trust that its healing waters may be beneficial to you & to those that accompany you, & that you may all return well & happy to your home. [...]

[p. 2] [...] I also send you a newspaper slip[4] which will give you some information of little Jimmy Whistler. I wish indeed he may Succeed in his Career. He certainly has talent, if he Could acquire application. I have but little to tell you my surroundings here & should only have to report the old story of heat, drought, parched plains [p. 3] & ruined crops. [...]

Give much love to every body. Kisses to the Children & with much love for yourself [...] our prayers for your health & happiness

I am always yours


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1.  Robert Edward Lee
General Robert Edward Lee (1807-1870), Superintendant of USMA, West Point, and later Commander-in-Chief of the Confederate States of America [more]. Lee had known JW as an unsuccessful cadet when he was Superintendent at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

2.  Mary Anna Randolph Lee
Mary Anna Randolph Lee (1808-1873), née Custis, wife of Robert E. Lee [more]. She had a life interest in the Curtis property at Arlington, which was sequestered in the following year, and is now the Arlington Military Cemetery.

3.  ALfI
Only the parts of this letter relating to JW have been transcribed here, and sections omitted have been indicated by [...]; 'Give much love ... yourself' is written in the left margin of p. 2, and 'our prayers ... REL' in the left margin of p. 3, at right angles to the main text.

4.  newspaper slip
Lee must have received a review of the Royal Academy exhibition, where JW had exhibited for the first time. At the Piano (YMSM 24) was well reviewed in, for example, the London Times, 17 May 1860.