The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06451
Date: 1 February 1855[1]
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[2]
Place: [Baltimore][3]
Recipient: JW
Place: [Washington[4]]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W446
Document Type: ALS

Thursday Feb 1st. 55.

My own dear Butterfly![5]

In blissful ignorance of the doubtfulness of your continuance at the Coast Survey Office[6] I yesterday directed a valise of mine to you there. I forgot to fasten to the key, which was strapped on, a precaution, that it is a spring lock, which at half turn must be opened & it locks without the key so be careful not to throw the key within & shut it! Your note[7] short & sweet! I have just recd. Willie[8] will mail this, your book enveloped with it, & then take yours to George[9] who I hope may go to Washington this week to see about your affairs. Send by him or by Express the black valise by Saturday all your soiled clothes. our laundress [p. 2] says with surprise! you never put in your under shirt or your night shirt. I am sorry not to be able to report Cousin Ginnie[10] more cheerful, tho she was out walking yesterday morning & so highly relished her nice little dinner in her own room, she has taken no meal since, neither been down stairs, she has sent now for Doct Sinclair[11] much to my satisfaction, & I dare say he will put her on a better system. Our love to Cousin Donald[12] & say of course as I endeavored to do all he could desire in his absence more especially - I shall spend today in his room. The kind Fultons[13] were here last evening & Mrs Fulton will come again today to cheer Ginnie. My love to your pretty Cousins[14]. Do come home if you [p. 3] are not employed, it would be cheaper & more respectable for you & lessen the anxiety of your devoted & fond Mother

A M W.

Willie does much to help & cheer me, & I look thro the clouds enveloping us by faith, trusting to an answer to my earnest & daily prayers for you both. that after I have "suffered awhile God will stablish you[15]" in the path of obedience to His Commands[16]. [p. 4] Important.

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1.  1 February 1855
AMW's previous letter to JW dates from about 21 January 1855 (#06462), and a subsequent letter from 13 February (#06452), but JW's replies, if any, have not survived.

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

3.  Baltimore
AMW was staying at 176 Preston Street, Baltimore with Donald McNeill Fairfax (1821-1894), naval officer, JW's cousin [more] (see AMW to JW, 26 and 27 November 1854, #06446).

4.  Washington
JW was evidently in Washington, DC, working at the US Coast and Geodetical Survey Office.

5.  My own dear Butterfly!
It is perhaps ironic that JW's monogram after 1869 was a butterfly.

6.  Coast Survey Office
JW resigned from the US Coast and Geodetical Survey on 12 February 1855 (see AMW to JW, 15 January 1855, #06450).

7.  your note
Not extant.

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

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

10.  Ginnie
Virginia ('Ginnie') Carry Fairfax (d. 1878), née Ragland, wife of D. McN. Fairfax [more].

11.  Doct Sinclair
Probably Dr William Beverly Sinclair (1818-1895), physician. See L. M. Holloway, G. N. Holloway, and E. N. Feind, eds., Medical Obituaries, American Physicians' Biographical Notices in Selected Medical Journals before 1907, New York, 1981, p. 416.

12.  Donald
Donald McNeill Fairfax (1821-1894), naval officer, JW's cousin [more].

13.  Fultons
The family of Fulton, of Baltimore.

14.  Cousins
Probably the children of St Clair Denny (1800-1858), army paymaster in Washington, DC [more], and his wife, Caroline Denny, née Hamilton: Caroline St. Clair Denny (1837-1918); Anna ('Annie') Harding Denny (1834 or 1838-1913), a cousin of JW, later Mrs Corcoran [more]; George Miller Brooke Denny; William Irwin Denny; James Hamilton Denny; Willoughby Morgan Denny; and Elizabeth O'Hara Denny.

15.  suffered awhile God will stablish you
'But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you,' 1 Pet. 5.10.

16.  path of obedience to His Commands
'And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the Lord; but they did not so.' Judg. 2.17.