The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 05474
Date: 7 June 1867
Author: George Smith[1]
Place: Paris
Recipient: Child[2]
Place: [London?]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler S119
Document Type: ALS[3]



7th June 1867 -


Mr Morgan[5] having communicated with me respecting the exhuming and conveying to England of Dr Traer's[6] remains I beg to inform you I shall be happy to undertake the matter at a cost not to exceed the sum of £50 - or [p. 2] £60 should not the body be already enclosed in lead

An objection on the part of Mrs Traer[7] to sign the customary authority to exhume need not form any obstacle as the signature of a member of the family will suffice

In addition to this document the papers[8] relating to interment of body will be required

Awaiting the favor of [p. 3] your reply

I am Sir
Your obt Servant

Geo Smith

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  George Smith
George Smith, undertaker.

2.  Child
Child of Messrs Bailey and Child, Ellen Traer's solicitors. Recipient identified from reference in Ellen Traer to JW, #05852.

3.  ALS
A black mourning border appears around the edge of page one.

4.  '9'
Added in pencil in another hand.

5.  Mr Morgan
Morgan, a Paris friend of Ellen Traer's solicitor.

6.  Dr Traer's
James Reeves Traer (ca 1834 - d.1867), partner in F. S. Haden's medical practice [more], had died in April 1867 on a visit to Paris, allegedly in a brothel. Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more], hastily arranged burial rites in Paris in what JW and William Whistler regarded as a disrespectful manner. A violent quarrel ensued between the brothers-in-law. Soon afterwards, JW and William attempted to make fresh arrangements to have Traer's body returned Ellen Traer in England.

7.  Mrs Traer
Louisa Jane Holloway Traer (b. ca 1839, m. 1856), née Savage, wife of James R. Traer [more]. Ellen Traer (b. ca 1837), J. R. Traer's sister [more], seems to have given her authority instead.

8.  papers
These would have meant the original burial certificate and probably the registration of death (#09562).