System Number: 06509
Date: 4 May 1860
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler
Place: New Brighton
Recipient: Deborah Delano Haden
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: Whistler W504
Document Type: ALS
friday May 4th 60
My own dear Debo,
While Auntie & Aunt Kate are talking with dear Julie R over her fine healthy infant & little prattling Julie at her happy mothers knee, I prepare this for tomorrows steamer, that you may anticipate my arrival by the same steamer I last went to England in, the Africa. Capt Shannon I am not personally acquainted with but his fame has long been extolled as a Seaman. Adolfe secured me a berth yesterday to occupy next Wednesday. I arrived last evening at Gdma C–s as invited to stay there & meet Aunt K & my friend Miss Margaret Hill. It was hard to bid adieu to dear Willie, tho he was well. he is so like your father, I know how desolate he will feel to be without a home & tender sympathiser tho only for a few months. He said "if Jim disappoints my hopes of bringing you back in the Fall Mother I shall think him indeed unkind!["] dear Willie must be devoted to hospital attendance I know, he may not even refresh himself by a visit to Brooklyn. he wishes Ida could accompany me to England to benefit her health & she would gladly do so - of course this is not my proposal tho I could not refuse to take her under my wing if her father should be persuaded to consent, he said last eve he could not spare her, much as he might wish to gratify her & he knew it would do her good & that he felt sure mine would be a tender mothers care of her. Of course, I dare not assume the responsibility of persuading him to yield to Willie's wish for her to go with me. [p. 2] At Grandma C–s I close this dear Debo at sunset. Dear Julie R sends much love to all. She was much pleased with Annie's letter to me. But now I must not be away from dear Grandmama C as Aunt K & I go a trip to Newark tomorrow, time will not admit of my going to Paterson, which I lament as I promised Phil I should. I must write Aunt Susan. I send with this a few lines of notice to Eliza Boyd at Liverpool hoping Mr B will meet me as before, tho I say to Eliza years have filled her house with branches & as Aunt A informed me in her last, John Sandland as an invalid occupied the guest chamber, of course I should expect to go to a hotel only desiring to be under his escort. Aunt A seemed to dread taxing her landlady & of course I have no wish to go to Preston except to gratify my Sister. Shall wait my reaching LPool ere I write her, as it might only excite uneasiness should she know of my being expected in the Africa. It will not be necessary my darling Debo that you take any preliminary measures, you know I must be a few days in Liverpool if the Boyds seem to expect it & for getting clean clothes &c after the voyage. I do not know anyone personally in the Africa but have always made friends. I heard in Phila from a young friend of an Aunt of hers going, who had already crossed the Atlantic twenty six times! I should not object to her in my Stateroom as I know at this crowded season I must for the first time share it with a stranger, but dear Debo I never anticipate discomfort & I have in this trip to visit you many tokens of the favor of our heavenly Father. So many things done to smooth my way. Mary Brenan's being with me during the breaking up housekeeping was a great relief. I do not think I could have gone thro it without her, then the Eastwicks making room for the furniture to save boxing it saved expense & labor. But if it be the will of [p. 3] God that we mend in health how many talks we shall have of all I leave. Of dear Willie especially! I wish dear Jemie would not delay writing him til my arrival he needs cheering, & we shall be in too great excitement for Jemie to fulfill his promise soon to write if he delays. The weather which has been stormy & cold for a fortnight has cleared off finely. The fruit trees are in bloom. How lovely the verdure of England will be to me in contrast to the sea! I have the remains of a severe cold & cough my eyes suffering from it. So with love to all. adieu[.] Heaven bless you dear Debo, Jemie, Seymour & all yours as I pray daily. Oh how grateful to God we shall be if permitted to meet in health in your home, how favored! Then shall we go to the house of prayer to worship Him & renew our vows there.
Jemie must never be too late to go there with his &
your devoted Mother
Anna M Whistler
[p. 4] If you have Eliza Boyd's address in Liverpool do write her of my having simply directed to Liverpool to the Boyds as I know not their residence or his office.
4. Julie R
Julia Catherine Rodewald (1825-1897), née McNeill, JW's cousin, wife of A. Rodewald.
5. infant & little prattling Julie
Anna Rodewald (b. 1860), and her sister Julia Rodewald (b. 1857), daughters of J. C. and A. Rodewald.
14. hospital attendance
William McNeill Whistler had recently qualified as a doctor from the Pennsylvania Medical School, Philadelphia.
19. Mr. B
Thomas Boyd, merchant, of Liverpool.
21. John Sandland
John Sandland, a relation of the Sandland family at Liverpool.
24. Seymour & all yours
Deborah Delano Haden's husband Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more] and their children Annie Harriet Haden (1848-1937), later Mrs Charles Thynne, Francis Seymour Haden (1850-1918), and Arthur Charles Haden (1852-1910), musician.