The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: UK27 James Street
Record 1 of 3

System Number: 02604
Date: 10 January 1876
Author: Frederick Dawson Leyland [1]
Place: Liverpool
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler L138
Document Type: ALS


10 January / 76

D[ea]r Jimmie

Thanks for your letter[3]. Glad the sweets were welcome[.] Do you ever intend to come down? My birthday 19th inst - you really must come down in time for it. Miss Caird[4] still here. Leaves likely 24th. I suppose you go to the Galsworthy's[5] dance, also Horace[6]. Drop me a line saying if you can manage 19th. when you come we can talk the Paris business[7] over, & perhaps manage to take Horace with us[.] I hope so

Yrs truly

Fred D Leyland

The governor[8] has determined to send his boats[9] to America, but whether to New York or Boston is at present doubtful - but I think that Boston will turn out to be the place after all is over. The first boat starts in about 2 month's time[.] Tell the Doctor[10] I'm well, business is bad so I cant afford luxuries in the shape of "ladies" & therefore his prospects of my custom, are, for the present, at all events, very remote - however I stand him a drink next time we meet


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1.  Frederick Dawson Leyland
Frederick Dawson Leyland (b. 1856), son of F. R. Leyland [more]. Frederick D. Leyland joined the Leyland shipping line around this time. His friendship with JW seems only to have been ended by JW's quarrel with Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), ship-owner and art collector [more] when, along with his sisters, he took his father's side (see Merrill, Linda, The Peacock Room. A Cultural Biography, New Haven and London, 1998, p. 272).

Business notepaper of Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), ship-owner and art collector [more].

3.  letter

4.  Miss Caird
Ellen Caird, friend of Mrs F. Leyland, possibly a sister of Sir James Caird. She was portrayed by JW in Portrait of Miss Caird (YMSM 162).

5.  Galsworthy's
Frederick Thomas Galsworthy (1827-1917), surveyor and land agent [more] and his family, patrons of JW. They are portrayed in the drawings Portrait of Mrs Isabel Marion Galsworthy (M.540) and Portrait of Vincent Somers Galsworthy (M.541).

6.  Horace
Horace Jee, musician, JW's occasional secretary [more].

7.  Paris business
JW does not seem to have been in Paris during this period. By March, he was busy working on the hall of F. R. Leyland's London house at 49 Princes Gate (Panels from the Entrance Hall at 49 Princes Gate (YMSM 175); see also Sketch for hallway of 49 Princes Gate (M.577), Designs for staircase for 49 Princes Gate (M.578)). He lived there through the summer. Later in the year, an article in The Academy (see Anon., 'Notes and News,' The Academy: A Weekly Review of Literature, Science, and Art, new series, vol. 10, no. 226, 2 September 1876, p. 249) mentions JW's imminent departure for Paris. This may have been a postponed trip from earlier on but whether F. D. Leyland meant to accompany him then is unknown.

8.  governor
That is, Frederick Richards Leyland.

9.  boats
By 1873, the Leyland Line owned twenty-one steamships. A new steamship service to the United States was inaugurated by October 1876 (see Merrill, Linda, The Peacock Room. A Cultural Biography, New Haven and London, 1998, p. 115).

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