Delahay, Mark W. (De La Hay)

Born: 1828-XX-XX Talbot County, Maryland

Died: 1879-05-08 Kansas City, Missouri

Flourished: Alton, Illinois

Alternate name: De La Hay

Born into a slaveholding family, Delahay moved to Illinois when he was young and used his ample wealth to embark on a number of business ventures. He became a newspaper writer for The Battle Ax and studied law. Delahay opened a practice with Edward D. Baker and began spending time in Springfield, where he acquainted himself with many of the state's most prominent politicians, including Abraham Lincoln. In 1853, he moved to Mobile, Alabama, to form a new law partnership. Delahay relocated to Leavenworth, Kansas Territory, two years later. A Democrat, Delahay began publishing the pro-Douglas Kansas Territorial Register but, as tensions in the territory increased, he shifted his allegiance to the Free-Soilers and eventually served as a delegate to the Topeka Convention and as Kansas' congressional delegate. Near the end of 1855, pro-slavery advocates attacked Delahay's offices while he was out of town, destroying his newspaper press. He then left Kansas for Alton, Illinois, and remained there until 1857, when he returned to the Kansas Territory and set up another newspaper, the Wyandotte Reporter. He also established a law practice and managed a hotel. Delahay again returned to Leavenworth in 1859. He campaigned for Lincoln in 1860 and earned an appointment as the surveyor-general of Kansas and Nebraska after Lincoln's election. In 1864, Lincoln appointed Delahay as judge of the U.S. Kansas District Court. That same year, he served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention.

Mary E. Delahay, "Judge Mark W. Delahay," Transactions of the Kansas State Historical Society 10 (1907-1908), 638-41.