The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 09177
Date: 7 June 1896
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Frederick Keppel[1]
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC
Document Type: ALS[2]

St. Jude's Cottage. Heath End
Hampstead -

Sir -

I must not let the occasion of your being in town pass without acknowledging the gratuitous zeal with which you have done your best to further the circulation of one of the most curiously malignant innuendoes in the way of scurrilous half assertions it has been my fate hitherto to meet -

Mr. Brown[3] very properly sent on to [p. 2] me the pamphlet you had promptly posted to him -

Mr Pennell[4] also, I find, you had carefully supplied with a copy - and I have no doubt that with the untiring energy of the "busy" one you have smartly placed the pretty work in the hands of many another before this!

Personally I am grateful to this activity of yours - for there is no obscurity into which the journalist will not in time, pry for his paragraph - and thanks to your unexampled perseverance I have, though in a circuitous and doubtless unintended way, been enabled now to deal with the authorities of the American college[5], upon whose shelves is allowed to be officially catalogued this grotesque slander of a distinguished [p. 3] and absent country man -

Had you sent to me direct, and to me alone, the libellous little book it would have been my pleasant duty to have thanked you for the kind courtesy, and to have recognised, in the warning given, the right impulse of an honourable man -

I am, Sir, Your obedient servant

J. McNeill Whistler

June 7. 1896

This document is protected by copyright.



Frederick Keppel. Esq
6. Buckingham Street

Please forward[7]

[postmark:] HAMPSTEAD B. O / [...] / JU 8 / 96


1.  Frederick Keppel
Frederick Keppel (1845-1912), New York print dealer [more].

2.  ALS
The stationery has a deep mourning border. The letter was published in Keppel, Frederick, One Day with Whistler, New York, 1904.

3.  Mr. Brown
Ernest George Brown (1853 or 1854-1915), assistant manager at the Fine Art Society [more].

4.  Mr Pennell
Joseph Pennell (1860-1926) and his wife Elizabeth Robins Pennell (1855-1936), née Robins, JW's biographers.

5.  American college
State Board of Regents of New York; see JW to E. G. Kennedy, #09752. The bibliography to which JW objected was Forsyth, Walter Greenwood, and Joseph LeRoy Harrison, 'Guide to the Study of James Abbott McNeill Whistler,' State Library Bulletin, Bibliography No. 1, May 1895.

6.  Registered
Triple underlined.

7.  Please forward
Triple underlined.