UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Haden, Deborah Delano
Record 9 of 259

System Number: 06360
Date: 11 September [1848[1]]
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[2]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [Portishead[3]]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W356
Document Type: ALS


62 Sloane St[4]

Monday Sept 11th

That was a very nice note of yours my own dear Jemie [5] which Mary[6] brought me from the Postman about an hour ago, when I was sitting where I still am, at my desk writing dear father[7] & Willie[8] was at his journal by my side. Sis[9] & Aunt A[10] came in & I read it aloud, welcome as it was to us all I think little Willie's eyes twinkled most with pleasure as he listened, I shall enclose it in mine to dear father, for Seymour[11] can read it first, as Mrs Fairbanks[12] does not come for it until tomorrow morning. A peep into the last pages of your [p. 2] journal has inspired Willie to go on with his so spiritedly that he has finished his task cheerfully & is now getting ready to go with me this morning to pay our parting respects to Mr Gibson[13]. Oh how dearly this little brother of yours loves Jemie! how he misses his companion, & wishes for letters from Portishead! the first words he spoke when I awoke him this morn[ing] were "we shall hear from Jemie today" & when he was reading your journal his voice faltered & the tears came at your promise of loving him better than ever & treating him tenderly when God restores you to each others society.

[p. 3] he said "how nicely Jemie writes, I wish I could" he will write you before we leave which is not to be till wednesday or thursday, write me every day till then dear child all your thoughts. I shall to you again tomorrow fully. Will you offer my regards to Mrs Phillotts[14] & tell her how gratified your mother is by her permitting you to be her companion in walks &c. I shall not prohibit your going with her out of an evening to any social parties, as I think it an advantage to lads being in ladies circles, only you must be willing to go home at nine, & to rest immediately. your health you know is of so much consequence. I shall be glad when you have a room to your self that your [p. 4] devotions may be private & you may not be induced to talk after going to bed. Say this to Mrs P who will enter into a Mothers anxieties. I am only waiting to see Mr Fairbanks[15], to write Mr Phillott as I shall have a dft [i.e. draft] to enclose, which I hope may be acknowledged ere I leave[.] Say to your tutor, I think when you take your first french lesson you may judge of the German whether the pronunciation of a Parisian is good in that (to him foreign) tongue. I shall send you your exercise copy books by the parcel van tomorrow. Your journal tho worth the postage might have been sent for a shilling instead of eighteen pence had you not put it in[16] the mail. Your four stamps were thrown away. But you have to learn by experience!

[p. 5] It would be an indulgence to me dear child to write you more, but I have to go out & it is 12 oclock. Aunt A & Willie unite their love with mothers to you, I cannot but praise you for exerting yourself to finish your journal in time, how father will value it! you shall see part of his last letter, for it relates to you. I doubt not dear dear Jemie you will try always to act & speak as tho we were by. God you know is ever present & if you really pray to the teacher of hearts He will help you to make your parents happy. Sis is sitting at Mr Horsleys[17] for the last time today. she & Seymour are only [so so?], they will write you before they[18] go to visit Aunt Mitt[19]; & after they come home often.

[p. 6] Mary begs to be remembered, she is in good spirits & this cheers your Mother

[p. 6] No 2


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Notes:

1.  1848
Dated with reference to JW's residence in Portishead, and AMW's stay in London; see AMW to JW, 9 September 1848, #06359.

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

3.  Portishead
Eldon Villa, JW's boarding school at Portishead.

4.  62 Sloane St
62 Sloane Street, was the home of Deborah ('Debo' or 'Sis') Delano Haden (1825-1908), née Whistler, JW's half-sister [more].

5.  Jemie
'Jemie' was an affectionate name for James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), artist [more].

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

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

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

9.  Sis
Deborah ('Debo' or 'Sis') Delano Haden (1825-1908), née Whistler, JW's half-sister [more].

10.  Aunt A
Alicia Margaret Caroline McNeill (1786-1863), JW's aunt [more].

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

12.  Mrs Fairbanks
Mrs Fairbanks, wife of Fairbanks, a merchant.

13.  Mr Gibson
Gibson, unidentified.

14.  Mrs Phillotts
Mrs Phillott, wife of Phillott, JW's tutor at Portishead [more].

15.  Mr Fairbanks
Fairbanks, a merchant. Based in London, Fairbanks worked with Harrison, Winans and Eastwick in St Petersburg, Russia.

16.  in
'in ... away' continues in the left margin of p. 1; 'but ... experience' continues in the right margin of p. 1.

17.  Mr Horsleys
John Calcott Horsley (1817-1903), historical genre painter and etcher [more]. Deborah D. Haden was apparently posing for her portrait.

18.  they
'they ... often' continues in the right margin of p. 5.

19.  Aunt Mitt
Aunt Mitt, unidentified.