UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Hill, Alethea Blanchard
Record 3 of 5

System Number: 06535
Date: [27 August 1867][1]
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[2]
Place: [New York[3]]
Recipient: James H. Gamble[4]
Place: [New York]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: Whistler W529
Document Type: ALS


[monogram:] AMW

Miss Margaret Hill[5] & I had been trying to meet ever since I came, but she was visiting cousins up the Hudson, so hearing of her return I went by Monday 5 P M train to the Cottage[6]. you know some one of the young men are daily up & down, so I had an escort each way. Oh how beautiful Scarsdale is this summer, the rains keeping its verdure & folige [sic] so luxuriant[.] do you recollect Margarets pet neice [sic] May Carmer now Mrs Fleming[7][.] she & her husband are the host & hostess of the Cottage, & their dear little boy Charlie is a darling. After tea my friend walked with me to see Mr & Mrs Popham[8] oh their cordial greeting & welcome was worth going for. On tuesday I sat an hour at the Parsonage; Mr & Mrs Olssen[9] talked of Bishop Tuttle[10] & you having met & I assured them it would prove for mutual benefit & comfort. I remember him as a worthy & interesting young man & shall not forget you both in my prayers. The Hill side cottage is improved by Mr Bleaker[11] who married the widow's eldest daughter & has three children[12] surrounding their blooming Mama. I saw Blanche's[13] little girl too, & was glad to meet the widow Hill[14] from Phila & her daughter[.] they are spending the summer with my friend Margaret: I made the most of tuesday & as Mr Bleaker's horse and carriage was at my service I called on several who were surprised but glad to see me again. I was obliged to bid adieu to my own dear friend on Wednesday morning by 8 ocl train, to fulfil my promise to Mrs King[15], and now I hear Mr King coming in to dinner I must be at his elbow, as his good little wife ever is when he comes back from his office to enjoy the afternoon, for tho he has his newspaper he likes some one to listen to his remarks upon the public affairs.

After dinner I send his very best regards to you & he will be glad to hear of or from Mr Gamble for he has a high esteem for you. Mr King is living for greater gain than this world offers I think, a man without guile, his health is feeble, tho he does not complain & God blesses the care of his good wife for him[.] I trust he may be spared to us many years. I must not forget to tell you of your dear Sister[16] having put my name in the poem of Today, yesterday & forever[17], her parting gift to me, so it has an added value. My Cousin Mrs Corbett[18] read it to her Aunt & myself the last few days I was in 41st St. I have recd an answer to my first letter to my boys.

Willie[19] is now in lodgings in Old Burlington St Piccadilly, & Dr Whistler is engraved on the front door plate! Jemie's[20] would be commodious enough for us all but it is not in a favorable part of London for Willie[.] it is No. 2 Lindsey Row[21], a great improvement to 7[,] he has a French man & his wife who suit him exactly a very nice couple, I like Honore & Florin very much! Jemie never was in as good health[,] the year in the Pacific was a great benefit to it & now he is steadily at work in his Studio, for he has received orders for two pictures[22] at 300 guineas each. I was four weeks with my dear boys in J's house & they put me in the train for Manchester as I had friends there to visit & so I spent 5 days very happily in Lancashire[23] & was met in LPool[24] by another old friend who went on board the Java[25] with me & placed me in care of Mr Prince[26] of St Petersburg. thus hands are ever extended to help me according to the promises of Scripture. I am charmed by the beauties of my native land, its skies & atmosphere so brilliant & exhilarating. I wish George Whistler[27] could have brought his children[28] to our country, instead of taking them to Russia! they are lovely and so original[,] I & they became so fond of each other last Summer in Germany[29]! Dear Mr Gamble if you can read this scrawl you'll earn a longer letter by responding to it[.] My eyes I hope will recover when I do from a cold I have somehow caught.

Believe me as ever your affectionate friend

Anna M Whistler


This document is protected by copyright.


Notes:

1.  [27 August 1867]
Dated from reference to specific details of AMW's stay in New York and JW's trip of 1866 to the Pacific, somewhat similar to the more detailed discussion in AMW's letter to James H. Gamble, 3/27 August 1867, #06532.

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

3.  New York
It is clear from the content of this letter that AMW stayed with Ralph King, who was a resident of New York.

4.  James H. Gamble
James H. Gamble (b. 1820), clerk [more].

5.  Margaret Hill
Margaret Getfield Hill (1802-1881), a friend of AMW, of Scarsdale, NY [more].

6.  Cottage
The cottage at Scarsdale, NY, where AMW had lived intermittently between c. September 1851 and November 1857. It belonged to her friends Margaret Getfield and Sarah Stewart Hill.

7.  May Carmer now Mrs Fleming
Mary ('May') Hill Clarkson Fleming (1843-1924), née Carmer, a niece of M. G. Hill [more]; Charles King Fleming (1831-1919), husband of M. H. C. Fleming [more]; and Charles ('Charlie') Carmer Fleming (1866-1908), son of M. H. C. Fleming [more].

8.  Mr & Mrs Popham
Jane O'Neill Hill (1793-1882), sister of M. G. Hill, second wife of W. S. Popham [more], and William Sherbrooke Popham (1793-1885), merchant [more].

9.  Mr & Mrs Olssen
Rev. William Whittinghame Olssen (1827-1911), Rector at Scarsdale, NY [more], and Louisa Olssen (b. 1828), wife of Rev. W. W. Olssen [more].

10.  Bishop Tuttle
Daniel Sylvester Tuttle (b. 1837), third bishop of Missouri [more]; see AMW to Jane Wann, 23 August 1867, #06534.

11.  Mr Bleaker
Probably Augustus Bleecker (b. 1812), merchant [more], and Alethea Hill Popham (1824-1919), wife of A. Bleecker [more].

12.  children
Sherbrook Bleecker (b. 1852), Pierre Bleecker (b. 1854), and Charles Bleecker (b. 1856), children of Alethea and Augustus Bleecker.

13.  Blanche's
Probably Alethea Blanchard Hill (1838-1908), daughter of J. and W. S. Hill [more].

14.  widow Hill
There were two widows named Hill, and they were both sisters who married two brothers: Jane Hill (1802-1872), née Clarkson, wife of W. S. Hill [more] of Scarsdale, and Susan Hill (1806-1872), née Clarkson, wife of Robert Carmer Hill, Sr [more].

15.  Mrs King
Isabella King (1805-1857), née Gibbs, cousin of AMW [more].

16.  Sister
Jane Wann (1822-1875), née Gamble, wife of S. Wann [more].

17.  Today, yesterday & forever
Book by Edward Henry Bickersteth (1825-1906), poet [more], Today, Yesterday and Forever, New York, 1866; see AMW to Jane Wann, 23 August 1867, #06534.

18.  Mrs Corbett
Mary Corbett (b. 1804), cousin of AMW [more], and her aunt Anna Johnstone (1787-1870), Martha McNeill's cousin [more].

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

20.  Jemie's
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), artist [more].

21.  No. 2 Lindsey Row
JW moved out of 7 Lindsey Row in January 1866 and went to South America, where the Chileans were engaged in a war against Spain. He returned in September 1866. In February 1867 JW moved to 2 Lindsey Row (96 Cheyne Walk) where he lived for the next eleven years; see AMW to JW, 22 January 1866, #06527.

22.  pictures
Probably The Three Girls (YMSM 88) commissioned in 1867 by Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), ship-owner and art collector [more], and Annabel Lee (YMSM 79).

23.  Lancashire
AMW probably stayed with relatives of Eliza Isabella Winstanley (1788-1857), née McNeill, JW's aunt, AMW's half-sister [more], who lived in Preston, Lancashire.

24.  L'Pool
AMW may have been visiting her life-long friends the Boyds; see AMW to JW, 12-15 October 1855, #06468.

25.  Java
Steamer Java (1865), Cunard Line (2,697 tons).

26.  Prince
It could be George H. Prince, engineer, or Ben Prince, a friend of AMW, of St Petersburg; they had been brothers and frequent visitors at AMW's house at St Petersburg; see AMW to JW, 30 September and 12 October 1848, #06368.

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

28.  children
On 18 June 1854 George William Whistler married his second wife Julia de Kay Winans, sister of Thomas De Kay Winans, partner at the Alexandroffsky mechanical works at St Petersburg. Winans had been a professional colleague of AMW's husband George Washington Whistler. After his marriage to Julia Winans, George followed his father's footsteps and moved to Russia with his family, working for the Winans' business establishment. He had five children: Julia de Kay Whistler (b. 1855), JW's step-niece, later Mrs Albert Revillon, Thomas Delano Whistler (b. 1857), Ross Winans Whistler (b. 1858), Neva Winans (1860-1907), née Whistler and Joseph Swift Whistler (1865-1905), art critic.

29.  Germany
AMW spent the winter of 1865 in Koblentz, Western Germany, undergoing treatment for an eye condition (#06526-#06528).