System Number: 06479
Date: 13 January 1857
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler
Recipient: James H. Gamble
Place: [Staten Island, New York]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W474
Document Type: ALS
Tues Jan 13th 57
My dear Mr Gamble
In the prospect of visiting our Southern States at the N Year, I have been obliged to devote more attention than usual to my work table after release from household labors, thus engaged my thoughts have cherished those whose kind greetings by mail I could not answer. The question is not yet decided as to when I may join Mrs King in Georgia, but I hold myself in readiness in case of an opening. (how it admonishes me to be prepared for the final summons) My health is comparitively [sic] to last winter, good, tho the severe frost cripples me, cuts my fingers & makes sewing awkward. But how grateful after suffering! for relief from piercing N Westers! Willie was two weeks at Xmas at the Cottage & we were tete à tete in the snuggest corner we could make as he read aloud to me, while I repaired his tatters! he gave two days to Jackson McNeill at his Grandmamas 148 Jerolamon St Brooklyn, but he had to be at Trinity College Hartford on the lst to enter upon the winters term. dear Willie how I miss his companionship, he looks delicate but reports himself well & interested in his study.
[p. 2] We should have enjoyed if in our power, availing of your proffered hospitality on Staten Island. I have not since last May been to the home of a dearly loved niece at N Brighton, but hope in Summer to pay my respects in person to your honored & dear Mother. Will you offer now my respectful & cordial regards at the fire side circle of your Sister & Mr Wann. Our little hamlet is subject to change as all the world tho we seem separated from the fashionables, our ladies sewing circle cheered by its results, tho humble, the Parish school increasing under the warmer roof of Mr Popham.
A wedding & family circle there today invited me to their hospitality, but I only went to Church to witness the grouping around Miss Gertrude of fond parents, brothers - sisters, with blooming little branches, & fond friends, while our good Pastor so solemnly united her to Mr Campbell, how perfect is the marriage service of our Prayer book! it touches a sacred chord in my memory, so I sent my love & best wishes to Gertrude by [p. 3] Aunt Margaret, for I have been to no wedding feast since that in Preston, when Jemie & Willie darling lads fluttered around their only Sisters bridal & their father & I were sympathisers. I hear of my student in Paris well & doing well & of the arrival of George Whistler wife & child at St. Petersburg. You recollect the colored girl, who for the last years from decease was removed from the home of my N Hampshire friends, to an asylum for the poor & sick. When we are tete à tete dear Mr Gamble I can tell you of that child of God, a member of Christ! an inheritor of His Kingdom, she was released from suffering last Novr. 26th. I acknowledge the goodness of the Lord in ordering my spending a week at her bed side last Sept. her tones of affection echo sweetly on my heart. she loved me much. but her Saviour supremely & prayed to die to this life that she might go to Him. The tears I shed at the tidings of her death were a grateful shower. Poor Annas when I describe Elizas state to her, she says "And isn't it just like me? I want to go too! she has been suffering in bed some months, on Xmas day she invited me to meet our Pastor & Mrs O & Miss Gertrude to partake of the Communion with her. but I could not walk so far, thro the frost.
[p. 4] I am glad to report that under the roof of our patriarch (as Miss Margaret says Mr P is[)] - there are no invalids this winter, they appear remarkably well. The Hill Side Cottage for the winter is vacant. Mrs Hill has an infant Grand daughter to attract her to the city, she intends with her youngest daughter Mary to visit Phila so we have Willie as his Aunt Sarahs pet under the cottage roof, as he is happiest in Scarsdale & at Mr Olssens school. That is prospering. And now wishing you a happy New Year I will close my twilight scrawl. I do not express the wish for you see our valley in its garb of pure white. the Cottage guest chamber is freezing, but we cherish & speak of your summer visits, your last so propitious to cheer & help me on my way to Sharon. May it be so again next July if the Lord will! You enquire after the health of my Cousin Mrs King, it is yet precarious, she is at her Sisters country seat, in Georgia, if you ever have time to step in at Mr Kings office 59 Beaver St he will be glad to see you. Do you ever call at Mr Aspinwalls & if so please remember me to the dear friends there. No news lately from my sisters or of Miss Clunie. My Sister Mrs Winstanley becomes more helpless from paralysis, she cannot write even her name. Think of me
always affectionately Yr friend
Anna M Whistler
AMW visited her cousin Mary Corbett in South Bay, Charleston, SC and her brother Charles Johnson McNeill in St John's River, E. Florida in January-May 1858. See AMW to Mrs Gamble, 23 January 1858, #06493; AMW to James H. Gamble, 4 February 1858, #06494; AMW to JW, 23 March 1858, #06495, and 7 May 1858, #06496.
The cottage in which AMW lived intermittently at Scarsdale, NY between c. September 1851 and November 1857; it was owned by her friends Margaret G. and Sarah S. Hill.
Maria Margaretta Cammann ('Grandma C') (1774-1862), mother-in-law of William Gibbs McNeill [more]; her address was 148 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, New York. See Brooklyn City Directory, 1861, New York, p. 59.
12. Sister & Mr Mann
Jane Wann (1822-1875), née Gamble, and her husband Samuel Wann (b. 1820), merchant.
21. student in Paris
JW was studying at the École Impériale et Spéciale de Dessin, the state school of art, design, mathematics and architecture; see École Impériale to JW, 20 November 1855, #01013, and AMW to James H. Gamble, 4 February 1856, #06471.
22. George Whistler wife & child
George William Whistler (1822-1869), engineer, JW's half-brother [more], his wife Julia de Kay Whistler (1825-1875), née Winans, and their daughter Julia de Kay Revillon (b. 1855), née Whistler.
23. colored girl
Eliza (d. 1856), a servant of Kate Livermore [more]; see AMW to JW, 27 August 1851, #06399, and 16 September 1851, #06400, 16 November 1853, #06430, 18 November 1853, #06431, and 23 September 1856, #06476.
Probably Anna Wood, of Scarsdale, NY.
27. infant Grand daughter
Alethea Blanche Bleecker (1856-1936), daughter of J. C. and J. Bleecker.
31. Mr Kings
Ralph King (1801-1878), broker, father-in-law of W. McN. Whistler [more]; his business address was 59 Beaver Street, and his home address was 189 Henry Street, NY; see Brooklyn City Directory, 1861, New York, p. 237.
33. my sisters
AMW's sisters in Britain, Alicia Margaret Caroline McNeill (1786-1863), and Eliza Isabella Winstanley (1788-1857), née McNeill.