Statement on Henry Leunker, October 29, 1913

Miss Jane Addams Tells of Letters Received From Leunker

Special to the Times-Democrat.

Chicago, Ill.,  Oct. 31. -- For two years Miss Jane Addams of Hull House has been receiving annoying letters from a man believed to be mentally unbalanced. When he threatened to end his life, she wired authorities in New Orleans, and "Henry Leunker" was arrested. 

"I first heard from Leunker from some city in Jamaica, the name of which I forgot, about two years ago, and since that time he has kept up a constant rain of letters," said Miss Addams.

"In the beginning his letters were fairly appealing. He appealed for sympathy and I was impressed by his apparent friendliness, so I replied to several of the letters and this apparently encouraged the man to write in a different strain.

"When I heard from Jean Gordon, who is at the head of the Charities in New Orleans, with regard to the man, I urged that he be taken into custody for the purpose of securing for him proper treatment. There is not the slightest doubt that the man is insane."

One of the letters which leads Miss Addams to believe "Leunker" mentally unbalanced follows:

"New Orleans, Sept. 16, 1913.
"826 Howard Avenue.

"My Dear Miss Addams:

"Am I dreaming or awake?

"What is going on in regard to my reputation?

"What is this talk about identification?

"Do you fix my fate without consulting me, without giving me an opportunity to defend myself personally?

"Has there ever been a man indicted, convicted and condemned fairly, who was not present in court during the whole trial?

"I beg you to tell me that I am mistaken. You know that the very moment that you give me up I shall be lost and dead.

"I do not believe these foolish and contradictory rumors. I believe only in you, and in you alone.

"Very respectfully yours,

All the residents in Hull House expressed gratification when they learned that the man was under arrest. Some of them said they feared for Miss Addams' life should the man become violent.

Item Relations


Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>