The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: politics. South Africa
Record 2 of 2

System Number: 08557
Date: [1898/1901][1]
Author: JW
Place: [Paris]
Recipient: William Heinemann[2]
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC
Document Type: ALS

'[ca. 1897]'[3]

Do write me a line and tell me what this means, and what I am to say - You know I instructed Munroes[4] to buy 10.000 fs. worth - What is this 400 f? - Shall I call and ask? -

Now I want you to find out at once if any statement or story has been going about in the London papers to the effect that "Dr. Leyds[5] has been thrashed by an Englishman"? - Of course we have seen nothing of the kind here. But I am asked in a letter from London if I have heard of Dr. Leyds' visit to the Elysée, & of his having been thrashed [p. 2] by an Englishman?!! -

This would be such a marvelous bit of the mad Podsnap[6]! and so completely in keeping with the attitude of these barbarians, to whom ruffianism and outrage [illegible] straight from the shoulder would seem to be the natural reply in their present shame and destraction!

Do find out all about this and write at once[7]. If you find any paper or account, cut out the bit and post immediately.

[butterfly signature]

Go round to your club tonight and ask -

It is odd though that the N. Y. Herald has never said a word about anything of the kind - Cannot be true? do you think?

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [1898/1901]
Dated by the reference to Dr Leyds (see below) and to Munroe's (see JW to R. Birnie Philip, 18 January, 22 October and 8 November 1901, #04785, #04817, and #04831).

2.  William Heinemann
William Heinemann (1863-1920), publisher [more].

3.  '[ca. 1897]'
Added in another hand, and apparently incorrect.

4.  Munroes
Bankers; JW was buying shares.

5.  Dr. Leyds
In 1898 to strengthen his relations with foreign powers, Kruger sent Dr W. J. Leyds (b. 1859), to Europe as a roving diplomat, representing the Transvaal government. JW supported the Boers throughout the Boer War (1899-1902). He was probably in Paris at the time of this letter.

6.  Podsnap
John Podsnap, a self-important character in Charles Dickens's Our Mutual Friend (London, 1864-65).

7.  at once
Double underlined.