The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Document associated with: Olssen, Ella
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System Number: 06431
Date: 18 November [1853[1]]
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[2]
Place: Scarsdale
Recipient: Jane Wann[3]
Place: [Staten Island[4]]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W426
Document Type: ALS[5]


friday Nov 18th

My heart has so craved as friends the family circle of James H Gamble[6] since forming his delightful acquaintance, that I have lamented appearing indifferent as a correspondent with you dear Mrs Wann.

But quiet being now restored to my retreat & liberty to follow my inclination I by degrees hope to satisfy absent friends that it has only been the pressing claims upon my attention of guests & relatives which have distanced theirs, tho as tenderly cherished by me. I have had a niece & her three children[7] for six weeks at the cottage, requiring all my attention, as her nervous system & shattered health make her dependent[,] her youngest child only eighteen months very active & indulged rendered writing or reading impossible. They have gone to Virginia, but I have had influenza this week! I feel brighter this evening [p. 2] for resting all day on the parlor sofa, & rejoice in having just recd a letter for your brother from our mutual favorite enclosed in one for me, most acceptable! Will you say to Mr Gamble I shall be answering it early in Decr by the blessing of God & hope he will forward me a response also, to enclose Miss Clunie[8], then I shall hear from him, which all the circle of the hospitable squire will share my interest in, they keep him so affectionately in remembrance & enquire of me what intercourse I have with Cincinnati, I attribute his silence of course to my neglect of his Sister! Miss Margaret Hill[9] has been here twice today, to sit with me, the family are all well. Prince[10] the Irish canine pet is gallant as ever to her & shews his excellent training by waiting outside the church for the ladies, tho in every other house he is inseparable from them. Poor Annie Wood[11] is ill, yet I am sure upon the bed of languishing she is refreshed by [p. 3] the priviliges [sic] she has enjoyed this season, twice at the Lords supper, & at the baptism of our Pastors little girl[12], born in Oct. A Parsonage is now being built[13] at the West side of this cottage, your brother will see many proofs of prosperity in this [sic] favored people of the Lord when he comes again next summer as we all hope he may. My Willie entered Columbia College[14] in Octr. we find the daily travel of 50 miles not favorable for a student, & the anxiety during the inclement months approaching would be very trying to me, I have decided to board in the city from 1st Dec to 1st April my attached servant Mary to attend Willie & me. I wish your brother could read the bright reports of Eliza[15] the little Floridian whom I have been training for three years. A dear friend of mine in Bath[16] N Hampshire has taken her into her service & she is happy I placed her in the hands of the husband[17] of my friend[,] last week he met us at Stonington. Indeed I have had incessant exertions to make & my health has suffered how grateful I shall be for a quiet season! & if by the blessing of our Heavenly Father we may return to this happy valley how we shall enjoy the sounds of nature again. Direct to me once more to Scarsdale & I then will advise you of my city address. All that you will write us dear Mrs Wann will be so interesting I am sure you are too kind to retaliate upon my delay, as necessity induced it. May I thro you offer my respectful regards to your honored Mother[18], my compliments to Mr Wann & to your brother & yourself the affection of a friend.

Anna M Whistler

My Willie unites in cordial greetings to Mr Gamble, he is well now, tho he was threatened with bilious fever when I had two others ill last month. You may judge how precious he is to me, a widowed Mother & only son left in her home! with what thanks to God I welcome him every evening from the railroad. How gracious the Lord is! my only fear is separation from Him for me or mine! My Cadet at West Point[19] is only home - sick. Willie goes to spend Thanks giving (next thursday with his brother

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1.  1853
Dated with reference to Martha Fairfax's visit to Scarsdale, NY; see AMW to JW, 29 September 1853, #06429, and AMW to JW, 16 November 1853, #06430.

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

3.  Jane Wann
Jane Wann (1822-1875), née Gamble, wife of S. Wann [more].

4.  Staten Island
J. Wann lived with her mother, brother and husband at Staten Island, NY; see AMW to JW, 15 December 1856, #06477.

5.  ALS
[embossed paper mark:] EXTRA

6.  James H Gamble
James H. Gamble (b. 1820), clerk [more].

7.  had a niece & her three children
Martha ('Matty') Fairfax (b. ca 1820), JW's cousin, wife of Isaiah Davenport, and their children Joseph Davenport, businessman, Potter Davenport, book keeper, and Ellen Davenport.

8.  Miss Clunie
Anne Clunie (b. 1793), a Scottish cousin of AMW [more].

9.  Miss Margaret Hill
Margaret Getfield Hill (1802-1881), a friend of AMW, of Scarsdale, NY [more].

10.  Prince
Prince, a dog.

11.  Annie Wood
Anna Wood, of Scarsdale, NY.

12.  Pastors little girl
Ella Olssen (b. 1853), daughter of Rev. W. W. Olssen.

13.  Parsonage
See AMW to James H. Gamble, 28 September and 1 October 1853, #06428.

14.  Willie entered Columbia College
William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more]. He entered Columbia College in October 1853. See AMW to JW, 27 August 1851, #06399.

15.  Eliza
Eliza (d. 1856), a servant of Kate Livermore [more]; see AMW to JW 27 August 1851, #06399, and AMW to JW, 16 September 1851, #06400.

16.  friend of mine in Bath
Kate ('Cousin Kate') Livermore (1820-1907), née Prince, wife of A. Livermore [more].

17.  the husband
Arthur Livermore (b. 1811), lawyer [more].

18.  your honored Mother
Jane Gamble (1790-1864), mother of J. H. Gamble [more].

19.  My Cadet at West Point
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), artist [more]. JW attended the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY, between 1 July 1851 and 16 June 1854; see AMW to JW, 10 June 1851, #06396.