The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Whistler, Julia de Kay
Record 21 of 44

System Number: 06479
Date: 13 January 1857
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[1]
Place: Scarsdale
Recipient: James H. Gamble[2]
Place: [Staten Island, New York]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W474
Document Type: ALS


Tues Jan 13th 57

My dear Mr Gamble

In the prospect of visiting[3] our Southern States at the N Year, I have been obliged to devote more attention than usual to my work table after release from household labors, thus engaged my thoughts have cherished those whose kind greetings by mail I could not answer. The question is not yet decided as to when I may join Mrs King[4] in Georgia, but I hold myself in readiness in case of an opening. (how it admonishes me to be prepared for the final summons) My health is comparitively [sic] to last winter, good, tho the severe frost cripples me, cuts my fingers & makes sewing awkward. But how grateful after suffering! for relief from piercing N Westers! Willie[5] was two weeks at Xmas at the Cottage[6] & we were tete à tete in the snuggest corner we could make as he read aloud to me, while I repaired his tatters! he gave two days to Jackson McNeill[7] at his Grandmamas[8] 148 Jerolamon St Brooklyn, but he had to be at Trinity College Hartford[9] on the lst to enter upon the winters term. dear Willie how I miss his companionship, he looks delicate but reports himself well & interested in his study.

[p. 2] We should have enjoyed if in our power, availing of your proffered hospitality on Staten Island. I have not since last May been to the home of a dearly loved niece at N Brighton[10], but hope in Summer to pay my respects in person to your honored & dear Mother[11]. Will you offer now my respectful & cordial regards at the fire side circle of your Sister & Mr Wann[12]. Our little hamlet is subject to change as all the world tho we seem separated from the fashionables, our ladies sewing circle cheered by its results, tho humble, the Parish school increasing under the warmer roof of Mr Popham[13].

A wedding & family circle there today invited me to their hospitality, but I only went to Church to witness the grouping around Miss Gertrude[14] of fond parents, brothers - sisters, with blooming little branches, & fond friends, while our good Pastor[15] so solemnly united her to Mr Campbell[16], how perfect is the marriage service of our Prayer book! it touches a sacred chord in my memory, so I sent my love & best wishes to Gertrude by [p. 3] Aunt Margaret[17], for I have been to no wedding feast since that in Preston, when Jemie[18] & Willie darling lads fluttered around their only Sisters bridal[19] & their father[20] & I were sympathisers. I hear of my student in Paris[21] well & doing well & of the arrival of George Whistler wife & child[22] at St. Petersburg. You recollect the colored girl[23], who for the last years from decease was removed from the home of my N Hampshire friends, to an asylum for the poor & sick. When we are tete à tete dear Mr Gamble I can tell you of that child of God, a member of Christ! an inheritor of His Kingdom, she was released from suffering last Novr. 26th. I acknowledge the goodness of the Lord in ordering my spending a week at her bed side last Sept. her tones of affection echo sweetly on my heart. she loved me much. but her Saviour supremely & prayed to die to this life that she might go to Him. The tears I shed at the tidings of her death were a grateful shower. Poor Annas[24] when I describe Elizas state to her, she says "And isn't it just like me? I want to go too! she has been suffering in bed some months, on Xmas day she invited me to meet our Pastor & Mrs O[25] & Miss Gertrude to partake of the Communion with her. but I could not walk so far, thro the frost.

[p. 4] I am glad to report that under the roof of our patriarch (as Miss Margaret says Mr P is[)] - there are no invalids this winter, they appear remarkably well. The Hill Side Cottage for the winter is vacant. Mrs Hill[26] has an infant Grand daughter[27] to attract her to the city, she intends with her youngest daughter Mary[28] to visit Phila so we have Willie as his Aunt Sarahs[29] pet under the cottage roof, as he is happiest in Scarsdale & at Mr Olssens school. That is prospering. And now wishing you a happy New Year I will close my twilight scrawl. I do not express the wish for you see our valley in its garb of pure white. the Cottage guest chamber is freezing, but we cherish & speak of your summer visits, your last so propitious to cheer & help me on my way to Sharon[30]. May it be so again next July if the Lord will! You enquire after the health of my Cousin Mrs King, it is yet precarious, she is at her Sisters country seat, in Georgia, if you ever have time to step in at Mr Kings[31] office 59 Beaver St he will be glad to see you. Do you ever call at Mr Aspinwalls[32] & if so please remember me to the dear friends there. No news lately from my sisters[33] or of Miss Clunie[34]. My Sister Mrs Winstanley becomes more helpless from paralysis, she cannot write even her name. Think of me

always affectionately Yr friend

Anna M Whistler

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

2.  James H. Gamble
James H. Gamble (b. 1820), clerk [more]; he lived at Staten Island, NY.

3.  visiting
AMW visited her cousin Mary Corbett in South Bay, Charleston, SC and her brother Charles Johnson McNeill in St John's River, E. Florida in January-May 1858. See AMW to Mrs Gamble, 23 January 1858, #06493; AMW to James H. Gamble, 4 February 1858, #06494; AMW to JW, 23 March 1858, #06495, and 7 May 1858, #06496.

4.  Mrs King
Isabella King (1805-1857), née Gibbs, cousin of AMW [more].

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

6.  Cottage
The cottage in which AMW lived intermittently at Scarsdale, NY between c. September 1851 and November 1857; it was owned by her friends Margaret G. and Sarah S. Hill.

7.  Jackson McNeill
Patrick T. Jackson ('Jacks') McNeill (1835-1898), accountant, JW's cousin [more].

8.  Grandmamas
Maria Margaretta Cammann ('Grandma C') (1774-1862), mother-in-law of William Gibbs McNeill [more]; her address was 148 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, New York. See Brooklyn City Directory, 1861, New York, p. 59.

9.  Trinity College Hartford
Trinity College, Hartford, founded in May of 1823 as Washington College (the name was changed in 1845); see AMW to JW, 13 February 1855, #06452, and 18 July 1855, #06461

10.  loved niece at N Brighton
Julia Catherine Rodewald (1825-1897), née McNeill, JW's cousin, wife of A. Rodewald, Sr [more].

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

12.  Sister & Mr Mann
Jane Wann (1822-1875), née Gamble, and her husband Samuel Wann (b. 1820), merchant.

13.  Mr Popham
William Sherbrooke Popham (1793-1885), merchant [more].

14.  Miss Gertrude
Margaret Gertrude Campbell (1830-1892), née Popham, wife of A. S. Campbell [more].

15.  Pastor
Rev. William Whittinghame Olssen (1827-1911), Rector at Scarsdale, NY [more].

16.  Mr Campbell
Allan Sheppard ('Shep') Campbell (1834-1876), a friend of JW from Stonington, CT [more]; see AMW to JW, 29 January 1857, #06480.

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

18.  Jemie

19.  Sisters bridal
Deborah ('Debo' or 'Sis') Delano Haden (1825-1908), née Whistler, JW's half-sister [more]. The wedding took place on 10 October 1847 at Preston.

20.  father
George Washington Whistler (1800-1849), engineer, JW's father [more].

21.  student in Paris
JW was studying at the École Impériale et Spéciale de Dessin, the state school of art, design, mathematics and architecture; see École Impériale to JW, 20 November 1855, #01013, and AMW to James H. Gamble, 4 February 1856, #06471.

22.  George Whistler wife & child
George William Whistler (1822-1869), engineer, JW's half-brother [more], his wife Julia de Kay Whistler (1825-1875), née Winans, and their daughter Julia de Kay Revillon (b. 1855), née Whistler.

23.  colored girl
Eliza (d. 1856), a servant of Kate Livermore [more]; see AMW to JW, 27 August 1851, #06399, and 16 September 1851, #06400, 16 November 1853, #06430, 18 November 1853, #06431, and 23 September 1856, #06476.

24.  Annas
Probably Anna Wood, of Scarsdale, NY.

25.  Mrs O
Louisa Olssen (b. 1828), wife of Rev. W. W. Olssen [more].

26.  Mrs Hill
Jane Hill (1802-1872), née Clarkson, wife of W. S. Hill [more].

27.  infant Grand daughter
Alethea Blanche Bleecker (1856-1936), daughter of J. C. and J. Bleecker.

28.  Mary
Mary Clarkson Hill (1840-1913), daughter of J. and W. S. Hill [more].

29.  Aunt Sarahs
Sarah Stewart Hill (1800-1864), sister of M. G. Hill [more].

30.  Sharon
AMW visited the Baths at Sharon Springs, NY, in July 1856; see AMW to JW, 11 July 1856, #06474.

31.  Mr Kings
Ralph King (1801-1878), broker, father-in-law of W. McN. Whistler [more]; his business address was 59 Beaver Street, and his home address was 189 Henry Street, NY; see Brooklyn City Directory, 1861, New York, p. 237.

32.  Mr Aspinwalls
James Scott Aspinwall (1807-1874), merchant [more].

33.  my sisters
AMW's sisters in Britain, Alicia Margaret Caroline McNeill (1786-1863), and Eliza Isabella Winstanley (1788-1857), née McNeill.

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