UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06557
Date: 29 June [1878][1]
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[2]
Place: [Hastings]
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W550
Document Type: ALS


Saturday forenoon June 29th

Dearest Jamie

I was cheered by the 1st letter Willie[3] has had time to write me this Season. his report of you was a relief to my yearning for a letter from you. And as he told me of your decision to move soon, to your new house[4], I sent him a post card to reach him last evening begging him to lose no time in posting the key he has been keeping - to fit the large box which has a spring lock, & I am now sending two others in a note to John[5], the three long boxes are so commodious. I must not torment you by my wish that the Chalée[6] [sic] might now be sent to Helen[7]! but when you are putting your goods and chattels in their places in the new house, think of my request & that some of the books may go with the curtains & counterpane. Oh how I long to enjoy your promised visit! May be Walter W's portrait[8] may be finished before your birthday 11th July, & then you will bring me a love token of your wish to make me feel less dependent, on your best & most tender Sisters[9] care.

This moment a note of deep mourning is put in my hand from Mrs Mignot[10]! her mother's eyes were yesterday morning closed in the last sleep! & no doubt her immortal spirit was taken to the heavenly mansions[11] which our Lord & Saviour has prepared for all who believe in Him as the Resurrection & the Life[12]. I have been devoting most of my time next door, until the funeral which was on Thursday afternoon. Yesterday Mrs Gellibrand[13] [sic] [p. 2] came from Brighton & staid until 7 P M train. & as she always brings seasonable good things. I walked as far as the Murray school[14] early this morning to ask might one of the school boys (Mrs Alexanders nephew & God Son[15]) come & dine at half past one ocl. I am not likely to have a Summer Duck again to regale him with, & could not have enjoyed it alone. I have wished to shew him hospitality for her sake[.] Post time.

In haste & tender love your fond

Mother.


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Notes:

1.  29 June [1878]
Dated from Perpetual Calendar Whitaker's Almanac.

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

3.  Willie
William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more]. His letter is not extant.

4.  new house
JW moved into his newly built studio house, The White House, Tite Street in Chelsea, in c. October 1878; see Scott Baxter, Edward William Godwin and the White House, Thesis (B.A.) - Mackintosh School of Architecture, University of Glasgow, 1993.

5.  John
Probably John Cossins, JW's valet [more].

6.  Chalée
Possibly 'châle', Fr., shawl, or perhaps 'châlit', bedstead.

7.  Helen
Probably Helen ('Nellie') Euphrosyne Whistler (1849-1917), née Ellen Ionides, JW's sister-in-law [more].

8.  Walter W's portrait
See Portrait of Walter Winans (YMSM 199). The subject of the portrait was Walter Scott Winans (1840-1928), civil engineer [more]. He was related to JW through marriage.

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

10.  Mrs Mignot
Mrs Mignot, widow of Louis Rémy Mignot (1831-1870), painter [more]. JW had known Louis Mignot in Paris; see AMW to Catherine Jane Palmer, 29 October 1870, #11841.

11.  heavenly mansions
John 14.2 - 'In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.'

12.  Resurrection & the Life
John 11.25 - 'Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life.'

13.  Gellibrand
Mary Tyler Gellibrand (b. 1812), née Ropes, wife of W. C. Gellibrand [more].

14.  Murray school
Probably connected with Charlotte Murray, writer (see #06563).

15.  Alexanders
The nephew and godson of Mrs Alexander, a friend of AMW.