The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: health (JW)
Record 1 of 172

System Number: 06355
Date: 11 July 1844
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[1]
Place: St Petersburg
Recipient: JW
Place: [St Petersburg]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W351
Document Type: ALS

[illustration:] SUNDERLAND BRIDGE[2] / DOBBS & CO, NO 8.

[p. 2] Peterhoff Road[3]

July 11 1844

My own darling James.

You know not how those lines[4] to your mother touched her heart this morning! so full of the holy sentiment of a childs affection & duty to her who ten years ago folded him with joy in a maternal embrace, her heart then as now full of thankfulness to God for the gift. Now let me pour out some of the hopes which your promises of becoming dutiful & gentle have caused to spring up in my heart. Oh how full it was when the surprise at breakfast met my eye, my tears could scarcely be restrained & had I followed the impulse of my feelings I should have left my seat to embrace you my dear, dear boy! But my heart mounted to God in thankfulness as I contrasted your healthful appearance on this birthday with your pale cheek on the last! Oh James my darling boy let me beseech you never to forget your dependence [p. 2] upon Him. If from this tenth anniversary you put off childish ways & become obedient to your parents, affectionate & submissive to your gentle Sister[5], forbearing & fond towards little Willie[6], polite & considerate in your daily conduct to all, I shall know to whom the Praise is due! Thro His holy influences I pray your life may be a source of comfort to us all. You know my hopes soar for you beyond this world. It is in your power to make your mothers heart rejoice.

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For My Dear James on his tenth birthday. his mother has nothing more to enclose than her love & may the expression of his be exhibited in his life.



1.  Anna Matilda Whistler
Anna Matilda Whistler (1804-1881), née McNeill, JW's mother [more].

Black and white engraving of Sunderland Bridge.

3.  Peterhoff Road
Peterhof was the royal suburb of St Petersburg, famous for its imposing royal residences.

4.  lines
JW's poem was sent to AMW on 10 July 1844, and sent back with a letter from AMW to JW on 10 February 1878. #06354.

5.  Sister
Deborah ('Debo' or 'Sis') Delano Haden (1825-1908), née Whistler, JW's half-sister [more].

6.  Willie
William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more].

7.  Anna
Inscribed in a red wax seal at the back of the envelope.