FAIRFAX, James Reading, (Sir) (1834-1919)
James Reading Fairfax, Australian newspaper proprietor: autograph letter, signed, to a Mrs. Hahnemann, re. the Fairfaxes’ gift to her of a watercolour of the Hawkesbury River. “Ginnagulla”, Bellevue Hill, 10 March 1885.
Manuscript in ink, bifolium, 175 x 110 mm,  pages (the last blank), on the embossed letterhead of James Reading Fairfax, with his monogram and address ‘Ginnagulla, Upper Belle Vue Road’ [Bellevue Hill, Sydney]; dated 10 March 1885, the letter is addressed ‘Dear Mrs. Hahnemann’ and signed at the foot of the third side ‘Yours very sincerely, Jas. R. Fairfax’; Fairfax (who was a founding trustee, vice-president and fourth president of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales) writes about the Fairfaxes’ gift to Mrs. Hahnemann of a watercolour of the Hawkesbury River; original horizontal fold, in fine condition.
Transcript of letter:
‘Dear Mrs. Hahnemann, The reason we are late in offering you our congratulations is that Mrs Fairfax & I wanted to offer you so little [a] token of friendship in the way of a small water colour of Australian scenery that we have, after waiting, been able to get & I hope you will soon receive it. The view is taken on the Hawkesbury River and when you look at it you can think of us poor exiles in the wilds of Australia. I had the pleasure of receiving a letter from your good Father last mail. I most sincerely appreciate his kindness in writing for he fills up a very large space in my affections. Mrs Fairfax & Harold & Hubert are in the country just now [recuperating] after the heat of summer. Mary, Charles & Wilfred are here with me. I may however send you the sincerest kind regards of all our family. Believe me to remain, Yours very sincerely ,Jas R. Fairfax.’
From the wording of the letter it is apparent that the correspondent, Mrs. Hahnemann, was living in England. She can possibly be identified as Ellen Hahnemann (née Spicer, 1844-1917), the wife of English homeopathist Dr. Frederick Leopold Robert Süss Hahnemann (1826-1914).