The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 13271
Date: 19 January 1868
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Captain Hunter Davidson[1]
Place: Annapolis, Maryland
Repository: Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Call Number: National Art Library, PC12/6 MSL/1952/1353/4/4/1-2
Document Type: MsLc

Extract from Letter of
Captain Hunter Davidson
February 7th 1868

[p. 2]

Jany 19th.

2 Lindsey Row
Old Chelsea

My dear Capt Davidson,

I am sure you will excuse my appealing to you in a matter in which a person, of whom you doubtless care never to hear again, has attempted to do me much injury.

The man Doty[2] since my arrival in London has after much machination brought before a Club[3] a series of absurd and irrelevant charges against me one of its members! - and the hearing granted to him rested upon the position he pretended to hold in Society as formally a Capt. in the Confederate States Army and more lately Post Capt of Frigate in the Chilian Navy, and commanding the important expedition, in which you are supposed to have taken a Subordinate part. - It is intended to do me damage by means of strange assertions with reference to the Mrs. Doty[4] with whom he left Valparaiso and has since lived with.

Knowing that you yourself have been annoyed by presumption on the part of this man, and have suffered from attempted fraud, while you have had means of knowing thoroughly the falsity of Mr. Doty's assumed position, I think that you will willingly assist me with such knowledge in refuting the calumnies against [p. 3] me he has circulated; all of which would of necessity fall to the ground were the calibre of the person known. The affair in question is a réchaufé of the old story he hawked about the streets, and in the cafés in Valparaiso; and is now offered in revenge by Doty because of my having struck him, for his insolence in speaking to me on my arrival in London.

[16 dots:] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Believe me, dear Capt. Davidson with many kind remembrances
Sincerely yours

J. A. McN. Whistler

Capt. Hunter Davidson
annapolis Maryland
U. S.

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1.  Captain Hunter Davidson
Captain Hunter Davidson (1827-1913), Senate of the General Assembly of Maryland [more]. This is one of two drafts (#00802, #00803) and two copies (#00805, #13271) of a letter to Davidson, whose reply is dated 7 February 1868 (#00804). See full annotation in #00802.

2.  Doty
Captain Horace H. Doty (b. 1824 or 1825), officer of marines, specialist in signal lights and lighthouse illumination [more].

3.  Club
The Burlington Fine Arts Club was a club for artists and connoisseurs. It was founded in c. June 1866 and located at 177 Piccadilly. Its committee included William Boxall (1800-1879), portrait painter, Director of the National Gallery [more], Louis Huth (1821-1905), collector [more], Richard Fisher (d. 1890), Fellow and Curator of the Society of Painter-Etchers [more], Vittorio Emanuelle Taparelli (1816-1890), Marquis D'Azeglio, Sardinian Ambassador and collector [more] (President) and Ralph Nicholson Wornum (1812-1877), history painter [more] (Secretary).

4.  Mrs. Doty
Astive Doty (b. 1840 or 1841), née Froidure, wife of H. H. Doty [more]