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Will Wallace Harney letters

 Collection — Folder: S0594
Identifier: S0594

Scope and Contents

This collection includes six letters written by Will Wallace Harney to Henry Paret, Esq. of New York ranging from 1893 to 1894. The 1893 letters are in response to requests for his autograph and photograph for Stedman's Poets of America. The 1894 letters concern Paret's request for biographical information about Harney's uncle, William Ross Wallace. The collection also includes two of Harney's poem (undated).


  • 1893-1894


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

William "Will" Wallace Harney was born June 20, 1831 (some sources give 1832 as year of birth) at Bloomington, Indiana to John Hopkins and Martha Wallace Harney. He was named after his uncle, the famous poet William Ross Wallace. His family moved to Kentucky when he was still a child. He graduated with a law degree from Louisville College in 1855 and worked as a principal at Louisville High School before becoming a professor at the Kentucky Normal School at Lexington (1856-1858). He then went back to Louisville and worked as an editor at the Louisville Democrat (1858-1869). He married Mary Mayer Randolph (1844-1870) in 1868 and they had one son, William Randolph (1869-1939). Due to Mary's poor health, the family moved to central Florida in 1869 in hopes that the warmer climate would improve her health. Unfortunately, Mary died not long after the move, but Will stayed and lived out the rest of his life in Florida. He became a well-known journalist and poet and his writings were printed in publications across the United States. He died on March 28, 1912.

Sources: "William Wallae Harney." U.S. Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970. Accessed December 17, 2016.

Banta, R.E. comp. Indiana Authors and Their Books: 1816-1916. Crawfordsville, IN: Wabash College, 1949.

Herringshaw, Thomas William. Local and National Poets of America: With Interesting Biographical Sketches and Choice Selections from over One Thousand Living American Poets. Chicago, IL: American Publishers' Association, 1890.

Townsend, John Wilson. Kentucky in American Letters: 1784-1912. Vol. 1. Cedar Rapids, IA: Torch Press, 1913.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation on 1956/01/16.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2016/12/19 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2016/12/19 by Laura Eliason.
Will Wallace Harney letters
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.