The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Bartlett, Harriet (Mrs Schofield)
Record 1 of 3

System Number: 06420
Date: 20 [September 1852[1]]
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[2]
Place: Scarsdale
Recipient: JW
Place: West Point[3]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W415
Document Type: ALS[4]


Monday 20th

My dearest Jemie[5]

I begin to realize how short the time Willie[6] can be with me & that we should lose no time in visiting you. I shall ask Miss Rittie[7] to reply by return of mail & if we can be received for a night to go via Hudson river R R[8] next friday from here. Cousin Kate Prince[9] is spending this week with us & of course I had asked her to accompany us, how glad you will be to have a walk & talk with your earliest friend[10] who is so constant to you. I need not say how earnestly I wish it were in my power to remain a week within your daily reach, but so much is to be wound up at the Cottage in case I embark for England on the 14th of Oct. I must be very steady in my progress as I have no longer energy & promptness, I feel the force of that scriptural expression of human weakness that "the grass hopper is a burthen[11]" but my faith in God increases as I have proofs of a heavenly provider for all my need. Jemie dear it is in your power & Willie's to lessen the burthen of sin which alone can prostrate me, may I be cheered by a clean report of you since the return to study, the relaxation of encampment being over - [p. 2] think! if you do not at once begin to lessen your demerits you will forfeit the holiday next summer, dearest Cadet! for a widowed mothers sake decide to do your duty.

I wrote you of the new nephew in Sloane St.[12], last steamer brought a fresh report of his well being from Grandma Haden & the promise from Cis[13] to write me by the next. they each & all send love to Jemie & Willie, as do your kind Aunts[14]. I must reserve all else till by the blessing of God we are tête à tête friday evening. We shall bring you what you want, if you think of anything else that I may hear of by thursday morning I may get it, but we propose taking the train three miles from here instead of going to the city.

As ever your devoted Mother


This document is protected by copyright.


[Address panel:] Cadet James Whistler
Military Academy
West Point
There are the remains of a black wax seal.


1.  September 1852
Dated with reference to AMW's trip to Britain; see AMW to George William Whistler, and William McNeill Whistler, 18 and 19 November 1852, #06422.

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

3.  West Point
United States Military Academy, West Point, NY, opened in 1802; see AMW to JW, 10 June 1851, #06396.

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

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

6.  Hudson river R R
Hudson River Railroad, started in 1846; see AMW to JW, 27 August 1851, #06399.

7.  Miss Rittie
Harriet ('Rittie') Bartlett (m. 1857), later wife of J. M. Schofield [more].

8.  Cousin Kate Prince
Kate ('Cousin Kate') Livermore (1820-1907), née Prince, wife of A. Livermore [more].

9.  earliest friend
Kate Livermore first met JW when he was 2 years old, at Lowell, MA. See an untitled press-cutting, 2 October 1903, in The Livermore Papers, Massachusets Historical Society.

10.  the grass hopper is a burthen
'Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets,' Eccles. 12.5. This phrase is used by JW in his later life; see JW to Helen Euphrosyne Whistler, #08164.

11.  new nephew in Sloane St.
Arthur Charles Haden (1852-1910), musician, JW's nephew [more]. 62 Sloane Street, London, was the home address of Deborah ('Debo' or 'Sis') Delano Haden (1825-1908), née Whistler, JW's half-sister [more].

12.  Grandma Haden & the promise from Cis
Emma Haden, née Harrison, mother of JW's brother-in-law, F. S. Haden, and her daughter-in-law Deborah Delano Haden.

13.  kind Aunts
Alicia Margaret Caroline McNeill (1786-1863), and Eliza Isabella Winstanley (1788-1859), née McNeill, JW's aunts.

14.  ALS
[stamp:] LONDON