The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1867
Record 13 of 31

System Number: 07600
Date: [6 June/July 1867][1]
Author: Francis Edward Anstie[2] and others
Place: London
Recipient: [unknown]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC
Document Type: MsD[3]

Having heard that reports are current, particularly at the British Commission of the Paris Exposition and at the South Kensington Museum, to the effect that Mr. F. Seymour Haden[4] has been guilty of harsh and ungenerous behaviour to his late Partner Mr. J. R. Traer[5] and that Mr. Traer's melancholy death[6] and the circumstances attending the last year or two of his life are attributed in some degree to Mr. Haden's conduct to him, we have felt it our duty, when appealed to as intimate friends for several years of Mr. Traer's and as being thoroughly acquainted with the relations between him and Mr. Haden to express our total disbelief in these reports, which are not corroborated by any statement ever made to us by Mr. Traer. -

We also regret to hear that persons who once were friends and patients of Mr. Haden's and to whom in full confidence he had introduced Mr. Traer have ceased to be his friends through similar reports and misrepresentations. In so far as these are to be traced to Mr. Traer's own statements we are compelled, with deep regret to record our belief that these statements were altogether inaccurate. -

Mr. Haden's conduct to Mr. Traer has been to our knowledge in many instances characterised under circumstances[7] of great provocation, by an amount of forbearance and even generosity hardly to have been expected; and we have no hesitation in saying that in our belief so far from Mr. Traer [p. 2] having had any just ground of complaint against Mr. Haden, the blame of whatever difference existed between them rested mainly if not entirely on himself


Francis Edward Anstie M. D., F. R. C. S.

16 Wimpole Street

G. Fielding Blandford[8], M. D. Oxon,

3 Clarges Street.

Walter H. Tregellas[9], Chief Draughtsman,

War Office.

John Way[10], M. D. Lond.

4 Eaton Square

James Charles Whitehorn[11],

Barrister at Law, 8 Old Square, Lincoln's Inn

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [6 June/July 1867]
Dated from references to J. R. Traer and 'A. B.' to the Lancet, #02473.

2.  Francis Edward Anstie
Francis Edmund Anstie (1833-1874), physician to Westminster Hospital, medical journalist and Editor [more].

3.  MsD
Statement, probably in the hand of a clerk; the recipient remains unknown. It may possibly have been intended for the editor of the Lancet, a prominent medical journal for which F. E. Anstie was a staff member for some years. A letter denouncing the behaviour of F. S. Haden over J. R. Traer's death (see note below) was sent by 'A. B.' to the Lancet on 5 June 1867 (#02473) may relate to this document.

4.  F. Seymour Haden
Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more].

5.  Mr. J. R. Traer
James Reeves Traer (ca 1834 - d.1867), partner in F. S. Haden's medical practice [more]. The references to the South Kensington Museum and Paris Exposition relate to Haden and Traer's respective appointments as juror and associate juror at the Paris Exposition in February 1867 through the influence of Sir Henry ('King') Cole (1808-1882), civil servant and museum director [more]. In Haden, Sir Francis Seymour, Paris Jurors: a Letter to Henry Cole …, London, 1867, Haden objected to Traer's appointment on 'personal and professional grounds' and his 'confirmed habits of intemperance.' Haden also threatened Cole to dissolve his medical partnership with Traer if he persisted in sending Traer to Paris 'in spite of me.'

6.  death
On 23 April 1867, James Traer died suddenly in Paris, of alcohol related causes. According to F. S. Haden, Henry Cole had quietly reappointed Traer associate juror without his knowledge (see Haden, Sir Francis Seymour, Paris Jurors: a Letter to Henry Cole …, London, 1867), hence Traer's presence in Paris. Soon afterwards, F. S. Haden arranged for Traer's burial, with what JW and his brother William regarded as unseemly haste. A violent row took place between the brothers-in-law and Haden fell (or allegedly was pushed by JW) through a plate glass window. In its aftermath, the two brothers made arrangements to have Traer's body returned to Ellen Traer (b. ca 1837), J. R. Traer's sister [more] in England, assisted by George Aloysius Lucas (1824-1909), art dealer in Paris [more], and a list of subscribers. F. E. Anstie contributed £1. 1. 0. towards the cost of Traer's reinterment (see F. E. Anstie to JW, #00189).

7.  circumstances
See F. S. Haden's account of the end of his partnership with James Traer in Haden, Sir Francis Seymour, Paris Jurors: a Letter to Henry Cole …, London, 1867. See also the account of Haden's wife Deborah ('Debo' or 'Sis') Delano Haden (1825-1908), née Whistler, JW's half-sister [more], of the months leading up to Traer's death in Paris: 'Seymr has for the last year put up with more than most people would have done from a partner who has [been] ruining & disgracing him[.] He offered him an amicable separation upon what were considered by good judges generous & liberal terms. Traer ignored every thing & for six weeks had absented himself entirely ' (letter to JW, #01915). However, JW, William McNeill Whistler and their supporters alleged that Haden had hounded Traer and cast slurs upon his professional reputation (see JW to F. S. Haden, #01936).

8.  G. Fielding Blandford
Dr George Fielding Blandford (1829-1911), psychiatrist [more].

9.  Walter H. Tregellas
Walter Hawken Tregellas (1831-1894), chief draughtsman, War Office [more].

10.  John Way
John Way (b. 1823 or 1824), physician and surgeon [more].

11.  James Charles Whitehorn
John Charles Whitehorn (d. 1905), barrister [more].