The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 00803
Date: 19 January [1868][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Captain Hunter Davidson[2]
Place: Annapolis
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler D9
Document Type: MsLd

2 Lindsey Row
Old Chelsea.

Jany 19th

My dear Capt Davidson,

I am sure you will excuse my appealing to you in a matter in which a person, of whom you doubtless care never to hear again, has attempted to do me much injury. The man Doty[3] since my arrival in London has after much machination brought before a Club[4] a series of absurd and irreverent irrelevant charges against me one of its members - and the hearing granted to him rested upon the position he pretended to hold in Society as formally a Capt in the Confederate States Army and more lately Post Capt [p. 2] of Frigate in the Chilian [sic] Navy and commanding the important expedition, in which you are supposed to have taken a Subordinate part. It is intended to do me damage by means of strange assertions with reference to the Mrs Doty[5] with whom he left Valparaiso and has since lived with.

Knowing that you yourself have been annoyed by presumption on the part of this man, and have suffered from attempted fraud, while you have had means of knowing thoroughly the falsity of Mr Doty's assumed position, I think that you will willingly assist me with such knowledge [p. 3] in refuting the calumnies against me he has circulated, all of which would of necessity fall to the ground were the calibre of the person known. The affair in question is a réchaufé of the old story he hawked about the streets, and in the Cafés in Valparaiso; and is now offered in revenge by Doty because of my having struck him for his insolence in speaking to me on my arrival in London.

I was greatly grieved to hear of the death of your Cousin poor Tom Hunter[6], which was told to me by Edinborough on his arrival in England.

I dont know whether you still [p. 4] look forward to coming to England, but if so, hope that you will find me out and come and see me in my Studio -

Believe me, dear Capt Davidson with many kind remembrances
Sincerely Yours

Capt Hunter Davidson
care of Mrs Ray
Annapolis Maryland
U. S.

'page 27[7]

private affairs of a Gentleman
and entertain any

page 29
pecculiar [sic] Course
page 30 Course'

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  19 January [1868]
This is one of two drafts (#00802, #00803) and two copies (#00805, #13271) of a letter to Davidson, the latter being dated 7 February 1868.

2.  Captain Hunter Davidson
Captain Hunter Davidson (1827-1913), Senate of the General Assembly of Maryland [more].

3.  Doty
Captain Horace H. Doty (b. 1824 or 1825), officer of marines, specialist in signal lights and lighthouse illumination [more].

4.  Club
The Burlington Fine Arts Club, founded early in 1866, a club for artists and connoisseurs, was located at 177, Piccadilly. JW was proposed as a member on 22 February 1867 (see William Boxall (1800-1879), portrait painter, Director of the National Gallery [more], Louis Huth (1821-1905), collector [more], and the Vittorio Emanuelle Taparelli (1816-1890), Marquis D'Azeglio, Sardinian Ambassador and collector [more], proposers, #11957).

5.  Mrs Doty
Astive Doty (b. 1840 or 1841), née Froidure, wife of H. H. Doty [more].

6.  Tom Hunter
Thomas ('Tom') Hunter (d. 1868), cousin of Captain Hunter Davidson [more].

7.  page 27
'page 27 ... Course' written in another hand, in pencil. The pagination refers to pages in the pamphlet JW was preparing for submission to the Marquis d'Azeglio (6 January 1868, #00448) and the Burlington Fine Arts Club (10 July 1868, #12977).