UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Haden, Deborah Delano
Record 21 of 259

System Number: 06373
Date: 27 November 1848
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[1]
Place: St Petersburg
Recipient: JW
Place: [Portishead]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W369
Document Type: ALS


St Petersburg

Nov 27th 1848.

4 o'clock Monday afternoon

My own darling Jemmy[2]

I am seated in the drawing room at early candle light, that Mr Prince[3] may be the bearer of a few hurried lines to you, as he is to take several things from dearest father for you, which he wishes me to tell you about as he is confined to his bed. I have been so occupied among the sick up to this hour I have not had an hour to write the prayers I promised you dear boy, or to drop a line to sweet Sis[4], but I hope tomorrow may bring me her regular report with an enclosure from Eldon Villa[5] & then I trust by the next mail I shall write you each of dear fathers[6] convalescence. How much his thoughts are with you I can trace by his directions to me of what he wishes about his dear absent children & his regrets that sudden illness[7] disabled him from several purchases he contemplated for you. he told Willie[8] yesterday he might send [p. 2] a roll of music to Sis for her Christmas present from her little brother & as it was all dear fathers selection, it will be doubly delightful to darling Sis I'm sure, such fond associations with the fond parent & the gentle little brother will indeed deepen the harmony of the thrilling notes her taper fingers will draw from piano or harp.

Father has just called me to his bedside to say "Give my love to Jemie" & tell him I send him a box of rules & triangles &c and in good time I hope he will make use of them", father wished to send you some french books to read but Mr Prince is to travel over land, I dare say Sis will lend you one to take back to school after the holidays. Willie wished so much to write you by Mr P. but he was at school every day last week, a prisoner because of the bridge being removed & the ice not thought safe to cross till saturday night, when he was so glad to get home again! [p. 3] now I hope there will be no more interruptions all winter to his coming home every evening, Peter[9] has gone for him I may enclose his love without waiting his giving it me for you dear Jemie, for Oh he does love you fondly & misses you so much, he said last evening "how still the house is! Oh I wish Jim was here! I dare say he does not feel as lonely at Mr P's[10] as I do when I have to stay at school many days without coming home". And yet Jemie Baird[11] tells Miss Morgan[12] Willie Whistler is the pet of the whole school, all the boys & all the teachers love him & the boys are sorry to see him sad when he cannot get home! I have neither time or space to tell you dear Jemie who all ask after you & beg to be remembered Miss Grant[13] & Miss Toutchkoff[14] talk of you whenever I go to see them so kindly, & S Mirriellees[15] indeed all our intimate circle send love with that of your fond Father and Mother God bless you dear boy may you love, honor & serve Him above all others. Remember Mother & Willie kindly to all at Eldon Villa, send us soon another cheerful letter like the last & think of us as lovingly as we do you. I send Sis only a box of Cologne by Mr P but shall [p. 4] write her soon, she must take the love I enclose for her to distribute in her home circle & keep the largest share herself from Mother

Do not be disappointed that you in reality are to receive but one of the articles father had on his list to send by Mr Prince the others will keep till June when we hope to welcome you here. Adieu, heaven bless & keep you till then!

A M W.


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Notes:

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

2.  Jemmy
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), artist [more].

3.  Mr Prince
Probably George H. Prince, engineer.

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

5.  Eldon Villa
JW's boarding school at Portishead.

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

7.  sudden illness
Probably cholera, the disease that killed Major Whistler on 7 April 1849.

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

9.  Peter
Peotre, AMW's servant at St Petersburg.

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

11.  Jemie Baird
James Baird (b. 1837), son of F. and D. Baird of St Petersburg [more].

12.  Miss Morgan
Sophia Morgan (b. 1825), daughter of E. and S. Morgan [more].

13.  Miss Grant
Miss Grant, daughter of Mrs Grant of St Petersburg.

14.  Miss Toutchkoff
Miss Toutchkoff, daughter of Mrs Toutchkoff of St Petersburg.

15.  S Mirriellees
Sarah Jane Cazalet (b. 1830), née Mirrielees, wife of L. Cazalet.