The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06456
Date: 17 April 1855
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[1]
Place: Baltimore
Recipient: JW
Place: [Washington[2]]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W451
Document Type: ALS

Alexandroffsky Villa[3]

April 17 1855.

My own dear James.

I know this date will gratify you, & to hear I am being refreshed here while I cheer Mrs W[4]. by the crib of her 1st daughter[5], I availed of omnibusses last saturday p - m to ask after her & was welcomed by Mr W[6] with the joyful news of his boys[7] rejoicing over a little sister. Yesterday he sent me a note in the morning, his wife not so well. I offered to come, as my presence is not required at home the packing put off till Donald[8] is better able to bear the loss of home comforts - he looked so feeble Sat eve I proposed we should continue quiet a week or two longer. Virginia[9] never was amiable to me until now! I praise God for giving me the opp[ortunity] to gratify her. tear this up. I felt better yesterday than for a long time, so when Paul[10] was sent for me last eve I was prepared to cheer Mrs W. The doctor says she is much better this morn. George & Julia[11] may be detained in N Y most of this month. Jemie dear are you working[12] hard? try to win an order for lucrative just to pay off some of your debts. How are the tiny boots serving your vulnerable part? The valise arrived yesterday with so few but very dirty clothes! [p. 2] I will try to send it back for you to receive next Saturday. Is there anything in particular you wish? write me just to say you are well & that will always love, cherish & honor

your widowed Mother.

(who thinks her boys her jewels) My love to Annie[13].

I feel so for Mrs Genl Totten your play fellow[14], so suddenly taken! his race cut off by dissipation!

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

2.  Washington
AMW asks JW to give her love to Annie Denny, who lived in Washington, DC; so JW must be there.

3.  Alexandroffsky Villa
The palatial villa in Baltimore owned by Thomas De Kay Winans (1820-1878), locomotive engineer and collector [more]; see AMW to JW, 15, 16 and 18 September 1848, #06363.

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

5.  daughter
Celeste Marguerite Winans (1855-1916), later Mrs Hutton, daughter of T. and C. Winans [more].

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

7.  boys
George Winans, Ross Revillon Winans (1851-1912), and William George Winans (b. 1853), sons of C. and T. Winans. The Winans family appears in JW's drawing Thomas Winans' family (M.195).

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

9.  Virginia
Virginia ('Ginnie') Carry Fairfax (d. 1878), née Ragland, wife of D. McN. Fairfax [more]. AMW had overstayed her welcome with the Fairfaxes (she had been sharing a house with them since at least January, and her dislike of Virginia was mutual; see AMW to JW, 1 January 1855, #06448, and 21 [March 1855], #06455.

10.  Paul
Paul, a servant.

11.  George and Julia
George William Whistler (1822-1869), engineer, JW's half-brother [more], and his wife Julia de Kay Whistler (1825- 1875), née Winans.

12.  working
JW left the US Coast Survey in February, and his job at this point is not clear. He may have been painting portraits or making copies.

13.  Annie
Anna ('Annie') Harding Denny (1834 or 1838-1913), a cousin of JW, later Mrs Corcoran [more].

14.  Mrs Genl Totten your play fellow
Catlyna Totten, née Pearson, wife of General J. G. Totten, and their son Washington Totten (d. 1854).