The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06417
Date: 7 July [1852[1]]
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[2]
Place: Scarsdale
Recipient: JW
Place: West Point[3]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W412
Document Type: ALS

Scarsdale Cottage

July 7th

My thoughtless Cadet

but very dear Son

In despair of a reply from you I have written Mrs Bartlett[4] & enclose this for you. to receive at her hand, taking it for granted you will pay your respects to the ladies with your brother, when he talked to Willie[5] & me last eve about his hope of seeing you on Saturday night it seemed to us that we should precede him a day. But on looking at the paper we find the West Point boats are not daily, but twice a week, & I shall wait to hear from Mrs Bartlett by Mondays mail. I wish too George[6] may ascertain where the boat starts from in the city, it would not do for me to be exposed to heat & bustle. I can scarcely reconcile Willie to the delay of waiting till tuesday afternoons boat, he has been so long eagerly expecting to start on his visit to you. I hope I may find you looking as well as [p. 2] he does, & wish both his brothers were as enviably sheltered from the heat as he is at this four o'clock hour, he has yeilded [sic] however to the embraces of sleep over his classics in the old easy leathern chair of Dom Ritter[7] memory - George can tell you what an attractive room is the cottage library, breezes at all hours creeping in, Jemie dear I hope you are not indifferent about visiting your home, surely you will "bone[8]" for your recess for next summer! Oh if you would but exert yourself to cut short the Demerit list! your profession demands promptness & decision for success. You know, what is right, only, can make us happy ! Add a line to George's note which I hope to receive Monday & say if I can get you anything. You must be glad to see me without a canister. I dare not overheat myself much as I should like to make ginger snaps for you. Tell George if he can forward his note from Williams bridge[9] or leave it at Mr Pophams[10] office it will be more sure, for I wish to leave by the 7¼ train on tuesday morning & the [p. 3] mail does not reach here till nine. Willie has some shopping to attend to & if there's time I may cross to Brooklyn to see your Uncle MacNeill[11]. All here as there remember you affectionately. but none can love you on earth unceasingly as does your widowed Mother

A M Whistler

Will it be asking too much for you to write a nice billet doux to your friend Mrs Gellibrand[12], your neglect of her is not her dessert [sic], & she remarks upon your discouraging her wish to correspond with you. Brother George can at the hotel hear of the boats, last summer they landed passengers twice a day at Cozens[13].

I think we do not see both sides in the advertisement of the Newburgh line twice a week stopping at West Point[14]. I do not wish to have to cross the river in a ferry boat, or to arrive at noon.

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1.  1852
Dated with reference to AMW's move to Scarsdale in June 1852; see AMW to JW, 3 and 4 May 1852, #06414.

2.  Anna Matilda Whistler
Anna Matilda Whistler (1804-1881), née McNeill, JW's mother [more].

3.  West Point
United States Military Academy, West Point, NY, opened in 1802; see AMW to JW, 10 June 1851, #06396.

4.  Mrs Bartlett
Harriet Bartlett, née Whitehorne, wife of Prof. W. H. C. Bartlett.

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

6.  George
George William Whistler (1822-1869), engineer, JW's half-brother [more]

7.  Dom Ritter
Dom Ritter, AMW's residence in St Petersburg, Russia, situated across the river from the Academy of Fine Arts.

8.  bone
JW drew Boning and Not Boning in Cadet Colquitt's Mathematics Notebook (M.98), p. 4. AMW asked JW repetitively to 'bone' with success for a furlogh; see AMW to JW, 10 and 11 February [1852], #06410; 11 and 13 April 1853, AMW to JW, #06427; AMW to JW, 11 and 13 April 1853, #06427.

9.  Williams bridge
Williams Bridge, now in the upper edge of the Borough of the Bronx, New York. In 1845 an application to the New York Legislature for a charter was successfully opposed by the New York & Harlem Railroad and the Westchester Turnpike Company. To overcome the first obstacle, the New York and New Haven Railroad had to agree to use the Harlem's tracks into New York City, almost on the latter's own terms, and an arrangement was made for a junction with the Harlem at or near Williams Bridge. See Alvin F. Harlow, Steelways and New England, New York, 1946, p. 181. AMW probably connects the bridge with George William Whistler here, due to the latter's professional engagement with the New York and New Haven Railroad.

10.  Mr Pophams
William Sherbrooke Popham (1793-1885), merchant [more].

11.  Uncle MacNeill
William Gibbs McNeill (1800-1853), railway engineer, AMW's brother [more].

12.  Mrs Gellibrand
Mary Tyler Gellibrand (b. 1812), née Ropes, wife of W. C. Gellibrand [more].

13.  Cozens
Cozzens hotel at West Point, NY; see AMW to JW, 6 August 1851, #06398.

14.  Newburgh line twice a week stopping at West Point
The Newburgh line was a steamship service linking New York City with Newburgh, NY; it was run by the Hudson River Steamboat Company.