UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06494
Date: 4 February 1858
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[1]
Place: Charleston
Recipient: James H. Gamble[2]
Place: [Staten Island]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: Whistler W489
Document Type: ALS[3]


South Bay Charleston

Feb 4th 1858

My dear friend

Your favor of the 1st reached me this morning. I am delighted at your report of the Potatoes[4], & now in return enclose an Order for the amount of expences [sic] upon the same. When you have recpt it oblige me by directing it to my Cottage friend Miss M G Hill[5] who will by my advice deposit it in my desk there among other pd bills, as she has done whenever I have enclosed them to her. The Ladies there have promptly attended to my request to send a barrel of these fine potatoes by Express to 8 Sidney Place, my neice [sic] Ida King[6] writes me how superior they are to any they can buy. Will you express to Mr Wann[7] my sense of obligation to him & offer with my thanks my best wishes for prosperity in his affairs. I [p. 2] hope your finger may soon be well, while I lament the pain & inconvenience you must suffer in the meanwhile. I "hope on[8]" about my state of health & that every new phase is to prove a benefit. Thanking the Lord for freeing me from endurance of chilling North Westers, & surrounding me by genial influences. I walk every fine day & avail of invitations to take airings with my friends & relatives. I shall reserve all remarks upon visits to Orphan Asylums &c til we are once more face to face. As to slavery at the south, I never saw servants so free to idle, the owners have the severest task & such a weight of responsibility in the care & training of such families! But it has long been my conviction [through] the Providence of our Lord that heathen Africa may be enlightened by their people of our Southern States. The galleries of all the churches are free to them & very attentive hearers they appear.

[p. 3] I listened with deep interest to one of our Missionaries from Africa, the Revd Mr Scott[9] I think - Sunday before last & gladly contributed the Epiphany Off[ering] for my dear boys[10] & self. I often wonder what is the weather in N York, so May-like is it here. The fig tree has put out leaves & figs. but some expect frost to nip the coming crop.

Gardens are being made, flower seeds, & spinach sowed. Mr King[11] remarks how mercifully the low price of fuel & provisions meet the necessities of those in adverse circumstances. I trust as you do not particularly mention your dear Sisters[12] health, it may be quite restored & that your revered mother[13] is suffering less this mild winter. My love to them both & with affectionate greetings to our "darling" Mrs Maxwell[14], thanks for her welcome letter, til I can write her. I shall be anxious to hear of this reaching you safely. Believe me

as ever faithfully & affectionately
Your friend

Anna M Whistler


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Notes:

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]; see AMW to JW, 15 December 1856, #06477.

3.  ALS
The paper bears an embossed stamp: PARIS PAPER

4.  Potatoes
In October 1857 AMW ordered a supply of potatoes imported from Ireland, through James H. Gamble; see AMW to J. H. Gamble, 8 October 1857, #06489.

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

6.   Ida King
Ida Bayard Whistler, née King (d. 1863), JW's sister-in-law [more]; her home address in New York was 8 Sidney Place.

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

8.  hope on
'Hope on, hope ever;' see AMW to JW, 22 April 1852, #06413.

9.  Revd Mr Scott
Rev. Scott, missionary in Africa; see Larry E. Tise, Proslavery: A History of the Defense of Slavery in America, 1701-1840, Athens, Georgia, 1987, p. 366.

10.  boys
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), artist [more], and his brother William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician.

11.  Mr King
Ralph King (1801-1878), broker, father-in-law of W. McN. Whistler [more].

12.  Sisters
Jane Wann (1822-1875), née Gamble, wife of S. Wann [more].

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

14.  Mrs Maxwell
Ann Maxwell (1784-1867), née Young, wife of Robert Maxwell [more].