The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06537
Date: 30 October [1868[1]]
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[2]
Place: London
Recipient: James H. Gamble[3]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: Whistler W531
Document Type: ALS

2 Lindsey Row,
London, S.W.

Friday night Oct 30th

My beloved Friend

Your welcome letter I received [the] night before last & after perusing it with great interest was induced to sit up late to read the enclosures, the long epistle of my dear Cronie of my Cottage[4] in Scarsdale was of such lively interest. I can imagine the mutual enjoyment in your being a guest again of the revered & beloved Mr & Mrs Popham[5] & how heartfelt the emotion in that little church[6] "set upon the hill" when the youthful Bishop[7] administers the holy rite to you! Oh what a privilige [sic] to have been that 4th of Oct[8] in the sweet hamlet of Scarsdale!

But I ought to have opened my response to your 2nd letter, by offering congratulations upon your acquisition of such a wife as you have chosen, for the pleasing impression made by Miss Wheaton at Henderson Home[9] has not be[en] effaced by, the sad changes I have passed thro since then, & you I know will [p. 2] make your Harriet as happy as a good wife surely will under a husband, whose tastes & habits are for domestic & social comfort. May God bless you in each other!

We are to hear our familiar tones in talk so soon D V - I have limited my pen to this small space, to spare my eyes for tho I seach [sic] the scriptures regularly in my lonely evenings, it is by aid of a reading glass, for I cannot wear spectacles. I am an early riser you know, but the days are too short for yeilding [sic] me leisure for selfish pursuits. Jemie[10] must be in his Studio & he works steadily & has generally to depend upon my answering for him all who wish to see or communicate with him, it is only in the evening he can go out for air, exercise & to visit friends, so I do not complain at being left alone, for he is a most tender & dutiful Son and we hope he will have more leisure, when his very large paintings[11] are advanced further[.] his health is preserved, & he is so interested in his Studies, he never complains of confinement or fatigue. Willie's[12] consulting rooms at 14 Old Burlington St, nearly three miles from here[,] he must be in, his stated hours most of the day, but he comes as often as he can to be with me.[p. 3] Willie often meets me at the Old Church close by & Jemie sometimes goes with me which is my greatest comfort. I am blest in a faithful Pastor & that I could obtain a sitting in this favorite little Church, it is so near I can get to public worship regularly. And as I was not able to do so all last winter, after an attack of Bronchitis, I try to avoid catching cold, & hope the weather may be fine when you visit Easton Square[13], that I may be permitted to exchange calls with you & your dear Harriet & as you wish me to become acquainted with your Cousins[14], tho I fear they will be disappointed in your old friend. I am too worn out to be charming as I hear my Cousin Anne Clunie[15] is[.] a neighbour of mine has been to Scotland this year & reports her as the most delightful old lady & that her grace & bright wit quite won her young people - And now I must bid you both good night & beg you to share my love & be assured of a hearty welcome when you come to London from

your affectionate Old Friend

Anna M Whistler.

My boys unite in kind remembrances to you

You must be sure to let me know by a note, when you will call to see me, that I may be sure to be in. I walk out for health & business & call upon my few friends, & occasionally go to Wimbledon Common to spend the day with the Rodewalds[16], & should be so sorry you should not find me at home for now you have a wife to bring, we must be the more considerate, tho you know I am not ceremonious -

A M W.

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1.  1868
Dated with reference to the Perpetual Calendar Whitaker's Almanac, and AMW's address; see AMW to JW, 22 January 1866, #06527.

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.  Cronie of my Cottage
Margaret Getfield Hill (1802-1881), a friend of AMW, of Scarsdale, NY [more]; she was the owner of the cottage at Scarsdale, where AMW had lived intermittently between c. September 1851 and November 1857.

5.  Mr & Mrs Popham
William Sherbrooke Popham (1793-1885), merchant [more], and his wife Jane O'Neill Hill (1793-1882), sister of Margaret G. Hill.

6.  church
St James the Less, church at Scarsdale, consecrated in June 1851; see AMW to Margaret G. Hill, 24 December 1852, #07639.

7.  Bishop
Probably Daniel Sylvester Tuttle (b. 1837), third bishop of Missouri [more]; see AMW to Jane Wann, 23 August [1867], #06534.

8.  4th of Oct
4 October 1868 was probably the date of marriage of James H. Gamble and Harriet Wheaton, at the church of St James the Less, Scarsdale, NY.

9.  Henderson Home
Henderson Home at Mohawk Valley, Herkimer County, NY, owned by Harriet Cruger (1790-1872), née Douglas, a friend of AMW [more]; see AMW to James H. Gamble, 26 March 1857, #06482.

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

11.  paintings
Possibly includes a reference to The Three Girls (YMSM 88), commissioned by Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), ship-owner and art collector [more] in 1867. JW continued to work on the painting in 1868 but never completed it to his satisfaction. It was destroyed at the time of his bankruptcy in 1879.

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

13.  Easton Square
Sic. 37 Eaton Square was the address of William Dunville (see below); see also PO Directory, 1871, p. 279.

14.  Cousins
Probably the family of William Dunville, cousin of J. H. Gamble; see AMW to Margaret Getfield Hill, 14 December 1868, #11473.

15.  Anne Clunie
Anne Clunie (b. 1793), a Scottish cousin of AMW [more].

16.  Rodewalds
Johann Frederick Rodewald (1808-1886), banker, and his wife Mary Isabella Rodewald (1823-1867), née McNeill, JW's cousin; they lived at Feldheim, Wimbledon Common.