The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Boehm, Joseph Edgar
Record 1 of 71

System Number: 00318
Date: [7/30 January 1868][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Joseph Edgar Boehm[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler B94
Document Type: ALS

2 Lindsey Row -

My dear Boehm -

I should like very much that your friend the Captain[3], who expressed himself so frankly about the Vehmgericht[4] business of the Burlington[5], should see this copy of [the] letter I sent to the Marquis D'Azeglio[6]. This would not be I hope thrusting the matter upon anyone - of which I have a religious horror, but in as much as he was present and saw a part, and as I am not indiferent [sic] to the good opinion of any gentleman, I should like him really to know how the whole thing was contrived and carried out -

[p. 2] Ever yours,

J A McN. Whistler

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [7/30 January 1868]
Dated from reference to JW's letter to the Marquis D'Azeglio, 6 January 1868 (#00448, and see note below).

2.  Joseph Edgar Boehm
Joseph Edgar Boehm (1834-1890), sculptor [more].

3.  the Captain
Possibly Captain Hunter Davidson (1827-1913), Senate of the General Assembly of Maryland [more] (see H. Edenborough to JW, #01043).

4.  Vehmgericht
Secret tribunal. The term goes back to courts established in the 13th century in Westfalia near Holland and other lower German areas. Later, however, they lost much prestige through cases of corruption. As a result, cities and territorial powers refused to accept their jurisdiction. Those in the courts were pledged to secrecy; thus they were often termed 'secret courts.'

5.  Burlington
In April 1867, JW quarrelled with his brother-in-law Francis Seymour Haden, over Haden's treatment of his late junior medical partner 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 alleged 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's expulsion from the club, having brought to the attention of the Club alleged previous incidents of assault involving JW (see, for example, JW to L. Huth, #02240). The Club voted to expell him on 13 December in what JW regarded as a conspiratorial manner (see op. cit.).

6.  Marquis D'Azeglio
Vittorio Emanuelle Taparelli (1816-1890), Marquis D'Azeglio, Sardinian Ambassador and collector [more].