The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: McNeill, Maria
Record 6 of 20

System Number: 06395
Date: 11 April 1850
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[1]
Place: Pomfret[2]
Recipient: JW
Place: [New York]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W391
Document Type: ALS


thursday. April 11th. 50

My dearest Jemie[3]

As Grandmother[4] is sending an envelope to dear Aunt Maria[5] today, it will save postage to slip this in, & no doubt you will be in Irving Place[6] in time to profit by it. We hope you will be ready to start for Stonington by tuesdays boat - If you wish to spend a day at the corner house[7], as now the Worcester & Norwich[8] railway is out of order, I am particularly desirous you return by the stage from Providence[9][.] its days for leaving there are Monday, Wednesday & friday. its hour 12 o'clock, its office at the Otis Kelton's hotel [10]- alongside of the "Old Manufacturers hotel[11]." If you will write me before leaving N York, & be true to your appointment Willie[12] can hire Burtons wagon[13] to go down to the depot the afternoon you expect to arrive there, he will enjoy the drive & you may save a shilling, as his charge has been 37 cents, and you will not risk your neck with Fox's[14] tipsey driver. The mail brought us kind notes tho destructive to our hopes of seeing either Cousin Mary[15], or our friend George Prince[16], yesterday, Willie was sadly chagrined. Will you say to the bride & groom[17] with my love if it were not for depriving Aunt Maria of their society so precious & so brief to her! I would urge my claim for them to come direct from N York, to see me before they go to sister. I shall beg Mary to take a parcel from me to Sloane St[18] which she can pack in the middle of her trunk, & some few of angel Johnies[19] things she can put in her bonnet box I hope without inconvenience for the little boy[20] I yearn to press to my heart. If a small packet of books are sent to Irving Place directed to Mrs F R[,] I wish them divided in two, one to be directed to "Miss Eliza Maingay[21]" which your Cousin will take to London for Sis[22] to send her friend - the other to be directed to "Mary Smith - Hope Farm[23]", will be given Aunt Eliza[24] to send with my love.

I had such kind letters from Preston by the Europa[25], full of love to all at 67 Irving Place[,] the wedding cake had reached them at [p. 3] last[,] was thought excellent & half was to be sent to Sloane St. Aunts A[26] & E were so happy in the prospect of soon welcoming the daughter of their beloved brother Wm[27]! They mentioned that Mrs Edwd. Ormerod[28] was gradually declining, but so patient & so ready to go home to her father in heaven! I shall write Mrs Sandland[29] by Mary that she may call upon her in passing thro Lpool. Ask Mary if I shall direct my parcel to 67 Irving Place[,] about the 22nd or I may send it sooner - be sure to let me know when you answer this. And now Jemie dear write in your memorandum this address "John E Forbes Esq. Wall St.[30]" that you may enquire for Mr. Prince, who hopes to see you in N York where he will arrive next Saturday early from Boston.

I hope brother George[31] may be in town for I know Geo P. wishes to talk with him also, he embarks in the Europa next Wednesday. Call at the Custom house upon Mr Maxwell[32], there is a model you might like to see! I hope you may visit some gallery of painting for your amusement; but that you may join in none more frivolous. Tell brother George with my love I received the portrait[33] by Ross' Express[34] free this morning, it is now in its place in my room, not the least defaced by its travels. I thank him for packing it so carefully, & hope to have a letter from him soon, I was thankful for the report of the Niagara[35] in the last "Country Post[36]" reached & left Halifax last friday! The clock warns me it is time to close this. With love and blessings to all,

Price[37] the wire net dish covers, 1 m round 1 m oblong. Grandmother says she misses you so much! she will be glad as I shall to give you a welcome home.

Dont forget my band box to bring carefully.

[p. 4] James Whistler

I am your devoted fond & anxious

A M Whistler.

This document is protected by copyright.


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

2.  Pomfret
In 1850, AMW was living in Pomfret, CT with her two sons, her mother and a servant; see AMW to JW, 9 April 1850, #06394.

3.  Jemie
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), artist [more].

4.  Grandmother
Martha McNeill (1775-1852), née Kingsley, mother of AMW [more].

5.  Aunt Maria
Maria Matilda McNeill (d. January 1852), née Camman, wife of AMW's brother, W. G. McNeill [more].

6.  Irving Place
67 Irving Place was the New York address of William Gibbs McNeill (1800-1853), railway engineer, AMW's brother [more]; see #06394.

7.  corner house
The house owned by Dr George E. Palmer (1803-1868), physician, AMW's brother-in-law [more], built in 1787, situated in the corner of Main and Wall Streets at Stonington, CT.

8.  Worcester & Norwich
In 1835 the railroad came to Providence, wending its way southward from Boston. Two years later another corporation completed a line from Providence to Stonington. In 1847 the first train ran over the Providence and Worcester line. This railroad built a massive terminal in 1848, the Union Passenger Depot, to service its operations. See C. F. Carter, When Railroads Were New, New York, 1909. There were disruptions on the railroad which were reported in various newspapers of the time including the Norwich and Evening Courier, 6 April 1850, vol. 9, no. 17.

9.  stage from Providence
JW would have travelled by stagecoach from the National House, 3 North Main Street, Providence, to Pomfret, via Thompson, CT. Its days and time for leaving were the ones stated by AMW; see 'Stage, Steamboat and Rail-Road Routes from Providence,' 1850-51, Providence, Rhode Island Directory, Providence, RI, p. 281.

10.  Otis Kelton's hotel
Otis H. Kelton & Co., livery stable, 149 Benefit Street, rear of the National House; see 1850-51, Providence, Rhode Island Directory, Providence, p. 123.

11.  Old Manufacturers hotel
Manufacturer's Hotel, Market Square, Providence, RI. It was quite a famous hostelry, and from its balcony public proclamations and declarations were read; see Moses King, King's Pocket-book of Providence, RI, Providence, 1882. p. 62-64.

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

13.  Burtons wagon

14.   Fox's

15.  Cousin Mary
Mary Isabella Rodewald (1823-1867), née McNeill, JW's cousin, wife of J. F. Rodewald [more].

16.  George Prince
George Prince, engineer.

17.  bride & groom
Mary Isabella McNeill married Frederick Rodewald on 2 April 1850.

18.  Sloane St
62 Sloane Street, London, was the the home address of Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more].

19.  angel Johnies
John Bouttatz Whistler (1845-1846), JW's brother [more].

20.  little boy
Francis Seymour Haden, Jr (1850-1918), JW's nephew [more].

21.  Miss Eliza Maingay
Eliza Ann Maingay (1821-1899).

22.  Sis
Deborah ('Debo' or 'Sis') Delano Haden (1825-1908), née Whistler, JW's half-sister [more].

23.  Mary Smith - Hope Farm
Mary Smith, wife of Tom Smith, engineer, lived in Hope Farm, Shropshire, England (see #06426).

24.  Aunt Eliza
Eliza Isabella Winstanley (1788-1857), née McNeill, JW's aunt, AMW's half-sister [more].

25.  Europa
Steamer Europa (1848), Cunard Line (1,834 tons.).

26.  Aunts A
Alicia Margaret Caroline McNeill (1786-1863), JW's aunt [more].

27.  Wm
William Gibbs McNeill (1800-1853), railway engineer, AMW's brother [more].

28.  Mrs Edwd. Ormerod
Mrs E. Ormerod, wife of E. Ormerod.

29.  Mrs Sandland
Betsey Sandland of Liverpool, friend of AMW.

30.  John E Forbes Esq. Wall St.
John E. Forbes, broker, 103 Wall Street, h. 75 Seventh; see Doggett's New York City Directory, New York, 1849-50, p. 179.

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

32.  Mr Maxwell
Hugh Maxwell (1787-1873), of the NY Custom House (1849-1853), lawyer and collector [more]; see AMW to Joseph Harrison, 13 August 1849, #07637.

33.  Ross' Express
Ross's Express, Package Express Company over the Providence & Worcester Railroad. It run daily from 22 Westminster Street, Providence, RI; see 'Business Directory,' 1850-51, Providence, Rhode Island Directory, Providence; The Providence Daily Journal, Providence, 27 March 1850, vol. XIX, no. 79.

34.  portrait

35.  Niagara
Steamer Niagara (1848-1875), Cunard Line (1,824 tons.).

36.  Country Post
Probably a supplement circulated in the country, owned by papers such as the New York Daily Tribune. It could also be the Evening post, circulated twice semi-weekly, in 1850.

37.  Price
'Price ... home' continues in left upper margin of p. 1; 'Dont ... carefully' continues in the left margin of p. 4.