Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: William L. DeLacey to Walt Whitman, [1891?]

Date: [1891?]

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01441

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: The annotation, "see note July 1, 1891," is in the hand of Horace Traubel.

Contributors to digital file: Marie Ernster, Amanda J. Axley, and Stephanie Blalock

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To Walt Whitman Esq1

I am making a collection of Autographs of the prominent and public men and women of the country.

I would esteem it a great favor if you will attach your Autograph to the enclosed card, and return to me in the within stamped envelope.

Yours, Very Respectfuly,

New York.

William Louis DeLacey (1845–1908) was a sixteen-year-old soldier in the Civil War who later became a prominent pension lawyer and a printer. He also edited the Amenia Times newspaper in Amenia, New York. He married Weltha A. Wiley in 1868, and together they had three sons, George W. DeLacey, Charles DeLacey, and William Louis DeLacey. After Weltha died in 1898, DeLacey married Anna J. Hull in 1899.


1. Whitman called this letter "the most impertinent autograph request yet." He also said of DeLacey: "Why, the fellow absolutely makes a business of it—probably gets the sheets printed by the hundreds." (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Wednesday, July 1, 1891). [back]

2. A vertical line has been drawn through this letter in blue crayon. [back]


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