System Number: 08433
Date: 24 September 1898
Author: David Croal Thomson
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC
Document Type: ALcS
DARTMOUTH PARK HILL,
September 24. 1898
Dear Mr. Whistler
I have had a long hunt for the packet of cuttings connected with the Eden Trial but up to the present I have not been able to find it,
However fortunately I have found the report of the Appeal which I think you specially desire to have
Tomorrow I shall continue the search for the packet [p. 2] of cuttings, and hope to find it.
None have been pasted in my scrap books as I thought they might be.
I shall be glad to have the cutting back as I have no duplicate.
I hope you will not mind me saying, that I trust you will not bring my name into the new book in any way that might injure me personally. In my present circumstances it would be a very serious matter for me, and therefore for those depending on me [p. 3] if Sir William Eden, finding he could not touch you, were to seek to soothe his injured feelings by trying to take it out on some one else; and that some one else happened to be me.
Yours very truly
I only mention this in case in the excitement of the publication you should not have thought of it, for I know you would not knowingly
bring let me be put in a difficult position
Yours very truly
D. C. Thomson
P. S. 11.30 pm
I have found the cuttings & send them all herein.
Envelope:J McNeill Whistler Esq
c/o W. Heinemann Esq
4 Whitehall Court
2. Eden Trial
JW's dispute with Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more] over Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408), a portrait of Eden's wife. It began in February 1894 when JW, dissatisfied with his work, refused to hand it over. Eden instituted legal proceedings against him and the case was not resolved until December 1897 when JW, on appeal, was allowed by the Cour de Cassation in Paris to keep the picture.
3. new book
Whistler, James McNeill, Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly. A Valentine with a Verdict, Paris and New York, 1899 [GM, A.24]. The book contained JW's account of his quarrel with Eden. Thomson was involved in the early stages of the affair. It was Thomson to whom Eden first wrote in May 1893 to enquire what JW would charge for a portrait. Thomson replied that it would be £525 (more than Eden expected). Thomson became further involved the following year when Eden approached him to sell a portrait (not by JW) of his daughter. Thomson offered £200, subsequently increasing his offer to £250. JW got to hear of this and used the information in his appeal case in December 1897, hence Thomson's nervousness in this letter. See also Thomson to W. Heinemann, 23 September 1898, #08434 and Heinemann's reply 24 September 1898, #08430.