The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1867
Record 16 of 31

System Number: 02474
Date: 19 June 1867
Author: James G. Wakley[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler L11
Document Type: ALS



June 19 1867

My dear Sir

Dr Fox[2] has placed your letter[3] before me respecting poor Mr Traer[4].

I think it would be best to let his remains "rest in peace"

Faithfully Yours

James Wakley

Ed: Lancet

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1.  James G. Wakley
James Goodchild Wakley (1830-1886), editor of The Lancet [more].

2.  The Lancet
A prominent medical journal, founded by Wakley's father in 1823.

3.  Dr Fox
Dr William Tilbury Fox (1836-1879), physician and surgeon [more].

4.  letter
A letter, relating to the death of James Reeves Traer (see note below) and Francis Seymour Haden's alleged treatment of him, was written by 'A. B.' on 5 June 1867, claiming that the circumstances of Traer's death should be more widely known in the Lancet: 'Mr. J. R. Traer, M. R. C. S., having received an appointment in connexion with the Universal Exhibition in Paris, went over there towards the end of April, & almost immediately afterwards died in a very sudden manner. [...] it is a strange & melancholy fact that the gentleman who undertook the arrangements left the corpse to be buried at Père Lachaise without any sort of religious rites whatever, alleging in reply to an enquiry that no protestant ceremony (Mr Traer having been a member of the English Church) is permitted at Père Lachaise.' (see 'A. B.' to James Walker, #02473).

5.  Mr Traer
James Reeves Traer (ca 1834 - d.1867), partner in F. S. Haden's medical practice [more]. In April 1867, Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more], Traer, and William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more], were in Paris. JW was also in Paris in March and April, as his works were on view in the American section of the Paris Exposition. During the trip, Traer died suddenly, allegedly in a brothel. Haden arranged for Traer's burial with what JW and his brother William regarded as unseemly haste. On 26 April a violent row blew up between the brothers-in-law in a Paris café and Haden fell (or allegedly was pushed by JW) through a plate glass window.