The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06541
Date: 14 December [1867][1]
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[2]
Place: London
Recipient: Deborah Delano Haden[3]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: Whistler W535
Document Type: MsLc[4]

In my own room 8. Bolton Row[6].

Saturday morning
Dec 14

My dear Debo

I doubt not your thoughts are engaged as mine are and knowing me as you do, you will not be surprised at the result of the persecution against my son[7], impelling to write my adieu to all in your home circle as I can never again enter the door of 62 Sloane st[8], I realize now what were your Fathers[9] feelings, when I so often urged him to write you, he said it was not from lessened love to his daughter that her letters were not responded to, but from delicacy to her, as he could never mention her husband[10] in them, neither could I listen to any extenuation from you dear Debo, of his cruel persecution of Jemie, he has twisted the few leading facts he could substantiate - his trial of him before the Burlington club[11] into misrepresentations - [p. 2] the mildest term I can use - just as he did when I wrote him for the Boxall portrait[12], which after my having yielded to his request to let it remain at 62 Sloane St that he might have it copied - I at last begged to have it returned to me, he distressed me by his reply to my letter; and in his asserted that if I took my sons [sic] portrait - which I knew I had paid for in 1849 before Boxall had painted yours[13] - I must also pay £70 for my daughters as it was ordered by her father for me - I wish now I had kept his letter, but I was fearful if Jemie saw it, his contempt might be expressed, and for peace sake, I threw it in the fire as soon as I had replied to it, which I did on the instant by his footman Joseph, who had brought it with Jimies [sic] portrait to No. 7 Lindsay row, four winters ago! I should never have attended to it again, but must now, to shew that Mr Haden's imagination can carry him beyond the simple truth. I forgive him, as I do in the sight of the heartsearching God, all who have ever injured me or mine, for I pray earnestly to maintain that peace which is the boon of the Holy Spirit. You my dear Debo in your home and circle have your duties, and comforts, and tho mine [p. 3] are more concentrated they are as clearly defined. May we each be found faithful at the great day of account. Offer my love to your Mamma[14] who has ever been most kind to me, and to whom I shall ever be always gratefully attached, it would have been pleasant to me to have met her in my lodgings and in hers often, but not now! for there would always be the prohibition to our friendly intercourse and sympathy. I am quite alone, therefore can solemnly assure you this has not been prompted by either of my Sons, though I heard at breakfast from Willie[15] of the shameful proceedings[16] of last evening and that Seymours revenge was complete, he must be perfect in his own estimation, so ready to condemn.

Believe me ever your loving Mother

A. M. W.

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1.  14 December [1867]
Dated from reference to the Burlington Club and JW's quarrel with his brother-in-law Francis Seymour Haden (see below).

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

3.  Deborah Delano Haden
Deborah ('Debo' or 'Sis') Delano Haden (1825-1908), née Whistler, JW's half-sister [more].

4.  MsLc
Copy by Thomas Jeckyll (1827-1881), architectural designer [more]. Jeckyll supported JW's case before the Burlington Club Committee.

A gentlemen's club for those of literary, scientific and artistic tastes. It was located at 12 Salisbury Street, The Strand. AMW's lawyer J. A. Rose belonged to it, so she presumably got the paper from him.

6.  son
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), artist [more].

7.  62 Sloane st
London home of the Haden family.

8.  8. Bolton Row
Apparently AMW was living in private lodgings. It is unknown why AMW lived on her own, when JW had already moved to 2 Lindsey Row.

9.  Father
George Washington Whistler (1800-1849), engineer, JW's father [more].

10.  husband
Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more].

11.  Burlington club
The Burlington Fine Arts Club was a London club for professional artists, amateurs and collectors. It was founded early in 1866 and located at 177 Piccadilly.

12.  Boxall portrait
A portrait of JW by the Academician William Boxall (1800-1879), portrait painter, Director of the National Gallery [more] (W. Boxall, Portrait of J. Whistler (z76)). It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1849, and is now in the Hunterian Art Gallery; see AMW to JW, 9 and 10 March 1849, #06388, and AMW to Joseph Harrison, 25 June 1849, #07633.

13.  yours
A portrait of D. D. Haden by William Boxall, which has not been located (W. Boxall, Portrait of Deborah Delano Haden (z229)); see AMW to JW, 25 November 1851, #06407.

14.  Mamma
Probably Emma Haden, née Harrison, mother of JW's brother-in-law, F. S. Haden.

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

16.  shameful proceedings
This relates to JW's quarrel in April 1867 with Seymour Haden, over Haden's treatment of his James Reeves Traer (ca 1834 - d.1867), partner in F. S. Haden's medical practice [more]. Traer had died on a trip to Paris, allegedly in a brothel. Haden arranged for Traer's burial with what JW and his brother William regarded as unseemly haste. Haden later claimed that in the resulting confrontation JW had pushed him through a plate glass window. Both JW and Haden were members of the Burlington Fine Arts Club and in the aftermath of the Traer affair Haden campaigned for JW to be excluded from the club, having brought to its attention alleged previous incidents of assault involving JW (#02240). JW was finally expelled on 13 December.