1919 ALS by Vaudeville Performer De Alma, “Monarch of the Banjo.”
De Alma writes to a lawyer or private detective about his separation from his wife and performing partner, Mae
Interesting letter written by vaudeville banjo performer De Alma, outlining biographical facts about his wife Mae from whom he is separated.
Writing under his real name, Geo. C. Jones, De Alma appears to be writing to Irwin P. Knipe, possibly a private detective or lawyer, possibly in Pennsylvania: “You see I think it is desertion on her part. Could I put it in your hands.”
De Alma, also known as The Gold Banjo Boy, toured throughout the world performing on his banjo. De Alma and Mae were celebrated banjo duettists. De Alma writes:
[A]t the time of my separation we [were] working together as De Alma & Mae & living apart she in her boarding house & I at my hotel. Had a business appointment one afternoon & when I called at the house the landlady informed me that she had packed up & gome to Philadelphia that was in the summer of 1914… (p)
De Alma further writes about her brothers (grocers trading as Shull Brothers) and brother-in-law, Arthur Strouse. He mentions these likely as possible leads in an investigation. De Alma also provides an address in London where he can be reached.
His letterhead suggests that, at this time, he was on tour in England. Indeed, it notes all his tours from 1914–1919 and indicates he will continue touring until 1921.
Description: 1919 ALS by Vaudeville Performer De Alma, “Monarch of the Banjo.”
Southport, likely England, February 1, 1919. 2pp. Autograph Letter Signed. 4tos. Letterhead of De Alma, Monarch of the Banjo. Folds; very good.
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