The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: King, Ralph
Record 12 of 41

System Number: 06508
Date: 27 March 1860
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[1]
Place: Philadelphia
Recipient: James H. Gamble[2]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: Whistler W503
Document Type: ALS

1205 Arch St,

March 27, 1860,

My dear Mr Gamble

Your kind letter was read to me, my eyes[3] are improving & it is among my first efforts, to enclose a note for our bereaved & revered Mrs Maxwell[4], in my greetings to you. Willie[5] intended calling to tell you of my inability to write, soon after he went to visit Mr King's[6] family. I dare say ere now he has had a chat with you & may have told you of my prospect of spending the Summer in England[7], as his well doing does not depend now on my keeping house for him, but will take him from my home, to reside in the Hospital, as is usual for medical students[8] soon as they graduate. So now I feel Jemies[9] claim, tho I should not have had the resolution to take so distant a voyage but for his promise to return to his native land in Autumn. his dear Sister's[10] letter at the same time expressing a hope I would visit her again. This seems the set time, the Dr having urged me all winter to go away from fatigues, so when he last repeated his wish that I should take a voyage, I said [p. 2] I had the night before suddenly thought I should go to England! In which event as N. York would be my port to sail from I hope to see your dear Mother & Sister[11] it will be so much more satisfactory to talk over the interval since I was on Staten Island than to write of the prostration of the winter. I know you will judge from such scribbling I ought now to cease. You ask if the butter[12] proved good, yes indeed too good to last till now! it was excellent thro out. I have not been able to make any calls, since in Autumn for a brief space I was in hopes a brief amendment might continue. I went then to call upon Mrs & Miss McHenry[13]. I could not have enjoyed it even if they had returned my two calls upon them.

With love to your dear Mother & Sister.
Believe me as ever your faithful friend.

Anna M Whistler

I have been much stronger the last three weeks, my eyes directly shew it, the Doctor calls them the flag of my health. I hope as soon as I get rid of a severe cold, to begin again taking the tonics which benefit my eyes. [p. 3] Old Mary[14] is yet with me & will be til she gets a place, when my own Mary Brenan[15] proposes to come to help me arrange about moving. You may be sure I defer thoughts of bustle, gathering up all the strength in quietness now needful to meet what I shrink from. God disposes hearts to offer to help me. At Bartram Hall[16] I may have room to store all my valuables. My dear Sisters friends[17] at Scarsdale offer to spare me their good Julia[18] from the Cottage if I need her at the moving time. I shall hope to report when I am decidedly to go. I must vacate this house by end of April - But I must rest my eyes now.

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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].

3.  my eyes
AMW suffered from chronic eye problems; see AMW to JW, 17 August and 16 September 1857, #06487.

4.  Mrs Maxwell
Ann Maxwell (1784-1867), née Young, wife of Robert Maxwell [more].

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

6.  Mr King's
Ralph King (1801-1878), broker, father-in-law of W. McN. Whistler [more].

7.  Summer in England
AMW left for England on the steamer Africa in May 1860.

8.  medical students
William McNeill Whistler was about to complete his studies at the Pennsylvania Medical School, Philadelphia.

9.  Jemies
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), artist [more].

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

11.  Mother & Sister
Jane Gamble (1790-1864), mother of J. H. Gamble [more], and her daughter Jane Wann (1822-1875), née Gamble, wife of S. Wann [more].

12.  butter
James H. Gamble helped AMW to obtain some supplies of butter; see AMW to James H. Gamble, 22 November 1859, #06507.

13.  Mrs & Miss McHenry
Mrs McHenry, a friend of J. H. Gamble and Miss McHenry, daughter of Mrs McHenry, a friend of J. H. Gamble, friends of the Gambles.

14.  Old Mary
Probably Mary McLaughlin, AMW's servant in Philadelphia; see AMW to James H. Gamble, 22 November 1859, #06507.

15.  Mary Brenan
Mary Brennan (b. 1825), AMW's servant [more].

16.  Bartram Hall
Bartram Hall, the home of Andrew McCalla Eastwick (1810-1879), partner in Eastwick and Harrison, locomotive manufacturers, and later in Harrison, Winans and Eastwick [more]; see AMW to JW, 15 and 16 January 1852, #06409.

17.  Sisters friends
AMW probably means Margaret Getfield Hill (1802-1881), and her sister Sarah Stewart Hill (1800-1864), of Scarsdale, NY; they owned the cottage in which AMW lived in between ca September 1851 and November 1857.

18.  Julia
Julia, servant at Scarsdale, NY.