The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Record 16 of 280

System Number: 08780
Date: [January/April 1878?][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: James Anderson Rose[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 4/56
Document Type: ALS


Dear Rose

You know me too well to suppose me ungrateful even though appearances are against me - I would have written or telegraphed at once but some personal matter of a curiously absorbant nature happened and utterly prevented my having the chance -

Child[4] withdrew the man thanks to the swell letter I brought from you - [p. 2] For the moment I am relieved and must now make some money - I am promised the loan of a printing press so shall turn out some etchings[5] -

I am so sorry about Friday - but it is quite impossible for me to have thate pleasure of making the acquaintance of Mr Todd[6] on that day because I have to be at Lords[7] in the afternoon - dine at Morris'[8] and go in the evening to four different parties - Ridiculous isn't it! and I should so much like to go with you to Fairfax House - Pray present my compliments and regrets to Mr Todd - and say that I hope he will give me another chance of accepting his kind hospitality -

Now here is something else - The Law Society or Institution[9] (I am not sure of the exact name) of which body you are doubtless a member are going to elect a new Accountant, and if you have not [p. 3] promised your vote, I wish you would give it to an old friend of mine C. J. Singleton[10] - No. 8. Staple Inn - He is a very rising man - most clever and competent - Do make a note of his name and address at once, and vote for him -


Ever, with kindest regards, and warm thanks for all the trouble you take for me,
Yours sincerely

J A McN. Whistler

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [January/April 1878?]
Dated from the reference to JW's need to make money from his etchings. The date could also be early July 1877 when JW was seen at Lords (see F. R. Leyland to JW, #02585).

2.  James Anderson Rose
James Anderson Rose (1819-1890), solicitor [more].

3.  'Whistler'
Written in J. A. Rose's hand, upside-down to the main text, at the foot of p. 1.

4.  Child
Possibly Child, solicitor or agent for C.H. Keene.

5.  etchings
The date for the hearing of JW's libel suit against John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more], was approaching (it finally took place at the High Court in London on 25-26 November 1878), and his debts were pressing. Aided by Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more], JW printed a number of etchings including Billingsgate (K.47a) and St. James's Street (K.169a).

6.  Mr Todd
Todd, a friend or employee of JW's solicitor, J. A. Rose.

7.  Lords
North London headquarters of the Marylebone Cricket Club.

8.  Morris'
Probably Philip Richard Morris (1833 or 1836-1902), painter [more].

9.  Law Society or Institution
JW was referring to the Incorporated Law Society, the governing body for the legal profession in England.

10.  C. J. Singleton
Charles James Singleton, Jr (1841-1918), accountant [more].

11.  '53'
Written in another hand, and circled, on the centre left-hand side of sheet.