The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 02551
Date: 15 February [1893][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: George Henry Lewis[2]
Place: London
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler L86
Document Type: ALc

110. Rue du Bac - Paris -

Wednesday Feb. 15 -

My dear George -

Today you will have received letter from Mr Alexander[3] telling you of their having written to Mr Fred. Allen[4] of New York and enclosing you copy of my affidavit - asking you also for me to send there an affidavit[5] of your own to be forwarded to America -

This would not only make the whole case complete, but of course with the powers that be over there, your influence - for legally on the chart of the world, "Ely Place"[6] is the "Greenwich" from which all measurements are taken! - do I not insist upon this in many languages! - your influence then, would bring about the giving instantly of these infernal letters of extradition that are so important and about which there might be such a lot of tardy routine. - Make it strong my dear George - remember the impression the couple made upon you! - one line of description in the midst of the cold orthodox form of your drawn up document would give it such colour! - and you are such an artist you know George - you remember my telling you at the time of the Grosvenor - in the Gallery one night! -

Dont forget also that I warned you beforehand of the impending visit of the two scamps - told you that I had sent them on to you in order that you should get rid of them after taking full stock of their foolish iniquity! -

If you send the affidavit on direct to Allen, you have his address you know on the copy of his Affidavit I sent you - (by the way you never said you received it - but I suppose you got it all right) - In any case do please send me a copy of your affidavit -

Alexander is [p. 2] enchanted with his visit to you! and most properly impressed! I do wish Rattier[7] had seen you - "Le grand George", I told him would be charming to him - He was awfully disappointed at not managing to find you - I shall send them all over to you in time, and bring about a sort entente cordiale - really more important than anything accomplished at the Embassies! -

You see my dear George it is evident that I must fight always - Look at the years of envy malice & hatred with which I have been surrounded in England -

'Letter to Lewis[8]
Sent. March 26'

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1.  15 February [1893]
Dated from day of the week and reference to Frederick Allen (see note below)

2.  George Henry Lewis
Sir George Henry Lewis (1833-1911), society lawyer [more].

3.  Mr Alexander
Henry Addison Alexander, notary and advocate [more].

4.  affidavit
This relates to JW's attempted action for fraud against Sheridan Ford (1860-1922), poet, critic, politician and writer on art [more], and Mary Bacon Ford, née Martin, art agent [more], the 'two scamps' referred to in this letter. See F. H. Allen, affidavit, #00144, #11704. See also F. H. Allen to JW, #00141, and to H. A. Alexander, #00143. In 1888, backed by a syndicate of New York investors, the Fords had tried to persuade JW to sign a contract to undertake a series of American etchings and a lecture tour (see M. B. Ford to JW, #01448). However, JW objected to the harsh terms of the contract and was suspicious of the Fords' motives.

5.  'Ely Place'
Lewis's office was at 10 and 11 Ely Place .

6.  Fred. Allen
Frederick Hovey Allen (1845-1926), congressional minister and writer on art [more]. Allen was one of the New York investors backing the Fords and had lost money on their scheme.

7.  Rattier
Antoine ('Antony') Ratier (b. 1851), lawyer and politician [more].

8.  Letter to Lewis
'Letter ... 26' written by Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more]. Written in lower right margin of page two.