Autograph Letter Signed.
This Rhode Islander came from a line of military officers -- including his brother John Jay (1815-95), noted naval officer. Item #29372
ALS, 2pp (recto and verso), 7" X 8", New London, CT, 1858 December 3. Addressed to "Doct. Duffield" (D. Bethune Duffield, 1821-91, well known scholar and poet). Good plus. Binding traces along left margin; chip at lower left corner, not affecting text; some fold separations archivally mended on verso side. Overall clean, quite legible and not unattractive despite condition. On September 10, 1858, the 45th anniversary of the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie (fought largely by Rhode Islanders on the American side) was commemorated, with many celebrations taking place in Detroit. Here Almy writes to one of the participants in these ceremonies: "We had the great pleasure in September last of reading in the New York Times many extracts from your very grand & elegant Poem delivered in that month on the ever memorable anniversary of Perry's gallant achievement on Lake Erie." Almy asks for a copy of Duffield's poem, noting, "We do want it exceedingly. I am myself, a real genuine Rhode Islander -- proud of my State & of the glorious men who have given it its reputation. I have in my parlor, a very fine likeness of the Hero of Erie, and, besides, recollect his personal appearance well. I saw him receive the welcome of our native town (Newport) on his return from Erie. And now, Sir, will you do us the favor to furnish us with your whole Poem. If it is published in pamphlet form, we hope you will pardon us for asking for 2 copies as we want one for my Brother who is a Lt. in the Navy & who was delighted with what he read of your brilliant effort...." Interestingly, the sailing master of the brig "Somers," one of Perry's fleet, was a Rhode Islander named Thomas C. Almy -- likely a relative of William E. An intriguing piece.