The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06429
Date: 29 September [1853[1]]
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[2]
Place: Scarsdale
Recipient: JW
Place: West Point[3]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W424
Document Type: ALS

[embossed monogram:] A M W


Sept 29th Thursday

My dearest Jemie[4]

This morning tired of waiting Willies[5] return from Balt[imore], I sent a bag & bundle for you per Express to George's office[6], as he goes to West Point Saturday & Willie says he cannot now, as he is to be examined & to get his books together for entering Columbia[7] next Monday. I wish you in possession of the comfortable garments for your bed & personal wear, the cold weather has so suddenly come to make you suffer I fear. Edward Eastwick [8] spent yesterday here & mentioned you yet in summer uniform. he is a sensible fellow, I was gratified by his making the sacrifice to a youthful fancy at the Metropolitan[9], to my solitude I did my best to prove my appreciation, but the rain came down, & then after our tete a tete [sic] tea, I was unable to sit up, such a palpitation & chill & hysterical prostration, Miss M Hill[10] was sent for & staid till after breakfast, I feel weak today, so shall not write but to you I want you to send me (in the bag) the [p. 2] one linen sheet dirty or not, as I have one more here of that set & only one left, If you can find the fellow grey sock to an odd one I send to look for it, let me have the pr [i.e. pair] as you have outgrown [th]em. You will see how comfortably Mary[11] has darned the heels of the woollen socks & that there are five prs new grey cotton, two prs summer whites, A nightshirt 2 prs winter & 1 summer drawers, 2 sleeved elastic shirts, had you not better send me the two pr new summer striped drawers to take care of for you. in the bag, by George. he can bring it any time from town [when] he next comes to see me. Have you the comfortable & mattress[12] I sent last Oct? George will if he can I doubt not take you boots & a pr razors, if not Willie must at Thanks giving, had he not lingered with Jacks[13] over Sunday I should have gratified Mary by sending [p. 3] you two currant buns she made purposely for you, I hope the Ginger snaps may be as crisp as when I packed them yesterday. You will find the key of the bag in the little old leathern dressing case in the bundle with your gown. write me if all gets safely & how many collars I must make, believe me dearest Jemie no other sewing could so interest your mother, While I felt desolate, Willie lingering away, & you enlisted, I reflected sadly that my only two probably never would make my retreat their home. If you only would have bent your will to your Fathers[14]! I should have a son to cheer me, Edwd E was telling me of the native Architect who built Bartram Castle[15] realizing now an income of $10,000 per ann[um]. he remarked with your originality & classic taste you might have gained the top of the tree! but you like the army, even tho it will separate you from a widowed Mother, whose anxieties about her boys consequently undermine her now feeble health. Thank you dear Jemie for your letter, write me soon & use the stamped envelope.

[p. 4] Willie reports Mr Winans[16] speaks encouragingly about Jacks, who may next year be in the office drawing in stead of at the work bench, he is from 7 to 7 oclock there, takes his dinner in a tin can, Mary R & her husband[17] went for a fortnights visit to Balt today, I think they'll persuade Jacks to persevere, Eliza's[18] reception in the St Pauls Congregation[19] is flattering she still complains of feeling weak, she wishes me to visit B [i.e. Baltimore] & so does Mrs Winans[20], I will when I can, Aunt Kate retuned home with the Doct[21] yesterday, she so enjoyed Scarsdale, & the drive to Pelham Priory[22], Cousin Donald F[23] spent Sunday here, he has a great charge now devolving on his care, Cousin Mattie & her three children[24]! but his principles are firm & true Willie[25] will be glad of the Coat, fold it carefully & pack it snugly in the bag. he & Mary send love with mine, Write soon to your Mother

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1.  1853
Dated with reference to events mentioned in AMW's letter to James H. Gamble, 28 September 1853, #06428.

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.  Jemie
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), artist [more].

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

6.  George's office
George William Whistler (1822-1869), engineer, JW's half-brother [more]; his office was at New Haven, CT. In 1853 George was the superintendent of the New York and New Haven Railroad. During the summer period he wrote weekly for the New York Daily Times on the schedule of the Railroad. See New York Daily Times, 1 July 1853, vol. 3, no. 558.

7.  Columbia
William McNeill Whistler entered the College in October 1853; see AMW to JW, 27 August 1851, #06399.

8.  Edward Eastwick
Edward Peers Eastwick (1833-1926), son of L. A. and A. M. Eastwick [more]; see AMW to James H. Gamble, 28 September 1853, #06428.

9.  Metropolitan
Metropolitan Hotel, S. Leland, 580 Broadway. See Citizens and Stranger's Pictorial and Business Directory, New York, 1853, p. 181.

10.  Miss M Hill
Margaret Getfield Hill (1802-1881), a friend of AMW, of Scarsdale, NY [more].

11.  Mary
Mary Brennan (b. 1825), AMW's servant [more].

12.  comfortable & mattress
'Comfortable' was another word for quilt. AMW sent a 'comfortable' and a portable matress to JW on October 1852; see AMW to JW, 6 October 1852, #06421.

13.  Jacks
Patrick T. Jackson ('Jacks') McNeill (1835-1898), accountant, JW's cousin [more].

14.  your Fathers
George Washington Whistler (1800-1849), engineer, JW's father [more].

15.  native Architect who built Bartram
Samuel Sloane (1815-1884), architect [more]; he designed Bartram Hall, residence of Andrew McCalla Eastwick (1810-1879), partner in Eastwick and Harrison, locomotive manufacturers, and later in Harrison, Winans and Eastwick [more]; see AMW to JW, 15 and 16 January 1852, #06409.

16.  Mr Winans
Thomas De Kay Winans (1820-1878), locomotive engineer and collector [more].

17.  Mary R & her husband
Mary Isabella Rodewald (1823-1867), née McNeill, JW's cousin, and her husband Johann Frederick Rodewald (b. 1808).

18.  Eliza's
Probably Eliza Flagg (1830-1855), née McNeill, JW's cousin, wife of Rev. E. O. Flagg [more].

19.  St Pauls Congregation
Old Saint Paul's Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland. It was founded in 1692 as a mission of the Diocese of London.

20.  Mrs Winans
Celeste Winans (1823-1861), née Revillon, wife of Thomas De Kay Winans [more].

21.  Aunt Kate retuned home with the Doct
Catherine ('Kate') Jane Palmer (ca 1812 - d.1877), née McNeill, AMW's sister [more], and her husband Dr George E. Palmer (1803-1868), physician.

22.  Pelham Priory
'Pelham Priory' was an exclusive girls' finishing school at New Rochelle, NY.

23.  Cousin Donald F
Donald McNeill Fairfax (1821-1894), naval officer, JW's cousin [more].

24.  Cousin Mattie & her three children
Martha ('Matty') Fairfax (b. ca 1820), JW's cousin, wife of Isaiah Davenport, and their children Joseph Davenport, businessman, Potter Davenport, book keeper, and Ellen Davenport; see AMW to James H. Gamble, 28 September 1853, #06428.

25.  Willie
'Willie ... Mother' continues in the left and upper margins of p. 1.