The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06472
Date: 30 April and 4 May [1857][1]
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[2]
Place: Scarsdale
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W467
Document Type: ALS

Thursday 30th.

I spent Sunday at Homeland, Glenn Perine[3] my charioteer so in our tete à tete [sic] we discussed Jemie. he is so charitable as to attribute no answer to his long letter[4] to you to its miscarriage. Write him at once frankly that you were glad to hear from him. And now Jemie dear I hope on my visit to go to Mr Latrobes[5] country house with Mrs P & her four young ladies[6]. I can only add all beg to be remembered to you. & that I [illegible] expect to be going on to Phil[adelphia] under Tho Winans[7] [care?]. we spend that night in Arch St & he takes us to the Scarsdale depot the next day. I have this morning heard from dear Willie[8] at Hartford he has begun a course of study preparatory to his entering upon medical study. After I have seen him on my way to Springfield as I hope to next Tuesday. I will write you all he says. he is quite well & the lingerings of wintry weather have yeilded [sic] to spring at last! Oh of those sketches of your choosing for Willie, I recd them in Phil[adelphia] from Ed Eastwick[9] & their impure train I thought it best to purify by fire! they [may] have been Artistic but they disgusted me. human imagination need not such promptings to familiarity with the snares of the pervading evil of cities, to caricature the fallen is revolting to me. I brought one or two to hand Willie as specimens & the songs with your explanations, one was the Masque colored[10]. I forget the other, but these were not indecent. Willie only fears you will be mortified, but my own dear Jemie knows his mother has always done her best to lead her boys "to keep to innocency[11]" if you laugh as you generally do at such sketches, let it be en passant, cultivate a purer taste dear Jemie & dont send to Willie any again. Mrs Winans[12] asked me if you will be offended by her sending you by Mr Latrobe some tokens of her friendship. I consented gratefully to her having a doz shirts made for you but when she hinted timidly lest she might mortify me - to sending you a trifle to spend in furniture or to better your accommodation, I did not encourage that, but she will write you.

May 4th.

And now returned to the cottage[13] I have Sisters[14] Paris report of you my dear Jemie, what a benefit her visit must have been to you. I avail of Mr Tho Winans being at the St Nicholas, to send for you by him to Balt a pr of new black cloth trowsers [sic], if they do not quite fit you can have them altered dear. Mrs Winans offered to add anything I might wish to send you, to her parcel. Ah if I could only keep you in repair as I do Willie!

Write soon thro Sis to your loving Mother


[p. 2] I came to N Y under Tho Winans care, he was very polite & kind. Mr Ames[15] the artist came on too & returns on the night of the 5th. to Balt with him to finish the three portraits. Dont you wish you could sit at your easel in the Studio[16] a new one in the fairy garden[.] I hope you mean to practise in your native land your art now being acquired. Both Mr Winans & Harrison[17] are patrons of painting! you must write each of them without delay, & do not neglect to thank Mrs W when you get her parcel. Oh Jemie how my heart yearns over you! how I pray for God to restrain you from evil & lead you to happiness!

Receive my blessing & be a blessing to your widowed Mother


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1.  30 April and 4 May [1857]
Dated with reference to the Perpetual Calendar Whitaker's Almanac, and the execution of the Winans' portraits by Joseph A. Ames; see AMW to JW, 27 April 1857, #06483.

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

3.  Homeland, Glen Perine
The home of David Maulden Perine, Sr (1796-1882), merchant [more], and his son Elias Glenn Perine (1829-1922), stockbroker [more].

4.  letter
Letter not extant; only two letters from JW to Elias G. Perine survive; see [May/July 1855], #09367 and #09368.

5.  Latrobe
John Hazlehurst Boneval Latrobe (1803-1891), lawyer, counsel for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad [more].

6.  four young ladies
Mary Perine (1797-1861), née Glenn, wife of David Maulden Perine, is the only known contact of AMW in Baltimore who had four daughters: Ann Carson Perine (1819-1919), Susan Buchanan Perine (1820-1899), Mary Glenn Perine (1822-1896), and Rebecca Young Perine (1825-1879).

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

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

9.  Ed Eastwick
Edward Peers Eastwick (1833-1926), son of L. A. and A. M. Eastwick [more].

10.  Masque colored.
The Masque (M.217) has not survived, but AMW may have objected to such subjects as Scene from Bohemian life (M.213).

11.  to keep to innocency
See AMW to James H. Gamble, 27 May 1856, #06473.

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

13.  cottage
The cottage at Scarsdale owned by Margaret Getfield Hill (1802-1881), a friend of AMW, of Scarsdale, NY [more].

14.  Sisters
Deborah ('Debo' or 'Sis') Delano Haden (1825-1908), née Whistler, JW's half-sister [more].

15.  Ames
Joseph Alexander Ames (1816-1872), portrait and genre painter [more]. J. A. Ames was working on the portraits of Ross Winans, Thomas de Kay Winans, and his wife Celeste Winans; see AMW to JW, 27 April 1857, #06483.

16.  Studio
In 1855 JW had worked in the studio at 'Alexandroffsky' in Baltimore; see AMW to JW, 24 April 1855, #06459; Thomas D. Winans to JW, 24 April 1855, #07077.

17.  Harrison
Joseph Harrison (1810-1874), jr, partner in Eastwick and Harrison, locomotive manufacturers, and later in Harrison, Winans and Eastwick [more]; he was an important art collector (see his biography).