The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Kleinmichel, Peter Andreyevich
Record 3 of 4

System Number: 09555
Date: November 1849
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[1]
Place: [USA[2]]
Recipient: Nicolas I[3]
Place: St Petersburg
Repository: Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, CT
Call Number: Thomas Henry Seymour Papers
Document Type: ALS

[black wax seal with monogram:] AMW

To the Emperor of all the RussiasFrom the widow of the late Major Whistler[4] with every sentiment of respect

To His Majesty Nicolas the First


When at the time of my most heavy affliction last April, your Majesty indicated your favor towards us in the gracious expression of sympathy, which reached me thro a Courier from your Majestys Aide-de-Camp the Count Kleinmichell[5] [sic], and signified your condescending readiness to aid me as I might need, I only availed of your Power to open the way for my immediate return to my native land. My sorrow was too absorbing to admit of my thinking of the future. but now on behalf of my children I address Your Majesty for a written testimonial of Your Majestys satisfaction as to the faithfulness of the services of their father, my late husband Major George W Whistler.

It needs not my witnessing as [p. 2] to the interest he felt in the great work of the St Petersburg & Moscow Rail road[6], to which he devoted the last seven years of his life, all who were intimate with him can testify to that, & to his earnest desire to have completed it to your Majestys perfect satisfaction.

But the Ruler of the Universe ordered it otherwise! ! "Clouds & darkness are around His throne, but mercy & justice are the habitation of His seat"[7] Praise be to His Holy name for His goodness towards the widow & the fatherless!

And I would offer my apologies to Your Majesty for aught which may seem presuming in my appeal.

Praying that the blessing of God may be upon Your Majestys reign, and that the work which led us to seek & find Your gracious protection so many years, may be a source of prosperity to The Empire.

I humbly take my leave of your Majesty

The widow of George W Whistler

United States of America

November 1849

This document is protected by copyright.


His Majesty Nicolas The First
The Emperor of All The Russians
St Petersburg


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

2.  USA
AMW remained in the USA until her trip to England in 1852; see AMW to George William Whistler, 18 November 1852, #06422.

3.  Nicolas I
Nicolas I Romanov (1796-1855), Tsar of Russia from 1825-1855 [more].

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

5.  Count Kleinmichel
Count Peter Andreyevich Kleinmikhel (1793-1869), Minister of Public Works [more].

6.  St Petersburg & Moscow Rail road
George W. Whistler was the chief railroad engineer for the construction of the first railroad between St Petersburg and Moscow.

7.  Clouds & darkness are around His throne, but mercy & justice are the habitation of His seat
'Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.' Ps. 97.2.