The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 02142
Date: 4 January 1889
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Committee of the Hogarth Club[1]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler H243 (1)
Document Type: MsLc[2]

Hogarth Club[3]

[p. 2] Correspondence with the Hogarth Club

Jan. 4. 89.

Gentlemen, -

I beg to express my deep sense of regret at the episode of last night, in the drawing room of the Hogarth Club - when one of the newly elected members, Mr Stott of Oldham[4] - entering the rooms[5] at about midnight, came up to me, and, without preface of any kind, addressed me in the following terms:
"You are a liar and a coward"

We were alone in the room with Mr John Reid[6] who witnessed fully what took place.

I immediately rose up and slapped Mr Stott's face - a spontaneous movement, and gentlemen you must admit, most inevitable consequence of such gross insult.

I am also grieved to add that the first slap, was followed by a second one, and the incident closed by a kick administered upon a part of Mr Stott of Oldham's body that finally turned towards me, and that I leave to him to specify.

I thereupon resumed my interrupted [p. 3] conversation with Mr Reid, and was no further disturbed by Mr Stott of Oldham. -

I think that it is my duty to inform you, Gentlemen, of these facts, and, feeling sure of your sympathy in the unpremeditated course of action forced upon me, I earnestly beg that some measures be taken to prevent the ocrecurrence of such intolerable provocation, and monstrous insult.

And, I have, Gentlemen
The honour to be
Your obedient Servant

(Signed) J. McNeill Whistler

The Gentlemen of the Committee
of the Hogarth Club -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Committee of the Hogarth Club
There is a draft (#02141) and two copies (#02140, #02143) of this letter. It was published, with minor variations, in the New York Herald, 10 January 1889 (#02143; see Getscher, Robert H., and Paul G. Marks, James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent. Two Annotated Bibliographies, New York and London, 1986, B. 55) and in Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, ed. Sheridan Ford, Paris, 1890, pp. 179-80 under the heading 'A SPONTANEOUS MOVEMENT'. It was published in various other papers including the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, 16 February 1889. The latter ended with the statement that since Stott refused to apologise, he had to resign (#02140).

2.  MsLc
Written by Charles James Whistler Hanson (1870-1935), engineer, son of JW and Louisa Fanny Hanson [more].

3.  Hogarth Club
This and the following line are double underlined.

4.  Mr Stott of Oldham
William Stott of Oldham (1857-1900), genre and landscape painter [more]. The quarrel concerned Mary Maud Franklin (1857- ca 1941), JW's model and mistress [more].

5.  s
Corrections on this document such as this, and including 'oc/recurence' and 'And' below, have been made in pencil.

6.  Mr John Reid
John Robertson Reid (1851-1926), genre, landscape and marine painter [more].