The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 09332
Date: [June 1863/September 1865?][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: John O'Leary[2]
Place: [Dublin?]
Repository: Dublin Castle, Dublin, Eire
Call Number: Fenian Briefs 1865-9. No.I
Document Type: ALS[3]

7 Lindsey Row -
Battersea bridge
Old Chelsea

Wednesday -

Dear John -

Why do you stay away[4] like this - I have been hoping you would walk in every evening - and have expected you in vain - I have many things to tell you - Do come on Friday evening - when you will meet Pointer[5] [sic] and Du Maurier[6] and perhaps Keen[7] [sic] - or if you would rather have a quiet evening, come tomorrow to tea, when there will only be Stevens[8] [sic] of the Athenaeum[9] here -

Ever Yours -

J Whistler

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1.  [June 1863/September 1865?]
JW lived at 7 Lindsey Row between March 1863 and about January 1867. This letter probably dates from the Spring of 1863, and certainly before 15 September 1865 when O'Leary was arrested in Dublin. This letter was among documents seized at the time of his arrest. On 7 December 1865 O'Leary was found guilty of high treason and sentenced to 20 years penal servitude. Many of O'Leary's friends were arrested and JW must have been afraid of becoming involved (see Anderson, Ronald, and Ann Koval, James McNeill Whistler: Beyond the Myth, London, 1994, pp. 152-153, 155-156).

2.  John O'Leary
John O'Leary (1830-1907), Irish nationalist and journalist [more].

3.  ALS
Published in Anderson and Koval, 1994, p. 136.

4.  stay away
This may relate to O'Leary's move to Dublin in the summer of 1863, when he became chief writer and nominal proprietor of the Irish Republican Brotherhood paper, Irish people. O'Leary's involvement with the Brotherhood led to his arrest in September 1865. See Anderson and Koval, 1994, pp. 135-136.

5.  Pointer
Edward John Poynter (1836-1919), history and genre painter [more]. The mis-spelling is surprising, since JW had known Poynter as well as O'Leary since student-days in Paris.

6.  Du Maurier
George Louis Palmella Busson Du Maurier (1834-1896), author and caricaturist [more].

7.  Keen
Charles Samuel Keene (1823-1891), etcher, cartoonist and illustrator [more].

8.  Stevens
Frederick George Stephens (1828-1907), critic and PRB associate [more].

9.  Athenaeum
London based literary and scientific review. F. G. Stephens was its art critic from 1861-1901.