UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
Home > On-line Edition > Transcription/Database Record

the on-line edition

System Number: 06445
Date: [November 1854[1]]
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[2]
Place: Baltimore
Recipient: JW
Place: [U S Coast Survey[3]]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W440
Document Type: ALS


[embossed monogram:] A M W

176 Preston St Bolton Terrace

Monday noon

My own precious Jemie[4]

Yours of friday so welcome did not greet me till this morning. I hope you may not have to complain of my silence again. tho I may never again know the luxury of leisure. I have been called from this by Mrs Thornton[5] our opposite neighbor of Bolton Terrace - I must tell you how I like her cordiality when you come, for now is dinner time, & the boys are to take your valise to George's[6] house this p - m as he & T Winans Esq[7] go to you tomorrow. I half hope you may accompany them back for your Thanksgiving, bring all your soiled articles, or send them in the little valise[.] I hope you'll find a snug & safe place to put away the doz mince pasties [p. 2] I have packed carefully in the top. I send your watch, have it in a watch makers hands, your knife you must not lose tho it has your name upon it dearest, I gave a paper box to our nice bakers this morning to have it filled with ginger snaps to send you, mind to keep the cover on, or they will get soft. I have a Gt Coat which I trust may alter for you, it is time you should wrap up, the plaid for vests too for you & Willie may be made up.

Cousin Donald[8] thinks he may have to go to Washington after Thanksgiving, I might be tempted just to introduce you to my old friends homes. I'm glad the Dennys[9] tea you sometimes, your nice discernment will prevent your intruding. I wonder where they [p. 3] attend church! Oh Jemie if you while trying to secure transient enjoyments, would also seek the favor of God, I should be so comforted! I awake at five to think of you, rise at six that I may secure an hours intercourse with heaven & my prayer is daily that you may be awakened by the familiar & sacred petition taught at your fathers[10] knee. "Our Father in Heaven[11]"

And now Jemie dear after dinner I close this hurried scrawl written in my dark room, so light your candle with it after extracting Mothers love from it. how thankful am I that you have no taste for lighting segars! I send you two new winter under shirts. Mary wishes to make you a new set of drawers, & for Willie[12] to have the others. Cousin[13] & Brothers & Mary[14] send you greetings, love & confide in your tender Mother


This document is protected by copyright.


Notes:

1.  November 1854
Dated with reference to Thanksgiving day. Also JW would have been in Europe in November 1855, and the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY in 1853.

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

3.  U S Coast Survey
On 7 November 1854, JW was appointed to a post in the drawing division of the US and Geodetic Survey, Washington DC; see Gordon H. Fleming, The Young Whistler 1834-66, London, 1978, pp. 109-112.

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

5.  Mrs Thornton
Mrs Thornton, AMW's neighbour in Baltimore.

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

7.  T Winans Esq
Thomas De Kay Winans (1820-1878), locomotive engineer and collector [more].

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

9.  Dennys
The family of St Clair Denny (1800-1858), army paymaster in Washington, DC [more].

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

11.  Our Father in Heaven
'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.' Matt. 6. 9-13.

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

13.  Cousin
Patrick T. Jackson ('Jacks') McNeill (1835-1898), accountant, JW's cousin [more]. Patrick lived with AMW in Baltimore for some time, after the loss of his parents.

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