The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

return to search results

Documents associated with: Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1867
Record 18 of 31

System Number: 09160
Date: 12 September [1867][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Charles Augustus Howell[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: New York University, Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, Fales Library, New York
Document Type: ALS


2 Lindsay [sic] Row
Old Battersea bridge
Chelsea -

Thursday Sept. 12.

Dear Howell -

Poor Traer's[4] funeral will take place in a day or two - a telegram[5] came to say that the coffin left yesterday[6] via Dieppe and may be expected at the Brompton Cemetery by Friday - We are getting in the last subscriptions[7] that the necessary sums may be paid at once to the Agent[8] - I have put you name down on the list for two pounds as [p. 2] we said - Do you think you could send me a post office order at once? -

I have not forgotten what I said I would do about the papers[9] I am to send to you but have been really prevented from day to day - I will attend to it forthwith -

With my best wishes

Ever Yours

J. A. M. Whistler

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  12 September [1867]
Year dated from reference to Traer and day of week.

2.  Charles Augustus Howell
Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more].

3.  90a
Written in another hand at top left-hand corner of sheet.

4.  Traer's
James Reeves Traer (ca 1834 - d.1867), partner in F. S. Haden's medical practice [more]. In April 1867, Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more], Traer and William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more], were in Paris. JW was also in Paris in March and April, as his works, including Wapping (YMSM 35), were on view in the American section of the Paris Exposition. Traer died suddenly on 23 April of alcohol related causes, during a trip to Paris. Haden arranged for Traer's burial with what JW and his brother William regarded as unseemly haste. A violent row blew up between the brothers-in-law in a Paris café and Haden fell (or allegedly was pushed by JW) through a plate glass window. Soon afterwards, the two brothers made arrangements to have Traer's body returned to Ellen Traer (b. ca 1837), J. R. Traer's sister [more] in England, assisted by George Aloysius Lucas (1824-1909), art dealer in Paris [more], and a list of subscribers.

5.  telegram

6.  left yesterday
These words are written over two others which are now illegible.

7.  subscriptions
See subscription list, #05854, #05855. The list included contributions from Howell, William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more] (£5) and George Louis Palmella Busson Du Maurier (1834-1896), author and caricaturist [more] (£5. 5s).

8.  Agent
Probably George Smith, undertaker. The cost was not to exceed £60 (#00001). See also the bill, #05476.

9.  papers
These may have been the papers relating to the exhumation (see reference in #05477).