The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06484
Date: 10 June 1857
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[1]
Place: Stonington
Recipient: James H. Gamble[2]
Place: [Staten Island, New York]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W479
Document Type: ALS


June 10th 1857

Dear Mr Gamble

Since your proof of valuing conversation with me, in the trouble you put yourself in meeting me at Jersey City, you may have wondered at my making no communication. But you are too charitable to suspect me of being a willing defaulter. During two months after my return to the Cottage[3], there was a greater demand on my strength than was easy to meet. The suspense about my dear Willie[4] was not relieved til a fortnight since, when he availed of a smiling Providence for entering upon his course of medical study in the office & under the roof of a most exemplary friend Dr James Darrach[5] in Phila. I have two reports since then very encouraging, one came today dated Monday. It will be much more satisfactory to talk than to write of my boys, if I may spend an evening or two at Mr Wanns[6] en route to Scarsdale, I have [p. 2] always valued the overtures from your home circle & shall not be satisfied til I have seen your honored Mother[7]. My time is very limited, health requiring me to go to Richfield, Herkimer Co for the healing waters of the Sulph Springs[8], rooms being engaged there for you & my revered friend Mrs Maxwell[9], to occupy from 7th July, with me. Oh if you could take your Mother with us! the country I am told is beautiful, board is easily obtained in private families. A very nice Mrs Bailley[10] is to accommodate us, for five dollars a week, she thinks she may have other rooms, in case our friends apply, her house within five minutes walk of the Springs. If you should see Mr Aspinwall[11] please ask him to assure Mrs M I think of our prospect of being companions, as doubling my benefit. On my return to N Y shall write her how we shall proceed.

The day after Willie went to Phila, I went to visit friends in Springfield[12] Masstts who had wished to talk [p. 3] with me of Jemie[13], since their return from Paris. I enjoyed a week in their home, the scenery so very beautiful for walking, but it was under a threatening of sorrow soon darkening their bright home, I [14] alluded to the loss of Col Bainbridge[15] now alas confirmed, I wrote my sympathy today to the bereaved circle in Springfield I left it last wednesday to go to friends in Pomfret, which is quite easy of access from Worcester. I had a double motive for going there, to visit friends & my dentist, but concluded to come to my Sister[16] last saturday, to secure a quiet visit to her, & to return to Doct Williams[17] about the 22nd if the Lord smooth my way as He has done hitherto! disposing hearts to help the solitary widow & hands to be extended. I shall only come back here to take the boat to N Y, that would land me conveniently at the battery, & provided Mrs Wann expects no other guests it would be very pleasant to me to be escorted by you home in the afternoon at your usual hour of crossing. I could leave my box on board the Plymouth Rock[18] til then at Pier No. 2 N R. [ie. North River] as I must hasten over [p. 4] to Brooklyn to see my Cousin Mrs King[19] first, we have not met since her spending the winter in Georgia, her health not benefitted by it, I hope she will not feel hurt at my not as usual giving all my time to her, under her roof. I have written her that I will see her first, & again the day I leave for Scarsdale. But if my arrangement in the least interfere with your Sisters, be frank & write me here to care of Dr George E Palmer[20].

Ever truly your friend

Anna M Whistler

It[21] will be verging upon July ere I can return to N Y.

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

2.  James H. Gamble
James H. Gamble (b. 1820), clerk [more].

3.  Cottage
AMW lived intermittently at Scarsdale, NY, between c. September 1851 and November 1857, in a cottage owned by her friend Margaret Getfield Hill (1802-1881).

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

5.  Dr James Darrach
James Darrach (1828-1869), physician in Philadelphia [more]. Dr Darrach became William McNeill Whistler's preceptor in Philadelphia; see AMW to JW, 13-15 July 1857, #06485.

6.  Mr Manns
Samuel Wann (b. 1820), merchant, brother-in-law of J. H. Gamble [more].

7.  Mother
Jane Gamble (1790-1864), mother of J. H. Gamble [more].

8.  Sulph Springs
AMW visited the Richfield Sulphur Springs in July 1857; see AMW to JW, 13-15 July 1857, #06485, and AMW to Jane Wann, 15-16 July 1857, #06486.

9.  Mrs Maxwell
Mrs Maxwell, probably the mother of J. S. Maxwell.

10.  Mrs Bailley
Mrs Bailley, landlady of a boarding house at Richfield Sulphur Springs, NY.

11.  Mr Aspinwall
James Scott Aspinwall (1807-1874), merchant [more].

12.  friends in Springfield
The family of Charlotte A. Barnes (b. 1811), née Sanford, wife of James Barnes [more]; see AMW to JW, 13-15 July 1857, #06485.

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

14.  I
'I ... Springfield' added and cross written in the left margin of p. 1, in reference to this point of letter.

15.  Col Bainbridge
Colonel Henry Bainbridge (1803-1857), army officer [more]. Bainbridge was one of the victims of the explosion of the Steamer Louisiana; see AMW to JW, 13 - 15 July 1857, #06485.

16.  Sister
Catherine ('Kate') Jane Palmer (ca 1812 - d.1877), née McNeill, AMW's sister [more].

17.  Doct Williams
Lewis Williams (b. 1815), physician, of Pomfret, CT [more].

18.  Plymouth Rock
Steamer Plymouth Rock (1854), Commodore Vanderbilt (1,607 tons.); see AMW to JW, 12-15 October 1855, #06468.

19.  Mrs King
Isabella King (1805-1857), née Gibbs, cousin of AMW [more]; see AMW to James H. Gamble, 13 January 1857, #06479.

20.  Dr George E Palmer
Dr George E. Palmer (1803-1868), physician, AMW's brother-in-law [more].

21.  It
It ... N. Y.' continues in the upper margin of p. 1.