The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06503
Date: 9 [December 1858][1]
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[2]
Place: Philadelphia
Recipient: James H. Gamble[3]
Place: [Staten Island]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: Whistler W498
Document Type: ALS

1205 Arch St

Thursday eve 9th / 'Decr 1858'

Thanks for yours my dear friend recd today and for the perusal of Cousin A. C.s[4] which I now return you, I think it is right to circulate thus christian sympathy & therefore send for you to enjoy with your dear Mother & Sister[5] (hoping Mrs Maxwell[6] may be at your fireside) a letter from Harwood Perine's[7] honored Mother[8][,] aware of her anxiety for him I had sent her your kind mention of him & that you propose introducing him in your home, that she might know you - of whom she had often heard me speak - I sent her your letter written upon your return from Montreal. As I had a private opp[ortunity] for sending her some books of questions from the infants class at Sunday school which my sister Mrs Palmer[9] had volunteered me to offer me from theirs. her Pastors wife Mrs Weston[10] at Stonington the author. When you & Mrs Maxwell have read Mrs P - s letter, I must send it to my sister. Mrs Perine is so true a Christian she wishes her Sons views to be evangelical. I am glad he[11] goes oftener to 18th St. He is consciencious [sic] & pious minded & by intercourse with Xtians not confined to the Episcopal worship, yet honoring it, he will benefit[.] Thanks dear Mr Gamble for your encouragement to Jemie[12], but indeed, I think you have too many urgent claims at this season to devote to him what might save the perishing: does not your honored Mother agree in [p. 2] this view? You whose heart must be so continually touched, for it is open to Charity. I knew you would rejoice at his being at work & under home influences. I write uneasily. My right eye has daily again the blue stone[13] applied, how sensitive it is! Willie[14] read your letter and unites in love. Heaven bless you dear friends. Remember in your prayers the sons of your widowed friend.

In the truest affection yours


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1.  9 [December 1858]
'Decr 1858' was inscribed at a later date by another hand. This year is confirmed from AMW's address, and with reference to the Perpetual Calendar Whitaker's Almanac. AMW lived at 1205 Arch Street, Philadelphia from ca June 1858 to about the spring of 1860.

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

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

4.  Cousin A.C.s
Anne Clunie (b. 1793), a Scottish cousin of AMW [more].

5.  Mother & Sister
Jane Gamble (1790-1864), mother of J. H. Gamble [more], and her daughter Jane Wann (1822-1875), née Gamble, wife of S. Wann [more].

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

7.  Harwood Perine's
Thomas Harwood Perine (1830-1861), godson of AMW [more].

8.  Mother
Mary Perine (1797-1861), née Glenn, wife of D. M. Perine, Sr [more].

9.  Palmer
Catherine ('Kate') Jane Palmer (ca 1812 - d.1877), née McNeill, AMW's sister [more]; she lived at Stonington, CT.

10.  Pastors wife Mrs Weston
Mary A. Weston, née Sprague, and her husband Daniel C. Weston (b. 1815), pastor of Cavalry Episcopal Church, Stonington, CT. Mary A. Weston wrote the Cavalry Sunday School book. Information from Mary Thacher, Stonington Historical Society, CT.

11.  he
Probably Thomas Harwood Perine.

12.  encouragement to Jemie
James H. Gamble encouraged the efforts of James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), artist [more], and collected his etchings. AMW was collecting subscriptions for Twelve Etchings from Nature, 1858 (the 'French Set', K.9-11, 13-17, 19, 21, 22, 24). (excat 3); see AMW to James H. Gamble, 22 November 1868, #06540.

13.  right eye

14.  blue stone
AMW suffered from chronic eye problems; see AMW to JW, 17 August and 16 September 1857, #06487. The 'blue stone' was probably a reference to a mercury based medication, similar to the 'blue pill' often used by AMW; see #06497, #09559.

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