The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 13195
Date: 12 September [1890][1]
Author: George and William Webb[2]
Place: [London]
Recipient: Sidney J. Low[3]
Place: [London]
Repository: Published
Document Type: PL[4]

To the Editor of the St. James Gazette.

SIR, -

In reply to yours[5] of yesterday's date, consultation with your solicitor will show you that you have inserted a gross libel on Mr. Whistler. Had it been inserted as it appeared in the Hawk[6] it would have been a libel still, but not so injurious as you have made it by adapting and altering. Mr. Moore's[7] motives for writing it were made clear by him, and his avowal of his shameful action which was the cause of the encounter showed Mr. Whistler to have been right. We gave you the opportunity of correcting, as far as possible, the evil you have done by a quick retraction. We shall give you one more opportunity. You took something from Mr. Moore's paper and introduced it in your own influential journal, with skilful emendations by yourself. The malice of the proceeding being obvious, and by implication falling on you, therefore it is you that must rectify the wrong. We have indicated the way which will be satisfactory to Mr. Whistler, if promptly done. Our letter said all that had to be said, and we must again ask you to insert it at once in its entirety, with ample expressions of regret. This opportunity is given to you lest the malice of some other person should have been allowed by negligence to creep in as your own. If you do not intend to adopt the course we offer, please to send us the names of your solicitors. —

Your obedient servants,


Sept. 12, 1820. [sic]

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1.  12 September [1890]
The year at the foot of the article has been mis-printed: "1820" appears instead of "1890".

2.  George and William Webb
George Webb (b. ca 1835), of G. and W. Webb. lawyer [more]; and William Webb (b. ca 1851), of G. and W. Webb, lawyer [more].

3.  Sidney J. Low
Sidney James Mark Low (1857-1932), journalist and editor of the St. James's Gazette (1888) [more].

4.  PL
#09460, #13260, #13194, #13195 and #09461 were published in 'Mr. Whistler and the St. James's Gazette', Sunday Times, 14 September 1890; and in 'Mr. Whistler and the St. James's Gazette', Whirlwind, 20 September 1890 (GUL pc 11, pp. 25, 27). An apology was printed in the St James's Gazette on 16 September 1890.

5.  yours

6.  Hawk
Hawk newspaper (see also Getscher, Robert H., and Paul G. Marks, James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent. Two Annotated Bibliographies, New York and London, 1986, pp. 44-46, B. 55).

7.  Mr. Moore's
Augustus Martin Moore (d. 1918), journalist and acting manager [more].