Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Dennis Delany Collection, 1832-1840

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, February 2012

Summary Information
Title: Dennis Delany collection
Creator: Delany, Dennis
Inclusive dates: 1832-1840
Bulk dates: 1832-1835
Extent: 16 items
This collection contains 15 letters and1 bill of lading related to Dr. Dennis Delany of Great Mills, Maryland, and St. Louis, Missouri. Henry Wells, a resident of Baltimore, Maryland, wrote 11 letters to Delany between 1832 and 1835, describing his life in Baltimore and commenting on local epidemics. The remainder of the collection is made up of 3 additional letters addressed to Delany, a letter that Delany wrote to his wife, and a bill of lading concerning goods shipped from Philadelphia to New Orleans.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1991. M-2675.4; M-2891.14.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Dennis Delany Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically.


Dennis Delany (b. 1797), originally from Baltimore, Maryland, received a medical degree before 1834 and practiced in Great Mills, Maryland, where he lived until moving to St. Louis, Missouri, in the later part of the 1830s. He and his wife, Octavia Mullanphy (ca. 1808-1876), had three children: Jane (1839-1910), Elizabeth, and John O'Fallon (b. 1841). Following Dennis Delany's death, Octavia Mullanphy Delany married Henry Boyce in 1848.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 15 letters and 1 bill of lading related to Dr. Dennis Delany of Great Mills, Maryland, and St. Louis, Missouri.

Henry S. Wells, a resident of Baltimore, Maryland, and a friend of the Delany family, wrote 11 letters to Dennis Delany between 1832 and 1835. He occasionally commented on ships arriving at Baltimore and shared news of Delany's family, including updates about a brother traveling in France and reports of the death of Delany's father on January 5, 1834. Wells also took interest in the city's health, mentioning the presence of cholera, bilious fever, and smallpox, both locally and in other cities. In two letters, he briefly mentioned political events, such as the Nullification Crisis (April 8, 1833), the failed appointments of Andrew Stevenson and Roger B. Taney (June 24, 1834), and the Baltimore Bank Riot, after which he served in a military guard (August 29, 1835). Delany also received personal correspondence from three other acquaintances. William Ward invited him to a social visit (January 23, 1833), Benedict Millburn wrote of health concerns in Washington, D.C. (April 9, 1833), and Dr. H. Morris wrote an account of the death of Delany's father (January 5, 1834). Two later items are a brief letter that Delany wrote to his wife from Louisville, Kentucky (September 20, 1838), and a partially printed bill of lading from Phineas Janney, a Philadelphia merchant, for a cask of Burgundy wine shipped to Dennis Delany via New Orleans (May 4, 1840).

Subject Terms

    • Baltimore (Md.)
    • Diseases.
    • Great Mills (Md.)
    • United States--Politics and government--1829-1837.
    • Janney, Phineas.
    • Millburn, Benedict.
    • Ward, William.
    • Wells, Henry S.
    Genre Terms:
    • Bills of lading.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   13, Small Collections  
    Dennis Delany collection [series]
    Folders   12-13  
     August 13, 1832-May 4, 1840
    Additional Descriptive Data

    Cochran, Alice Lida. The Saga of an Irish Immigrant Family: The Descendants of John Mullanphy.

    The Book of St. Louisans: A Biographical Dictionary of the Leading Living Men of the City of St. Louis and Vicinity. Second Edition. Marquis, Albert Nelson, ed. Chicago: A.N. Marquis & Company, 1912.

    United States Catholic Historical Society. Historical Records and Studies. Volume 14. Thomas F. Meehan, Stephen Farrelly, and Rev. Joseph F. Delany, eds. New York: The United States Catholic Historical Society, 1920.