UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Columbia College
Record 7 of 7

System Number: 06435
Date: 10 February 1854
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[1]
Place: New York
Recipient: JW
Place: West Point[2]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W430
Document Type: ALS


[embossed monogram:] A M W

220 West 14th St N York

Friday Feb 10th 1854

My precious Jemie[3]

Your affectionate & dutiful letter of last week a ready response in your fond mothers heart, & I have yearned to anticipate your call at the West Point post office, but had such a very thorough vaccination, my arm seemed the concentration of small pox for some days & up to last monday I felt sick & prostrated by it. Since then the agitating suspense upon the stirring & important question of whether our dear Willie[4] would resume his collegiate course after the examination (which he is reviewing his studies for to pass about a fortnight hence) or if he should go 1st March to join Jacks[5], has so agitated me I could not write, it is sufficient that you hear the decision is in favor of Jacks wishes, by the advice of George[6], who is so convinced the results will benefit my dear Willie in health & render him all your father[7] wished, that I submit, consequently as this is Willies recess at Columbia[8] & he can study at Scarsdale [p. 2] if necessary after his two hours daily this week, we leave our pleasant Winter lodgings next thursday, You & I dear Jemie can talk this over more satisfactorily when we are tête à tête in Spring than thro the medium of the Post office. Willie has been far from stout lately, a violent pain in his left side which Doct C[9] says is rheumatic, he would prescribe Colchicum[10], but says Willie is too thin for active medicine, his vaccination also has taken, which makes him just now suffer double fold, still tho I have not allowed him to rise early - but rather bring him up breakfast he walks out in fine weather, yesterday we dined en famille at Doct Cammans. he has not been required professionally here, Willie has gone to his house as a friend, he is now getting ready to go to Georges office to see him again ere George starts for Balt this p-m. Willie wishes to have gone for the trip with him (& talk with Jacks no doubt about the shop) but night travelling would be risking such an attack as you have had, I plead too that as he can only [p. 3] be with me until the Examination, he shorten not the period, which by & bye he'll think so precious! Dont you find it so Jemie dear? that under a Mothers wing is a priviliged [sic] place!

How are you my dear son? I am so grateful that you resolve to keep from demerit & to pass higher up next June in your classes. I need all your steadiness to cheer me, you know how desolate Mother will be alone. And you see I could not make a sudden move to Balt, during the experiment of the first year to my poor boy. I'll visit him by the blessing of the Lord upon my efforts, for I half promised my early friends Mrs Perines[11] family - & I'd like to introduce him to the most intimate of your fathers & my sympathisers in the Balt circle. I have fulfilled my claims to the Alexandroffsky circle at Balt & Phila[12]. Mary[13] is well & unites in love with Willie & Mother. Mr Popham[14] is down stairs & Willie waits in haste & love

Your Mother

A M W


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Notes:

1.  Anna Matilda Whistler
Anna Matilda Whistler (1804-1881), née McNeill, JW's mother [more].

2.  West Point
United States Military Academy, West Point, NY, opened in 1802; see AMW to JW, 10 June 1851, #06396.

3.  Jemie
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), artist [more].

4.  Willie
William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more].

5.  Jacks
Patrick T. Jackson ('Jacks') McNeill (1835-1898), accountant, JW's cousin [more]. He was working at the Winans Locomotive Works in Baltimore; see AMW to JW, 16 November 1853, #06430.

6.  George
George William Whistler (1822-1869), engineer, JW's half-brother [more].

7.  father
George Washington Whistler (1800-1849), engineer, JW's father [more].

8.  Columbia
See AMW to JW, 27 August 1851, #06399.

9.  Doct C
Dr George Philip Cammann (1804-1863), physician [more].

10.  Colchicum
See AMW to George Washington Whistler, 8/21 June 1848, #06358.

11.  Mrs Perines
Mary Perine (1797-1861), née Glenn, wife of D. M. Perine, Sr [more].

12.  Alexandroffsky circle at Balt & Phila
Name of the firm Harrison, Winans and Eastwick; see AMW to JW, 15, 16 and 18 September 1848, #06363. 'Alexandroffsky' in Baltimore was the villa owned by Thomas De Kay Winans (1820-1878), locomotive engineer and collector [more]. The families of Andrew McColla Eastwick (1810-1879), and Joseph Harrison (1810-1874) were based in Philadelphia.

13.  Mary
Mary Brennan (b. 1825), AMW's servant [more].

14.  Mr Popham
William Sherbrooke Popham (1793-1885), merchant [more].