The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Haden, Deborah Delano
Record 10 of 259

System Number: 06361
Date: 12 September [1848[1]]
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[2]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [Portishead[3]]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W357
Document Type: ALS

62 Sloane St.[4]

tuesday Sept 12th.

Will you my own darling Jemie[5], ask Mr Phillott[6] to acknowledge by return of mail a letter which Mr Haden[7] despatches to him by todays mail, as it contains the value of your first quarter tuition & board at Eldon Villa[8], & in case of miscarriage may be stopped at the bank. Seymour will be anxious to hear from him of its safety. he is exceedingly busy today, both in aiding me for my departure[9] & also preparing to take Sis[10] as far as Derby with Willie[11] & I tomorrow. but on his return will be ready to communicate with Mr P, about your [p. 2] health, education, or any other questions your tutor may have to propose.

I enclose you the part of your dear fathers last letter which I promised you my precious boy, you will see how very anxious he is about your improvement & [you] will I am sure do all in your power to avail of your position. Aunt Eliza[12] has written for your address[.] Mrs Charles[13] too has taken it, the two Misses Maingay[14] proposed to drop you a note occasionally, & Sis & Seymour will be your constant correspondents, what a better writer you will get to be! but by early rising & prompt attention to your duties in their proper place [p. 3] you need neglect none. I expect when I take you to Preston again dear Jemie you will not be a saunterer! but you will have to strive, as well as pray to overcome idle habits or carelessness.

Set your mind at rest my own dear boy about Christmas, Seymour looks forward to your visiting him with sincere pleasure, but you will only stay in London until Mr & Mrs Phillotts[15] return from their visits, as the air of the city will not be wholesome at that season. Remember Jemie it is chiefly for your health we are separated. take care of it, if you will be prudent, restrictions upon your frolics out of doors will be unnecessary, of course you will play in moderation, exercise in the open air is very [p. 4] essential for your health, Oh that I may find you blooming as that lad who came into the breakfast parlor last friday!

I have been visiting dear father by todays mail & enclosed your nice note to me, to cheer & comfort him till my arrival. Who do you think took my letter down town? Why George Prince[16]! he had just brought some things for us from St P & was going to call at Mr Fairbanks office[17]. he is to breakfast with us tomorrow, & as his stay is to be two or three months in England, he says he shall go to see you ere he returns to Dom Ritter[18], how happy you will be to introduce your kind compatriot to your host & hostess & your class mates! he sends love to you.

[p. 5] Here is the extract relating to your education which will suffice without my sending fathers letter to you my dear James.

"I confess to you my own dearest Annie the last sentence in your letter, saying you think we shall be doing our duty to our darling James by leaving him in England this winter caused me some sad feeling. I have tried hard to persuade myself that he might without risk, return to St P this winter, yet I would not for words selfishly bring him home to suffer as he has done, and now his education is becoming an important matter, indeed I am sure he himself must feel it so, yet I clung to the hope of our enjoying for one more winter a happy fire side circle until now - You know dearest I shall be perfectly satisfied with whatever you decide for our dear boys, Willie might do well here another year if Jemie [p. 6] could spare his little brother from whom as he has never been separated I fear he will feel it too sad to be left without him. but it would be to their advantage to correspond, & they might appreciate the blessing of being together when they meet again - You see I am trying to cheat myself into the having one of our dear boys at least! I have always looked forward to their entering one of our Colleges at home in our native land Cambridge or Yale, therefore I wish James should devote much time to Latin. &c &c"

Father had made some remarks in the letters previous about you dear boys which I will also copy here.

"I am sure these last three months will have made quite a change in our dear James ideas, he will have [p. 7] taken quite a jump for a little boy & I feel sure he will be diligent to improve every advantage wherever he may be, for growing wiser & better, & Master Willie too after the summers holiday will be quite ready to return to books. how hard we all study this winter to redeem time! how we shall read English histories &c &c"

And now my darling Jemie it is very near dinner time, for today farewell, if I do not send you my adieus by tomorrows mail, I hope to from Hull & shall also write Mrs Phillott then. I was at my desk at six this morning you know I am no sluggard but so many interruptions have interfered to make me still put off till tomorrow what I wished to do today. You will either let Mrs P read this, or you will read [p. 8] it to her, as Mr P should understand your fathers anxiety about your education. we do not wish to push you to study too hard dear boy for your health must be considered primarily, only never loiter, never be idle, sketching will be resting, but you must walk every day & be as much as possible in the open air. I hope you have a room of your own, please say to Mrs P with my kindest regards I feel this to be very important to you acquiring habits of order & time for reflection & forethought upon every days duties. I wish I may have another note from you tomorrow darling to take to father. I am anxious that your visit to the dentist be not delayed too, I suppose you will go to Bristol by water, to lessen expense, for we must be prudent, whatever you absolutely [p. 9] require Mr Phillott will advance for you in pocket money & charge in the account which he will render to Seymour at Christmas, but I need not caution you dear Jemie against fancied wants, for you must be as anxious as I am [not] to pain your dear father by extravagance. I shall send you a parcel containing your old over coat (for play every day when cold autumnal days overtake you) Willies winter coat has been sent him for the voyage & he does not need this, I shall in the parcel put your exercise books. Willie will copy what you desired & forward from St P, with your old Cap &c. God bless, direct & strengthen you my own precious boy, begin a journal on thin paper in form of a letter to me for Sister to forward next week.


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1.  1848
Dated with reference to AMW's stay in England; see AMW to JW, 9 and 11 September 1848, #06359 and #06360.

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

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

4.  my departure
This is the last letter written by AMW from Britain to JW prior to her departure for St Petersburg on 14 September 1848 (#06362).

5.  62 Sloane St.
62 Sloane Street was the address of the London residence of Deborah ('Debo' or 'Sis') Delano Haden (1825-1908), née Whistler, JW's half-sister [more].

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

7.  Mr Phillott
Phillott, JW's tutor at Portishead [more].

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

9.  Eldon Villa
Eldon Villa at Portishead, boarding school owned by the Phillotts.

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

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

12.  Aunt Eliza
Eliza Isabella Winstanley (1788-1857), née McNeill, JW's aunt, AMW's half-sister [more].

13.  Mrs Charles
Mary Love Haden (b. ca 1822), née Boott, wife of C. S. Haden.

14.  two Misses Maingay
Eliza Ann Maingay (1821-1899), and her sister Emma Elizabeth Maingay (1826-1904), a friend of AMW, of St Petersburg [more].

15.  Mrs Phillotts
Mrs Phillott, wife of Phillott, JW's tutor.

16.  George Prince
George H. Prince, engineer.

17.  Mr Fairbanks office
Fairbanks, a merchant. Fairbanks worked with Harrison, Winans and Eastwick at St Petersburg, and had an office in London at No. 1, Crooked Lane.

18.  Dom Ritter
AMW's residence in St Petersburg, situated across the river from the Academy of Fine Arts.