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

 loc.01441.001_large.jpg see note July 1, 1891 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, WILLIAM L. DeLACEY,2 Poughkeepsie, New York.  loc.01441.002_large.jpg

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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