The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 12946
Date: 23 September 1867
Author: B. A. Wake[1]
Place: New York
Recipient: Francis Seymour Haden[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Victoria and Albert Museum, National Art Library, London
Call Number: PC12/6 MSL/1952/1353/2/3/1-4
Document Type: ALS

Brandsby New York -

Septr 23rd 1867


Your letter of the 11th July only reached me recently, :x:[3] and with reference to Mr Whistler, I fear I cannot aid you - further than by informing you, that his conduct on board the Shannon[4] was, disgraceful - to anyone professing to be a gentleman - The Captain had occasion to stop him from being supplied with liquor, & to put him under an arrest - [p. 2] and I had myself to inflict personal chastisement on him in consequence of his having struck me in the face -

yours faithfully -

B A Wake


F Seymour Haden Esqr

[p. 3] x (no copy of wh.of this letterwas kept but which was in substance similar to that to Mr Legros[5])

S. H.'

[p. 4] 'after "recently" :x: insert - in brackets - as follows - (on finding Mr Whistler would not go out of the Club[6] Mr. Haden had written to Capt Wake much the same sort of note[7] that he had written to Mr Legros)'.

[p. 5] 'Letter from Capt. Wake RN.'

[p. 6] '3. Capt Wake RN.'

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1.  B. A. Wake
Captain Baldwin Arden Wake (1813-1880), officer in the Royal Navy [more].

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

3.  :x:
The 'x' with a dot in each angle was added by Haden, and relates to the note on p. 3, which has mostly been deleted.

4.  Shannon
The ship on which JW returned from Valparaiso to Britain in 1866. According to the Pennells, JW assaulted a black man, and was confined to his cabin (Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908, pp. 135, 142).

5.  Mr Legros
Alphonse Legros (1837-1911), painter, etcher and art teacher [more].

6.  club
The Burlington Fine Arts Club. In April 1867, JW quarrelled with Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more], over Haden's treatment of James Reeves Traer (ca 1834 - d.1867), partner in F. S. Haden's medical practice [more]. Traer died suddenly on 23 April of alcohol related causes, during a trip to Paris. Haden arranged for Traer's burial with what JW and his brother William regarded as unseemly haste. On 26 April, a violent row took place between the brothers-in-law in a Paris café and Haden fell (or allegedly was pushed by JW) 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 several alleged previous incidents of assault involving JW (JW to L. Huth, #02240). JW was expelled at a general meeting of the Club on 13 December (see JW to W. Boxall, #00498).

7.  note
Haden had written to Legros on 15 June 1867 asking for details of his quarrel with JW (#12944).