The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Jones, Augusta Maria
Record 1 of 4

System Number: 10724
Date: [11 February 1868][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: James Anderson Rose[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 2/46/16
Document Type: ALS

'Whistler re Haden[3]'

[p. 2] '16'

2 Lindsey Row
Old Chelsea

Dear Rose -

Here is the letter from that b—— ![4]

If you agree with me I should much like it either to be returned torn in two - or merely answered by saying that I can not receive "tiresome letters, having neither time nor taste, for such" -

That is all - I mean that I should like to drop this branch of the matter as it interferes horribly with my picture[5] - which I know is the intention of Haden - [p. 3] I want therefore to say scarcely anything - and to all other letters[6] they send remaining silent -

How about returning this one torn up? -

That is what I wish to do - enclosing a line simply to say
"Sir, finding this still lying on my table I return it - "

[p. 4] I send this by a servant who will, if you are not too busy wait for an answer[7]

Ever Yours
with thanks

J A M Whistler

J A Rose Esqr

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [11 February 1868]
Dated from Wrentmore & Son to JW, #11853, and J. A. Rose to JW, #11855.

2.  James Anderson Rose
James Anderson Rose (1819-1890), solicitor [more].

3.  Whistler re Haden
Written in another hand, probably that of a clerk.

4.  b ---- !
A reference to Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more], and his solicitors Wrentmore & Son and their recent letter to JW, #11853. In April 1867, JW quarrelled with Haden over his treatment of James Reeves Traer (ca 1834 - d.1867), partner in F. S. Haden's medical practice [more]. Traer had died on a trip to Paris, allegedly in a brothel. Haden arranged for Traer's burial with what JW and his brother William regarded as unseemly haste. Haden later claimed that in the resulting confrontation JW had pushed him through a plate glass window. Both JW and Haden were members of the Burlington Club and in the aftermath of the Traer affair Haden campaigned for JW to be excluded, having brought to the Club's attention several alleged previous incidents of assault involving JW (JW to L. Huth, #02240, JW to W. Boxall, #00498). JW was asked to resign on the threat of expulsion in June 1867 (see R. N. Wornum to JW, #10442). Aggrieved with the summary way in which he felt the Club had treated him, JW refused to entertain the charges against him, claiming that the Club had no right to interfere in a private matter (see JW to L. Huth, #02240). Despite his protests, he was expelled at a meeting of the Club (see R. N. Wornum to JW, #00445) on 13 December 1867. Haden and JW never spoke again and the affair caused a family rift (see, for example, JW to F. A. Haden, #01936, D. D. Haden to JW, #01915, #01916, G. Wm. Whistler to F. S. Haden, #06681).

5.  picture
Between January and March 1868, JW worked in the studio of Frederick Jameson (1839-1916), architect and musician [more], at 62 Great Russell Street whilst Jameson was away. He worked there from the model Augusta Maria Jones (fl. 1865), artist's model [more] (see JW to A. Jones, #09175), perhaps on Symphony in White, No. 3 (YMSM 61).

6.  letters
In a new development, JW received a letter from Wrentmore & Son on 4 February 1868 (#11981). It requested that he state the full details and context regarding 'certain reflections which you are reported to have made on the character and conduct of our Client Mr Francis Seymour Haden.' In reply, JW declared his astonishment that the firm should write to the 'proposed victim coolly requesting him to furnish the evidence upon which to form a lawsuit' (#10762). Wrentmore countered that JW's letter, 'though furnishing us with a characteristic example of the slanderous language complained of by Mr Haden, is no answer to ours of the 4th inst.' (see #11853). Later, it emerged that Haden was writing a pamphlet on J. R. Traer (#11839). JW guessed that Haden hoped that he would 'produce some letter which he may print and contradict in his book' (op. cit.) in response.

7.  answer
Probably J. A. Rose to JW, #11855.