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William Darrah Kelley was born in Philadelphia on 12th April, 1814. His father died in 1816 and to help support the family Kelley began work at eleven years old. He became a jeweler's assistant but as a result of his political activities Kelley was forced to leave Philadelphia.
Kelley settled in Boston where he became a leading figure in the anti-slavery movement. He returned to Philadelphia in 1840 where he studied law. Admitted to the bar in 1841, he became deputy prosecuting attorney for Philadelphia (1845-46) and judge (1846-1856).
An active member of the Republican Party, Kelley was elected to Congress in 1861 and remained there for twenty-nine years. Kelley became associated with the Radical Republicans, a group who were not only in favour of the abolition of slavery but believed that freed slaves should have complete equality with white citizens.
This group were also critical of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, when he was slow to support the recruitment of black soldiers into the Union Army. Radical Republicans such as as Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, Benjamin Wade, William D. Kelley, Henry Winter Davis and Benjamin Butler, were also critical of Lincoln's Reconstruction Plan.
In Benjamin Wade and Henry Winter Davis, sponsored a bill that provided for the administration of the affairs of southern states by provisional governors until the end of the war. They argued that civil government should only be re-established when half of the male white citizens took an oath of loyalty to the Union. The Wade-Davis Bill was passed on 2nd July, 1864, but was vetoed by Abraham Lincoln.
However, the Radical Republicans were able to get the Reconstruction Acts passed in 1867 and 1868. Considered one of the best orators in Congress, a collection of his speeches was published in 1872. Other books by Kelley included Lincoln and Stanton (1885) and The Old South and the New (1888).
William Darrah Kelley died in Washington on 9th January, 1890. His daughter, Florence Kelley, was an important social reformer and helped form the National Consumer's League (NCL).
Kelley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Irish name Kelley has a long Gaelic heritage to its credit. The original Gaelic form of the name Kelley is O Ceallaigh or Mac Ceallaigh. These names denote descendants of Ceallach. This personal name may be derived from the word "ceallach," which means "strife."
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Early Origins of the Kelley family
The surname Kelley was first found in southwest Ireland, south of Dublin where they held a family seat from very ancient times. The Kelly surname is conjecturally descended from King Colla da Crioch, who died in 357 A.D.
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Early History of the Kelley family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kelley research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1518, 1238, 1253, 1555, 1597, 1621, 1695, 1701, 1690 and 1699 are included under the topic Early Kelley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
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Kelley Spelling Variations
Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Kelley were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Kelly, Kellie, O'Kelly, O'Killia and others.
Early Notables of the Kelley family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family at this time was Daniel MacKelly Sir Edward Kelley or Kelly, also known as Edward Talbot (1555-1597), Irish occultist and self-declared spirit medium Charles O’Kelly (1621-1695) was an Irish soldier and writer from Aughrim, County Galway and James Gilliam, also known as James Kelly, (died 1701), an English pirate active in the Indian Ocean during the 1690s and was.
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kelley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kelley migration +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Kelley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Brian Kelley, aged 20, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 
- Bryan Kelley, who landed in Maryland in 1635 
- Ailce Kelley, who landed in Virginia in 1651 
- Elizabeth Kelley, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1683 
Kelley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- David Kelley, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 
- Owen Kelley, who landed in Virginia in 1703 
- Morris Kelley, who landed in Virginia in 1714 
- Neile Kelley, who arrived in Virginia in 1723 
- William Kelley, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1763 
- . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Kelley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Walter Kelley, who landed in America in 1801 
- Phillip Kelley, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 
- Catherine Kelley, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 
- Andrew Kelley, aged 25, who landed in Massachusetts in 1812 
- John Kelley, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812 
- . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Kelley migration to Canada +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Kelley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Eunice Kelley, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
- Mary Kelley, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
- Mr. Kelley Samuel U.E. who settled in St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 
- Mr. Kelley William U.E. who settled in St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 member of the Port Matoon Association 
Kelley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- John Kelley, aged 24, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Breeze" from Dublin, Ireland
Kelley migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Kelley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Ann Kelley, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "America" on December 30, 1830, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
- Miss Ann Kelley who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Burrell" on 31st December 1831, arriving in New South Wales
- James Kelley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1837 
- Mr. John Kelley, British Convict who was convicted in Leicester, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Asiatic" on 26th May 1843, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) 
- Joseph Kelley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Theresa" in 1847 
Kelley migration to New Zealand +
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Kelley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Mr. J. Kelley, Australian settler travelling from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia aboard the ship "Bee" arriving in New Zealand in 1831 
- E. Kelley, Scottish settler travelling from Greenock aboard the ship "Robert Henderson" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 9th February 1858 
- J. Kelley, Scottish settler travelling from Greenock aboard the ship "Robert Henderson" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 9th February 1858 
- D. Kelley, Scottish settler with 4 children travelling from Greenock aboard the ship "Robert Henderson" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 9th February 1858 
- Mr. James Kelley, (b. 1818), aged 65, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Westland" arriving in Nelson, North Island, New Zealand in 1883 
Contemporary Notables of the name Kelley (post 1700) +
- William Melvin Kelley (1937-2017), prominent American novelist and short-story writer, awarded the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2008
- Frank Joseph Kelley (1924-2021), American politician, 50th Attorney General of the U.S. state of Michigan (1961-1999)
- John Henry "Jack" Kelley (1927-2020), American ice hockey coach, inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame
- Allen Charles Kelley (1937-2017), American economist from Everett, Washington, James B. Duke Professor of Economics at Duke University
- Gorden Bond Kelley (1938-2015), American NFL football linebacker who played from 1960 to 1965
- Earl Allen Kelley (1932-2016), American gold medalist basketball player at the 1960 Summer Olympics
- Thomas Henry Kelley (1944-2015), American former Major League Baseball pitcher
- Mark Kelley, Canadian Gemini Award winning television journalist with CBC News
- Shawn Andrew Kelley (b. 1984), American Major League Baseball relief pitcher
- Harold Kelley, Australian rugby league footballer in the New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership in the early 1900s
- . (Another 206 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Historic Events for the Kelley family +
- Mr. Bruce K. Kelley, American Lieutenant Commander working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he survived the sinking 
- Mr. James Dennis Kelley, American Shipfitter Third Class from Oklahoma, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking 
Related Stories +
The Kelley Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Turris Fortis Mihi Deus
Motto Translation: God is a strong tower to me.
Tomorrow, 11/15, is Publication Day for “A Different Drummer” in the Netherlands. The beautiful cover art is from Romare Bearden’s “Southern Recollections”series.
We keep saying we are “overjoyed,” “overwhelmed,” “grateful” for the attention WMK is receiving, but these words are truly inadequate.
“An entire class of literature students could write their master’s theses on A Different Drummer. It is a multi-faceted book: grim fairy tale, a social and even activist novel, and l ast but not least, an ingenious narrative thanks to the multiple shifts in time and perspective. The read thread through all of this is the inevitable reason for the mass exodus of the black population. Read A Different Drummer and you’ll understand all too clearly why Tucker Caliban and his brothers and sisters had no choice but to leave.”
If you can read Dutch, go ahead and visit here.
TODAY , fifty six years after it’s original publication in 1962, and on what would have been his 81st Birthday, A Different Drummer is being republished by riverrun, an imprint of Quercus Books in the United Kingdom. The edition features a forward by Pulitzer Prize winner Kathryn Schulz.
Kelley is being hailed as “The Godfather of Woke” and “The Lost Giant of American Literature.”
And to us, his family, this is all surreal.
When we started this magazine in 2014 as a family, we had every intention of updating it regularly with all of our work and short pieces by Kelley. In hindsight, Kelley’s health was beginning to decline and between various hospital stays, his teaching job at Sarah Lawrence College and 3x weekly dialysis, his plate was pretty full. So the magazine lapsed.
Kelley passed away on February 1, 2017. The following year, almost to the day, The New Yorker published an essay by Kathryn Shulz, titling it “The Lost Giant of American Literature.”
It has been an absolute wildwind ever since… culminating in today.
In the weeks coming the family will solidify and update this site, adding more information about Kelley himself, as well as continuing to contribute the work we do. But in the meantime, poke around.
William Kelley - History
Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
Burke states in his "Landed Gentry" that the Kelley family may look back beyond the Conqueror, and derive themselves from the ancient Britons. The Kelley family of Devonshire, England, were probably of Celtic origin, as Irish families were settled in South Wales, Devonshire and Cornwall - descendants, it is believed, of "Fighting King Kelley," or Killie, whose manor was in the hudnred of Lifton, about six miles from Tavistvet, county Devon, and was in possession of the family from the time of Henry I. The earliest menton of the name in Irish history was A.D. 254, when Ceallach MacCormac is recorded as son of the monarch Cormac Nefadha. The King of Connaught has a son Ceallach, in 528. The Irish Archaeological Society in 1843 published "The Tribes and Customs of Hymany," in which is mention of a Chief of Hymany who lived A.D. 874, and bore the name Caellaigh his grandson Muechadlo O'Callaigh was the firs to use this surname, the law being made by the celebrated Irish King Brain Boroimbe that "every one must adopt the name of his father as a surname." Thus the grandson of Callaigh became O'Callaigh, and the name was simplied to Kelley about 1014. Queen Elizabeth requested Colla O'Kelley to discard the "O," as it tended, by keeping up the clanship in Ireland, to foster disaffection in England. In Scotland, in Fifeshire, is a district called Kellieshire, and various branches of Kelleys were dispersed through England. The most probable signification of the name is: war, debate, strife. The spelling has been much varied, but its origin is undoubtedly as given above.
Many of the name came to this country, and their descendants, are proud of the connection with the ancient Irish rather than English lines. The arms given in Ireland are: A tower triple-towered, supported by two lions rampant, or. Crest: A greyhound statent ppr. Also: Gules on a mount sert, two lions rampant and Azure in chief three estoiles argent. Crest: A hand holding by the horn a bull's head erased, or.
(I) William Kelley, descended from the above family, came from Cape Cod or Mohegan Island to Phippsburg, Maine, in the seventeenth century. He was probably a relative of the ancient jurist Judge Kelley, and also of David Kelley, of Newbury, Mass., believed to be father of Joseph Kelley, of Norwich, Connecticut, who was a seafaring man. The family records make slight mention of the Phippsburg ancestor, which omission is explained if he followed the sea and was often absent. His wife's name is not recorded.
(II) John, son of the emigrant, William Kelley, was born in Phippsburg, Maine, where he was a lifelong resident. He married (first) Mary Percy, and (second) Jannette Gilmore. He had ten children, among them sons John, William, James, Thomas and Francis.
(III) Francis, youngest son of Capt. John Kelley, was born in Phippsburg, March 7, 1802. For forty-two years he was one of the ablest shipmasters sailing from the Kennebec. He first shipped on his father's vessel when but fourteen years of age, and later entered the merchant service, rapidly acquiring a good knowledge of navigation. He was for years engaged in the North Atlantic, Mediterranean and West Indian trades, and retired late in life to his residence in Bath, Maine, where he died Aug. 8, 1892, leaving a good estate.
He married, Sept. 20, 1827, at Bath, Mary Rooke, born in Phippsburg, April 5, 1806.
1. John R., of whom further.
2. Mary, married Capt. Jiram Percy, and died aged fifty years.
3. Frances, died at Bath, aged forty-nine years.
(IV) Captain John R., eldest child of Capt. Francis and Mary (Rooke) Kelley, was born at Phippsburg, June 14, 1828, and died in Bath, Maine, May 12, 1901. He attended school first in the old stone schoolhouse in Phippsburg, and later in Woolwich. He began his seafaring career as a boy on his father's shp, at the age of sixteen. He rose rapidly through the various grades, and when only nineteen years old brought his father's ship home from New Orleans to Philadelphia. At the age of twenty-three he became master of the ship "Genoa." His career as master extended over a period of thirty-one years, and was highly successful, he having never suffered a more severe accident than the loss the the foremast of his last ship, the "Tacoma." During his career he commanded both steam and sailing vessels, his principal experience ship "Montant," which he took to the Pacific coast and navigated on a line between San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, and in the "Nevada," while plied between San Francisco and Panama. In most of the ships he sailed he was part owner, Charles Davenport and the Pattens being usually the other principal partners. His last voyage was made in the ship "Tacoma," around the Horn to San Francisco, where he left the ship and the sea in 1882, and returned to Bath, Maine.
After his return he had three ships - the "John R. Kelley," "E. F. Sawyer" and "Charles E. Moody" - built at the yards of Goss, Sawyer & Packard, and after the collapse of that firm he became in 1886 senior partner in the new firm of Kelley, Spear & Company, which launched its first vessel from the Goss & Sawyer yards in 1887, and its one hundred and sixth in 1901, a week prior to his death. In 1890 the firm was organized as the Kelley-Spear Company, incorporated, of which Capt. Kelley became president. For nineteen years prior to is death Capt. Kelley was a trustee of the People's Deposit and Savings Bank, and for ten years its president. He became president of the First National Bank in 1899, having previously served that insitution as vice-president and director. He had been president of the Sagadahoc Real Estate Association for about two years, vice-president of the Worumbo Mills for a like period, and trustee of the Old Ladies' Home for a number of years.
Capt. Kelley's extensive knowledge of maritime affairs and his integrity and fairness led to his frequent appointment as referee in admiralty cases, and his opinion was considered as a synonym for justice. He had also served as trustee of some of the largest estates ever probated in this country, and was executor of the three hundred thousand dollar estate of the late Charles E. Moody. He was managing owner of a great fleet of vessels, and had large interests of his own, but it was the responsible positions which he held which wore upon him most, and the work and worry incident to his multiplicity of duties was undoubtedly responsible for the breakdown of his spended constitution, which began, however, with a severe accident which occurred about ten years before his death. He was thrown from his sleigh and dragged by one foot behind a galloping horse over a rough, icy street for about one hundred yards. He was seriously ill for some time afterward, was left permanently lame, and suffered internal injuries the effects of which he felt to his last days.
In politics he was independent. He served the city as councilman two years, and as alderman three years. He was a Master Mason, and an honorary member of Dunlap Commandery, Knights Templar.
He died May 12, 1901, and the Bath Daily Times paid him the following high tribute: "He was a thorough business man, a person of the msot sterling integrity, and a genial gentleman who will be sadly missed, not only by the business interests to which is ability and integrity were of such untold value, or by the friends to whom his hearty handshake meant so much, but by many of the less fortunate among Bathies who have been the beneficiaries of his charitableness and generosity. He sympathized with the poor, and gave largely of his substance to all who were worthy. He contributed freely to the cause of religion, and has at various times remembered the Congregational Church of Woolwich, Winter Street Congregational Church, and the People's Church of Bath, with generous contributions. Most extensive means were brought to his aid during his long and painful illness, and after every resource had been exhausted which the kind and loving hands of his family could bestow upon him, he laid down his life's work without a murmur, and Bath loses one of her grandest and noblest citizens."
Captain Kelley married, Aug. 18, 1852, Abihail P. daughter of Colonel Joshua and Abihal (Gould) Baker, of Woolwich, Maine, pioneer settlers of that town. She was educated in the Woolwich public schools, and subsequently taught school in her native town until her marriage. She was a woman of more than ordinary intelligence, a devout and consistent Christian, and for many years a leading member of the Advent church, contributing by her substance and influence largely to the prosperity of the church of which she was a devoted and enthusiastic leader. Although a quiet and unassuming disposition, she was to the last of her life a great reader, and always took a lively interest in current events. For many years a needy family enjoyed the comfort of her charity and assitance, and by them she will always be greatly missed and lovingly remembered. She died Sept. 5, 1908, and a local paper said of her: "Although she had lived far beyond the average span of life, she retained with wonderful vigor all the faculties of a richly cultivated mind and special senses, being able to read the finest type without the aid of glasses, and although she was one of those older lovable types of womanhood the number of which are passing away too rapidly from our midst. The last days of her life were very pathetic, and those who witnessed them and felt the influence of her strong Christian individuality will forever remember her beautiful interpretation of the Holy Scriptures and the doctrine of immortality."
Florence, only child of Capt. and Mrs. Kelley, now wife of G. Fred Mitchell, devotedly ministered to the widowed mother in her declining years with all the skill and comforts which affluence and loving hearts could command.
Kelley was born in 1942 and grew up in Dunkin County near Kennett, Missouri.   He had known from high school that he was gay, and he spent as much time as he could trying to learn about being gay in his local library.  Kelley also said that being from a de facto segregated town and growing up during the McCarthy Era made him interested in civil rights, and that he was a member of the ACLU while he was in high school.    Kelley said that he used to write letters to the editor against segregation. 
He attended the University of Chicago starting in 1959 for undergraduate studies.   He said that he wanted to move to this new environment to test if he was really gay, or if it was just due to his high school.  He decided he was indeed gay, and would go to the Rare Books Room at the University of Chicago to read "gay books."  He said that the first "gay book" he remembered reading there was The Homosexual in America.   It was two more years after his move to Chicago that the state legalized same-sex sexual activity.  
Kelley's parents divorced when he was in college. His mother became a recluse later in her life, and claimed that other women in her small town disliked her because of her son's gayness. His father told Kelley that he did not accept his "lifestyle," but accepted his partner Chen Ooi and let the couple come visit him and stay in his house. 
Kelley met his partner Chen Ooi at Cheeks, a gay bar in Chicago, in July 1979.   The couple was together until Kelley's death in 2015. Kelley said in an interview for younger activists that Ooi was an important part in his activism, as he both encouraged and challenged him.  Both Kelley and Ooi were involved in volunteerism throughout their lives, for gay rights issues and Asian immigration issues.  A collection at the Gerber/Hart Archives is currently named after Kelley and Ooi.  
Kelley became involved with gay activism in 1965, after he had learned of a 1964 raid on a gay bar where the police had arrested over 100 men and 6 women, and then published the arrested parties' names and home addresses.    With several others, Kelley became interested in founding a chapter of the Mattachine Society in Chicago, which became Mattachine Midwest.    He was an active member and wrote for the organization's newsletter.   After this he began to come out at college.  He came out "to the world" in 1966 on a radio broadcast that went out around all of the Midwestern United States.   He was involved with the Mattachine Society until 1970. 
In 1966, Kelley helped organize the first national gay and lesbian conference in the United States, the North American Conference of Homophile Organizations.     
After he left the Mattachine Society in 1970, Kelley formed an organization called Homosexuals Organized for Political Education, or HOPE. Shortly after he became involved with the Chicago Gay Alliance, until it ended in 1973. 
In 1973, Kelley helped create the Chicago Gay Crusader, a periodical about gay issues in Chicago and the United States.    During this time he also co-chaired the group Illinois Gays for Legislative action.  Later in the same decade Kelley also co-chaired the Illinois Gay Rights Task Force. 
In 1977 Kelley attended the first meeting with the White House about LGBT issues.     Kelley presented a paper at this meeting about issues that gay organizations had with procuring tax exemptions. 
Kelley was recognized by the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 1991.  Kelley also wrote a letter to the editor of the Chicago Reader supporting the controversial Hall of Fame. 
In 1976, Kelley began working as a legal assistant for Chuck Renslow.  At Renslow's urging, Kelley went to law school at Chicago-Kent College of law, and graduated in 1987.    Kelley wanted to go into corporate law, international law, or intellectual property law, but did not fit in well with the industry and could not get hired at any firms for these fields, possibly because he was so involved in gay activism. 
In the 1990s Kelley worked as a clerk for the Illinois Appellate Court. 
In 1988, Kelley co-founded the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association.   He was also a member of the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago, Cook County State's Attorney's Task Force on Gay and Lesbian Issues, and the National Committee for Sexual Civil Liberties, all of which mixed his interest in gay activism and the law. 
Kelley died May 17, 2015 at age 72. He died at home due to natural causes, possibly influenced by a heart condition, as he had had a heart attack years prior.    
Dr. William Donald Kelley contended this cancer protocol had a 93 percent cure rate on cancer patients, even including pancreatic cancer and liver cancer. The Kelley theory is that enzymes strip the unique protein coating off of cancer cells so the immune system can identify and kill the cancer cells.
Dr. Kelley and his practitioners treated more 33,000 patients, claiming a 93 percent success rate for those who came to him before — not after — chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. For those with a predicted life expectancy of about three months, he said that a well-designed nutritional program would yield “slightly better than a 50-50 chance of survival.” For those with a very advanced disease, given less than three months to live, he claimed a success rate between 25 and 35 percent.
Dr. Kelley highlighted the pancreas as one of the main organs in defense of cancer. Why would he say that? The pancreas works with the liver to regulate insulin (a hormone) and it produces many enzymes (more than 30) and some of them dissolve protein, such as those on the outside of cancer cells. Dr. Kelley learned this perspective from the famous embryologist John Beard, who worked at the University of Edinburgh at the turn of the 20th century. He first proposed in 1906 that pancreatic proteolytic enzymes, in addition to their well-known digestive function, represent the body’s main defense against cancer.
Dr. Kelley, and Beard before him, believed to defeat cancer you don’t create some new method of defense that does not mimic the human body, you create a method of defense that acts like the human body, and the body uses pancreatic proteolytic enzymes in the natural fight against cancer. What makes enzymes function well in the body are trace minerals and hormone balance, so Dr. Kelley designed his protocol to support both. Dr. Kelley always focused on the process of regaining homeostasis that does not entail large dosages of strange items being put into the body. What does he mean by that?
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High-dose Vitamin C can reportedly disrupt enzyme function. That is why Dr. Kelley did not use high dose Vitamin C in his protocol. He did believe the body needed to harness plant-based enzymatic function, so he endorsed and recommended high-dose juicing of specific vegetable combinations, and he worked to rebuild the glandular function of the body with glandular supplements, until the body could provide its own glandular support.
Dr. Kelley saw a close correlation between diabetes and cancer and treated both in a similar fashion. Dr. Kelley believed you had to detox the body very aggressively. He believed you could not aggressively kill cancer cells in a body already full of toxins or you contributed to a state of cachexia.
So part of his program was an aggressive detox program, done in sequence, very carefully. He said you should wait six months before doing a gallbladder flush or you may put a patient into a healing crisis they cannot handle.
The Kelley Protocol is not just taking enzymes but is a complete program. It should be combined with a major cancer treatment.
Why would it be important to combine the enzymes with another cancer treatment protocol? It should be clearly understood that the touted success the Kelley Metabolic Protocol had was with cancer patients who were newly diagnosed. Typically, cancer patients who have had significant chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery have had fewer successes, according to Dr. Kelley.
‘One Man Alone’
Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez covers many of the worst Stage IV cancer patients Dr. Kelley treated with his program. The five years of study of the Dr. Kelley program convinced Dr. Gonzalez to follow the lead of Dr. Kelley, who died on Jan. 30, 2005. His Metabolic Nutrition Group is still active, however.
Dr. Gonzalez received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in 1983. During a post graduate immunology fellowship under Dr. Robert A. Good, considered the father of immunology, he completed a research study evaluating an aggressive nutritional therapy in the treatment of advanced cancer.
In private practice in New York City from 1987, Dr. Gonzalez treated patients diagnosed with cancer and other serious degenerative illnesses. His Gonzalez protocol is based on the belief that pancreatic enzymes are the body’s main defense against cancer and can be used as a treatment.
Dr. Gonzalez’s nutritional research received substantial financial support from Proctor and Gamble and Nestlé. Results from a pilot study published in 1999 described promising results for treatment of late stage pancreatic cancer. He died July 21, 2015.
Dr. Kelley, and the current Kelley-trained doctors are fond of saying, “If you have the will to live, the faith to survive, and the intelligence to think on your own, you have a good chance of survival with the Kelley program. Healing is not for the weak of heart or those with a lack of faith.”
Written by Webster Kehr for the Cancer Tutor
The information posted above is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and are not intended as medical advice.
Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of each of the respective authors, who retain copyright as marked unless otherwise noted. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Kelley and the family of researchers and writers. We, who represent Dr. Kelley and the work that he was committed to, encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your health care professional before using products based on this content.
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“I had the privilege of going to Dr. Kelley in 1975 in Grapevine, Texas for the treatment. Here I am in 2015 at the age of 69. He was a wonderful, caring man and I credit him with the long life I have had. I am so blessed to have found him, and his wisdom and I will always be grateful.“
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The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of each of the respective authors, who retain copyright as marked unless otherwise noted. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Kelley and the family of researchers and writers. We, who represent Dr. Kelley and the work that he was committed to, encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your health care professional before using products based on this content.
The Lost Giant of American Literature
There were arrows, so we followed them. This was one afternoon last summer my partner and I had spent the day at our local public library, working steadily through breakfast and lunch and what the British would call teatime, until suddenly hunger clobbered us both and we packed up and headed out to the car. Home was maybe four miles away. In my mind, I was already constructing enormous sandwiches. The arrows appeared two miles in, lining the side of the road where, that morning, there had been nothing but marsh grass. They were shin-high, wordless, red on a white background, pointing away from the sandwiches. My partner, who is usually more hungry than I am but always more curious, swung the car into the other lane and began to follow them.
The arrows led down a state highway, across an interchange, onto a smaller road, past a barn and some grain silos, then along one of the Chesapeake Bay’s countless tributaries. A sign warned us that we were in a flood zone. My partner, who grew up one county over, remembered the place from childhood—at seven or eight, she’d had a memorable encounter in the area with a trailer full of cockatiels—but she hadn’t been there since. The arrows ended at a large gray shed with a red roof. A spray-painted sign indicated that it was open twice a month, on Saturdays, in the summer only. We parked across the street, next to a boat, and headed for the door.
Inside: boxes of fishing tackle, cans of Rust-Oleum, a ceiling-high stack of interior/exterior paint. A half-dozen washboards, a cast-iron sewing machine, signs advertising fresh eggs and Guinness and speed limits in unknown locations. Doorframes, window frames, picture frames stripped of their pictures and stacked catawampus in a corner. A wall of old license plates, a box of old flashlights, Chock full o’Nuts cans chock-full of nails. Circular saws, gate weights, drill bits, jigging bait, oyster tongs, jumbles of other farming and fishing equipment that I, having grown up suburban and landlocked, could not identify. No cross-stitched pillows here no clothes, unless you count waders no discarded chinaware—not much, in short, of the usual junk-shop bric-a-brac. A few boxes of LPs. A few old sports pennants. And, near the cash register, a single bookshelf, with a handwritten sign taped to the top: “Paperbacks, 50¢. Hardbacks, $1.”
Books I can identify. I went to browse, and spotted, first thing, a slender volume that was shelved the wrong way round—binding in, pages out. I pulled it down, turned it over, and found myself holding a beautiful clothbound first edition of Langston Hughes’s “Ask Your Mama.” I flipped it open and there on the frontispiece it said:
Inscribed especially for William Kelley
on your first visit to my house
February 19, 1962
I gawped. Then I beckoned my partner over and we gawped together. After a short-lived and entirely silent moral crisis—resolved by remembering that half the point of visiting junk stores is the possibility of stumbling on unexpected treasures—I walked over to the cash register, handed the young man behind it a dollar, and bought the book. And then, because it, too, was an arrow, I followed it.
I didn’t know who William Kelley was when I found that book but, like millions of Americans, I knew a term he is credited with first committing to print. “If You’re Woke, You Dig It” read the headline of a 1962 Op-Ed that Kelley published in the New York Times, in which he pointed out that much of what passed for “beatnik” slang (“dig,” “chick,” “cool”) originated with African-Americans.
A fiction writer and occasional essayist, Kelley was, himself, notably woke. A half century before the poet Claudia Rankine used her MacArthur “genius” grant to establish an institute partly dedicated to the study of whiteness, Kelley turned his considerable intellect and imagination to the question of what it is like to be white in this country, and what it is like, for all Americans, to live under the conditions of white supremacy—not just the dramatic cross-burning, neo-Nazi manifestations of it common to his time and our own but also the everyday forms endemic to our national culture.
Kelley first addressed these issues at length in his début novel, “A Different Drummer.” Published three weeks after that Times Op-Ed, when he was twenty-four, it promptly earned him comparisons to an impressive range of literary greats, from William Faulkner to Isaac Bashevis Singer to James Baldwin. It also got him talked about, together with the likes of Alvin Ailey and James Earl Jones, as among the most talented African-American artists of his generation.
When I read “A Different Drummer,” I understood why. Geographically, the novel is set in a small town called Sutton, outside the city of New Marsails, in an imaginary Southern state wedged between Mississippi and Alabama. Temporally, it is set in June, 1957, when a young African-American farmer named Tucker Caliban salts his fields, slaughters his horse and cow, burns down his house, and departs the state—whereupon its entire African-American population follows.
It’s a brilliant setup. Our culture has produced countless fantasies about what would have happened if the Civil War had ended differently—chiefly, if the Confederacy had won and slavery had endured. (See, e.g., “The Guns of the South,” “If the South Had Won the Civil War,” and “Underground Airlines.”) But we have a paucity of art that chooses to imagine a different outcome for the civil-rights movement, or alternate universes where African-Americans, from any era, wield not less power but more.
Appropriately, that seizure of power—the sudden refusal of African-Americans to continue living under conditions of subordination—flummoxes the white citizens of Sutton. When “A Different Drummer” opens, one of them, seeking to make sense of the recent events, recounts a harrowing story. Half slave narrative, half tall tale, it concerns a behemoth of a man, known simply as the African, who arrives one day on a slave ship, cradling a baby boy in the crook of his arm. Bound by chains held by at least twenty men, the African is led into town and sold—whereupon he whips around and, with the chains, knocks over his captors and decapitates the auctioneer: “Some folks swear . . . that the head sailed like a cannon ball through the air a quarter mile, bounced another quarter mile, and still had enough steam to cripple a horse some fellow was riding into New Marsails.” Gathering up his chains “like a woman grabs up her skirts,” the African then flees to a nearby swamp and starts conducting raids to free other slaves. Eventually, his nominal owner, led to the hideout by a traitor, kills the African and claims as his own the baby boy: Tucker Caliban’s great-grandfather.
The man who tells this tale maintains that Caliban acted as he did because “the African’s blood” resurged within him. Not all his listeners agree, but they’re hard pressed to offer a better explanation for the recent exodus, or imagine its likely consequences. Some wonder whether wages will be better or worse with a third of the population gone. Others, professing not to care about Caliban and his followers, echo the governor’s statement: “We never needed them, never wanted them, and we’ll get along fine without them.” Still others feel betrayed, in ways they can’t articulate, by the violation of a social compact whose terms they’d never previously bothered to study too closely.
Although the plot of “A Different Drummer” depends on the autonomous actions of African-Americans, the story is told exclusively through the eyes of these white townspeople. This, too, is a smart idea—a kind of fictional affirmation of the historian Lerone Bennett, Jr.,’s claim that “there is no Negro problem in America. The problem of race in America . . . is a white problem.” Moreover, it is wonderfully executed. At twenty-four, Kelley was already a strikingly confident writer, with a sense of humor reminiscent of Flannery O’Connor in stories like “Revelation”: caustic, original, efficacious. He was also a keen observer, and although his story has the emotional proportions of a myth, his sentences reliably feel like real life. Tucker Caliban’s doomed cow is “the color of freshly cut lumber” to the men watching from outside, the fire he set first appeared climbing a pair of curtains in the center of his home, then “moved on slowly to the other windows like someone inspecting the house to buy it.”
“A Different Drummer” ends in pessimism, less about the fate of black Americans than about the moral potential of white ones. Yet, thanks to it, Kelley’s career began in tremendous optimism. His was the rare first novel that makes future ones seem both inevitable and exciting—and, indeed, he went on to publish four more books in under a decade. But I wasn’t alone in being unfamiliar with them. After his early and fiery start, Kelley largely faded into obscurity—not just before our era but in his own prime. Obscurity, of course, is a common enough fate for authors. But what’s curious about Kelley is that he is seldom read today not just because of the weaknesses in his books but also because of their peculiar, discomfitting strengths.
William Melvin Kelley was born on November 1, 1937, at Seaview Hospital, a tuberculosis sanatorium on Staten Island, where his mother, Narcissa Agatha Garcia Kelley, was a patient. His father, also named William Kelley, worked for many years as an editor at the Amsterdam News, one of the oldest and most influential African-American newspapers in the nation. The paper was based in Harlem, but the family lived in a working-class Italian-American community in the Bronx, together with Kelley’s maternal grandmother, a seamstress, who was the daughter of a slave and the granddaughter of a Confederate colonel.
By his own account, Kelley grew up at a time when “striving Negroes wanted to transcend” race rather than politicize it. Typifying that impulse, his father “worked hard to eradicate all vestiges of Negroness from his voice,” and kept Countee Cullen and Paul Laurence Dunbar on the main shelves of his library while banishing Marcus Garvey to its highest reaches. Kelley, whose own voice never lost its Bronx accent, internalized this ethos young. At home, he won over the neighborhood kids with his excellent Sinatra imitation, and with his willingness, when playing Cowboys and Indians, to take on the role of Tonto. At the Fieldston School, the nearly all-white prep school he attended from first through twelfth grades, he practiced the time-honored strategy of overachieving: by his senior year, he was student-council president, captain of the track team, all-around “golden boy,” and bound for Harvard. Once there, Kelley discovered writing—which, he later recalled, “made me so happy I wasn’t going to do anything else.” He found mentors in the experimental novelist John Hawkes and the modernist poet Archibald MacLeish, and in 1960 he won the Dana Reed Prize, for the best writing by a Harvard undergraduate.
It was a high honor, but more or less the only one Kelley earned in an otherwise troubled college career. His mother died during his sophomore year, his father when he was a senior. Kelley switched majors four times, failed almost every class but his fiction courses, and dropped out of school one semester shy of graduation. He went home to his grandmother and, with considerable trepidation, confessed that he’d abandoned all his illustrious career plans and wanted to be a writer instead. She heard him out, then told him that she could not have spent seventy years making dresses if she hadn’t loved it. Two years later, Kelley published “A Different Drummer.”
Two more books followed in quick succession: a short-story collection, “Dancers on the Shore,” in 1964, and a novel, “A Drop of Patience,” in 1965. The stories are uneven, but the best of them—including “The Only Man on Liberty Street,” in which racism ruptures a complicated family, and “Not Exactly Lena Horne,” in which two retired widowers get into a small, upsetting fight—are exemplars of the form: taut and self-contained yet seemingly pulled midstream from life. The novel, meanwhile, concerns a blind jazz musician who rises to national prominence, has a doomed romance with a white woman, and subsequently suffers a nervous breakdown. It let Kelley explore not only the destructiveness of racial categories but one of his other long-standing interests as well: the primacy of sound. As a child, Kelley spent hours sitting with his grandmother while she worked, and the stories that she told him merged in his mind with the clatter of her sewing machine. In Europe, he befriended the avant-garde saxophonist Marion Brown and became part of an ongoing conversation about sound and meaning. “If things had gone another way,” he told Gordon Lish in a 1968 interview, “I would’ve been a musician.”
In retrospect, though, the most notable aspect of Kelley’s early work is its dramatis personae. Wallace Bedlow, whom we first encounter making his way toward Caliban’s farm in “A Different Drummer,” reappears in “Dancers on the Shore” as a blues singer destined for a short but brilliant career in New York, under the guidance of his brother, Carlyle. Carlyle himself then plays starring roles in Kelley’s last two novels, during the course of which he encounters Chig Dunford, a Harvard-educated aspiring writer who also débuts in the story collection. Dozens of other characters likewise reappear from tale to tale in his old age, Kelley once said, he hoped to look up at his shelves “and see that all of my books are really one big book.” Like Balzac and Faulkner, he was in the business of world-building—in his literature, but also, by then, in his life.
Kelley was seventeen when he met his future wife, Karen Gibson she was fourteen and, she told me, distinctly unimpressed. Almost a decade later, the two crossed paths again, at the Penn Relays, a weekend-long integrated track meet that drew thousands of African-American participants and spectators. By then, Kelley was finishing “A Different Drummer,” while Gibson, who had studied art at Sarah Lawrence, was planning to become a painter. She was drawn to creative types and, this time, she was dazzled by him. In 1962, they got married.
The Kelleys’ early life together was peripatetic. Gibson, who later changed her name to Aiki Kelley, was, like her husband, a product of the black bourgeoisie and eager to escape it also like him, she wanted to see more of the world before starting a family, so the couple soon decamped to Rome. A year later, they returned to the United States for the birth of their first child, Jessica, but it was a short-lived homecoming. Three days after she was born, Malcolm X was assassinated. Kelley, asked by The Saturday Evening Post to cover the subsequent murder trial, grew disgusted with the bias in the judicial system, and vowed to leave the country again: “I wouldn’t assign myself the task of announcing that our little rebellion had failed, that racism had won again for a while. Not with a young wife and a toddler depending on me and all this killing going on.”
In short order, he and Aiki packed up and moved with Jesi to Paris, where their second daughter, Cira, was born, in 1968. Initially, they planned to learn the language, then relocate somewhere in Francophone Africa to explore their roots. After a few years, though, they decided that they wanted to be closer to their relatives, and moved instead to Jamaica, where they lived for nearly a decade—William writing, Aiki making art, and both of them raising and homeschooling their daughters.
It was in Jamaica that Kelley and his family converted to Judaism. This came about because Kelley started smoking ganja with some locals behind a neighborhood chicken joint, and every day before they lit up they read aloud from the Bible. Kelley had been raised as a Christian, but his interest in Scripture surged in Jamaica, and he asked his wife to begin reading it with him. The two of them were searching for moral guidelines to help them raise their children, and they soon found what they wanted in the Pentateuch. One by one, they began shedding old traditions—bacon, Christmas, Sunday Sabbath—and adding new ones: Shabbat, Yom Kippur, a kosher kitchen.
It was always a self-directed faith neither Kelley nor anyone in his family ever joined a synagogue, and they observed a religious calendar at odds with the conventional Jewish one. Kelley excelled at self-direction, in fact. He was meticulous in all his habits—the arrangement of his shoes, the order of his pens—and writing was no exception. He worked with punch-card regularity, in an office where his desk faced the wall, so that the only world he could see was the one he was creating. He set down his first drafts in pencil, made corrections in ink, then typed up the result on a manual typewriter, whose rhythm he loved. He did this every day, week after week, month after month, until he had published two more novels. Then he kept on doing it every day thereafter—even though, after the second of those novels came out, the world all but entirely ignored him.
The epigraph to Kelley’s third novel, “dem,” is written in the International Phonetic Alphabet—written, that is, to capture the way people actually speak, even though, in doing so, it thwarts the way people usually read. “Næʊ, ləmi təljə hæʊ dəm foks lıv”: those words mark a new willingness on Kelley’s part to make things difficult for his readers, linguistically and otherwise. Translated, they read, “Now, lemme tellya how dem folks live.”
The “folks” in question are white people, and, like “A Different Drummer,” the novel focusses on a white character: Mitchell Pierce, a middling employee at an advertising agency, who grows increasingly estranged from, among other things, his job, his pregnant wife, his sense of self-worth, and reality. As such, Mitchell is a classic mid-century white antihero, the kind that can be found, in works ranging from “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” to “Portnoy’s Complaint,” exuding professional mediocrity, evading responsibility, humiliating himself sexually, and cowering in the face of his supposed inferiors: women, children, household help, members of all kinds of the putative lower classes.
Aptly, for a book about an antihero, “dem” winds its plot not through action but through passivity. Early on, Mitchell tears a hamstring and finds himself bed-bound for several weeks, during which time he develops an embarrassing addiction to a soap opera and a powerful crush on its heroine. Kelley is setting us up to think about melodrama, which “dem” is not made of but is very much about: the substitution of feelings for ethics, cheap thrills for costly experience, and simulacrum for reality. Indeed, when Mitchell happens to encounter the actress who plays his crush, he fails to grasp that she isn’t actually the TV character he worships, and then further fails, when the opportunity arises, to sleep with her.
While Mitchell is conducting this ineffectual affair, his wife is having a considerably more successful one, with a black man. When the book opens, she is pregnant with twins in an echo of the soap-opera plots Mitchell adores, one of these turns out to be fathered by her husband, the other by her lover. After the babies are born and the doctor breaks the news, Mitchell sets off to find his fellow-father and persuade him to take the dark-skinned baby.
Thus begins a kind of picaresque journey through black New York, and, in parallel, through the Bosch-like fantasy- and horror-scape of Mitchell’s racial imagination. Along the way, he encounters another desirable woman, this one black, whom he also fails to bed an African-American maid he had unjustly fired some time before her nephew, none other than Carlyle Bedlow, who pockets Mitchell’s money and serves as his poker-faced, Harlem-based guide Carlyle’s militant younger brother Mance, who refers to Mitchell as “devil” and, finally, Mitchell’s co-father, a man named Cooley, whom, it turns out, he has known all along.
The whole journey is a merciless satire on the themes of white fear, guilt, and hypocrisy, played out in the always charged language of miscegenation—only, this time, with the current of that charge reversed. One practical and emotional cornerstone of slavery was the inability of the enslaved to determine their own families. When Mitchell, cuckolded and left to raise a black man’s child as his own, realizes that his suffering is a kind of reprisal, his whiny “Why me?” is parried irrefutably by his fellow-father: Why Cooley’s great-granddaddy? Like the white characters in “A Different Drummer,” Mitchell experiences black retribution. Neither is violent—the first is a renunciation, the second a reckoning—but both are profoundly disconcerting, because they leave white characters and readers alike alone with past and present iniquities, and with the scales to measure them.
If “dem” is a strange book, it is strange in a familiar way. Part Roth, part Swift, part Twain, it is built of satire, farce, and hyperbole, all deployed in the name of moral seriousness. But Kelley’s next novel, “dunfords travels everywheres,” is strange in a strange way. When it opens, Chig Dunford is living in an imaginary European country that observes a bizarre sartorial segregation: every day, its citizens self-divide into those who wear blue clothes (Atzuoreursos) and those who wear yellow ones (Jualoreursos), groups that are strictly forbidden from mingling. While living there, Chig has a brief affair with an enigmatic fellow-expatriate named Wendy, then reunites with her on his way back to the United States, when the two find themselves sharing a steamer with a mysterious organization called The Family, and also with a cargo hold full of slaves. Meanwhile, Carlyle Bedlow is back from “dem” and up to a whole new set of tricks, including one involving a loan officer moonlighting as a limousine driver, who turns out to be—in a wonderful Bulgakov-like turn, by far the best in the book—the devil.
All this is funny, dark, smart, and extremely entertaining—except that, fifty pages in, the reader suddenly slams up against this sentence: “Witches oneWay tspike Mr. Chigyle’s Languish, n curryng him back tRealty, recoremince wi hUnmisereaducation. Maya we now go on wi yReconstruction, Mr. Chuggle? Awick now?”
Well, yes: we are now very Awick, although whether we will go on is a different question. Kelley conceived “dunfords travels everywheres” in conscious thrall to “Finnegans Wake,” and his own book is, for long stretches, similarly rough going. Kelley tells Chig’s and Carlyle’s separate stories mostly straight, but in between he grabs language by its edges and bends it as far as he can, in order to pull the bourgeois, Ivy-educated Chig and the impoverished, street-smart Carlyle into a single consciousness, made of their common national history.
Kelley had long been fascinated by the way one language can accommodate many different speakers. “Early on,” he wrote, “blessed with an ear for variations of spoken English, I realized that I lived in four linguistic worlds”: the Standard English he spoke at home the working-class Italian-American English he learned in the Bronx the heavily Latinate, slightly Yiddish English he heard at Fieldston and black English, which he regarded, like jazz, as one of the great creative contributions of African-Americans. At the same time, he was fascinated by the relationship between language and power. Tucker Caliban is taciturn almost to the point of mute. Even his wife can barely eke speech out of him, and he rejects oration and persuasion, refusing to explain, or even articulate, the beliefs behind his scorched-earth exit from the state. With one exception—a militant Northern preacher, who is voluble, dislikable, and doomed—the other black characters are likewise silent. In “dunfords,” by contrast, the black characters have plenty to say, but their voices intermittently wax incomprehensible.
That is the same problem solved two different ways. Like many who are steeped in but structurally excluded from conventional English and its canon, Kelley had doubts about its capacity to adequately express African-American life. His epigraph for “dunfords,” borrowed from Joyce, is “My soul frets in the shadow of his language.” The language he creates in its place blends the black vernacular with puns, patois, and linguistic borrowings that most readers (this one included) will struggle to identify.
The result is best read out loud—and, in fact, is nearly impossible to read any other way. It’s sometimes rewarding, since Kelley is smart and funny no matter what language he uses, but it is never easy, and it slows down a book that, in its bones, wants to be headlong and exuberant—so much so that readers can be forgiven for wanting to skip the difficult bits to get back to the plot. (And also to sentences that offer more familiar pleasures. Here as everywhere, Kelley’s straightforward prose is both plain and shining, like sunlight catching the windows of an apartment building. When the devil drives away in his limousine, Carlyle watches it “designing the fresh snow with row after row of tiny interlaced hammers, its tail-end, finally, becoming part of the shadows.”)
But simply ignoring the tough parts won’t work, of course. Kelley’s private language is difficult to decode but essential to the book, and so a determined reader must soldier on, grateful that “dunfords” is, at least, short by comparison with “Finnegans Wake.” The result is like roaring down a roller coaster with the brakes on: thrilling, frustrating, dominated by sheer sound.
William Kelley was thirty-two when “dunfords travels everywheres” appeared. He wrote constantly for the next forty-seven years, never published another book, and died a year ago, at the age of seventy-nine.
By then, Kelley had been back in his native New York for decades. He loved Jamaica, but eventually the family’s visas expired, and their relatives began hounding them to come home. In 1977, the Kelleys returned to the United States and rented a sixth-floor walkup at 125th Street and Fifth Avenue. The gentrification of Harlem had not yet begun, and their new home had an absentee slumlord, an alcoholic super, no heat, no electricity, no gas, no phone, and no lock on the door. The Kelleys bought winter clothes for the first time in a decade, together with candles, a Coleman stove, and a padlock for the door.
It wasn’t ideal, but it was all they could afford. The book advances, the speaking gigs, the magazine requests, and the university appointments had dried up, and the family had hardly any money. This was fine by Kelley, who had long since read Thoreau (“A Different Drummer” takes its title from “Walden”) and embraced the idea of voluntary poverty. By day, he kept writing, at a desk crammed below a loft bed in their tiny apartment. After midnight, when the local stores put their unsold produce in the trash, he did the family grocery shopping. “Going through the garbage at the Korean grocers didn’t embarrass him,” his daughter Jesi said. “He was utterly unafraid to be poor.”
He was also unafraid to keep writing in the absence of public encouragement. When he died, he left behind a considerable quantity of prose, including two unpublished novels. One of these, “Daddy Peaceful,” is loosely based on his own family, whom he never previously wrote about though unabashedly adored. The other, “Dis/integration,” is a meta-fiction that concerns the further adventures of Chig Dunford, and, like “The Brothers Karamazov” and “Pale Fire,” contains within it an entirely separate work: a complete novel by a white Hemingwayesque writer. That embedded novel, “Death Fall,” features no black characters at all, and describes the unravelling of a small Kansas town after a new and highly addictive drug is introduced there.
Kelley tried to publish both of these novels during his lifetime, to no avail. Eventually, in 1989, he began teaching fiction at Sarah Lawrence, and liked it enough to continue doing so for nearly three decades. But, even then, he never stopped writing. “There are artistic people who have that moment of ‘Ugh, I suck,’ ” Jesi said. “He wasn’t like that. He never got depressed. He never thought he was bad. He never doubted himself. He just didn’t understand what happened.”
What did happen? It’s difficult to say both present-day fame and posthumous reputation are elusive, mercurial, and multifactorial. Some of the downturn in Kelley’s fortunes likely had to do with the changing political climate. “We always said, we made a revolution and we lost,” Aiki Kelley said, and she believes that her husband was one casualty of that defeat as the momentum of the civil-rights movement ebbed, those with the power to make publishing decisions turned their attention elsewhere.
Meet the Family
The two brothers set up a store in Panama on the Chagres River. Unfortunately, James Kelly died in of cholera in 1851. After his brother’s death, William continued on to California where he found work as a ship builder in Benicia. In 1852, William joined the crew of the ship Ontario as a carpenter and set sail for the Mendocino Coast. He arrived in Mendocino on July 19, 1852 and began working for the California Lumber Manufacturing Company. Working his way up, William grew wealthy and his business endeavors prospered.
In 1855 William returned to Prince Edward Island and married Eliza Lee Owen. They had 4 children: Daisy, Elise, Otis, and Russell.
Elizabeth Lee Kelly (Nee: Owen) 1825-1914
Eliza Owen Kelly arrived in Mendocino on August 29, 1855. She spent the rest of her life here, raising four children and becoming a prominent member of the community. Eliza was especially generous to the Mendocino Baptist Church (which was built by her husband William). Eliza was one of the first settlers of Mendocino and was the oldest surviving pioneer. When she died her obituary appeared on the front page of the Mendocino Beacon.
Emma Shirley “Daisy” Kelly, 1859 – 1953
While married to Alexander, Daisy lived in many places, including San Francisco. Daisy witnessed the great 1906 earthquake that damaged much of the City she even helped with the extensive recovery efforts. The most important of her residences was the MacCallum House in Mendocino, now a famous inn and restaurant.
After the death of her husband in 1908, Daisy moved back to Mendocino where she became a prominent member of the community. She was also a foster mother to her niece Gwen MacCallum. Daisy was known for her interests in the local Pomo indigenous populations, flowers (especially roses), books and various charities. Daisy lived out the rest of her life in the MacCallum House in Mendocino.
Note: Following the death of William Kelly, Daisy Kelly MacCallum changed the spelling of the name, adding the “e,” sometime after her return to Mendocino in the mid 1900s
Russell Blair Kelly, 1863 – 1887
Russell was known to have generally poor health. Despite this, he traveled when his health allowed. The Mendocino Beacon even reported Russell as having almost completed building a boat called the Nancy Lee in 1881. On July 11, 1885 Russell (along with Ella Lansing) led the grand march at the School Ball.
Due to his health, Russell lived his entire life in Mendocino with his parents. Russell Blair Kelly died of tuberculosis at the age of 23. Although Russell had a short life due to his poor health, the few facts we know about him reflect that he was a poised young man of wealth.
Elise Abigail Kelly, 1866 – 1951
Elise married Louis Philippe Drexler on January 4, 1893 at the age of 27. Louis was a 55-year-old millionaire from Virginia, operating in San Francisco. Elise moved away from her native Mendocino to live in San Francisco with her new husband. When Louis died in 1899, Elise continued to live in their San Francisco home until it was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. In 1913, Elise moved into a home she built in Woodside, south of San Francisco. She eventually sold that home, building another house on Pacific Avenue in San Francisco, which she disliked until the day she died.
After the death of her husband, Elise became a prominent philanthropist and significant property owner in San Francisco. She also involved herself in local social causes including endowing the Convalescent Hospital and School for Crippled Children in Palo Alto, California.
Otis William Kelly, 1869 – 1937
Otis married Miss Annie McGuire on May 29, 1897. Together they had eight children: Lloyd “Otis” Drexler, Richard Leigh, Carroll Vincent, James Emmet, Mervin Francis, Katherine Rose, Gordon Philip, and Margaret Elise. Otis and Annie raised their children in San Francisco. This photo depicts Otis in his older years. There is only one photo of Otis as an infant, and none of him during his childhood. Otis Kelley’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren are the only surviving descendants of the William and Eliza Kelley family. Many reside in the San Francisco Bay Area.
William Kelley - History
Among the leading business men of Cadillac in days gone by none took a more active interest in the material development of the town or contributed in a greater degree to its general prosperity than the late William Kelley, a brief outline of whose career is herewith presented. Mr. Kelley was a native of Ireland, born in the month of January, 1845. When about seven years old he was brought to the United States by his father, who settled in New York, and there died shortly after his arrival, leaving his orphan son, poor and friendless, to make his own way in the world. Young William turned his hand to any honorable employment he could find and, being endowed with an independent spirit and tireless energy, he experienced little difficulty in earning a comfortable livelihood. At the breaking out of the great Rebellion he was one of the first young men in his county to tender his services to the government, enlisting early in 1861, and not long after entering the army it fell to him to take part in the bloody and disastrous battle of Bull Run. While in the thickest of the fray he fell into the hands of the enemy and was held a prisoner for eleven months, being first taken to Libby prison, Richmond, and later to Salisbury, North Carolina, where he was afterwards exchanged. Rejoining his command as soon as possible, he served to the end of the war and earned an honorable record as a soldier, participating in a number of noted campaigns and bloody battles and proving in most trying and dangerous conditions a true soldier and high-minded patriot.
On quitting the service at the cessation of hostilities Mr. Kelley returned to New York, but soon afterwards came to Michigan and settled at Greenville, where he was engaged in business until his removal, a little later, to the town of Lakeview. Meantime, on August 2, 1862, he was united in marriage to Miss Nancy Van Ness, of Greenville, daughter of George and Sarah (Hawley) Van Ness, early settlers and leading residents of that city. After remaining at Lake View until August, 1872, Mr. Kelley disposed of his interests there and removing to Clam Lake embarked in the lumber business, which he carried on quite extensively for several years, the meantime becoming actively identified with the material prosperity of the community. He made money and spent it judiciously for the improvement of the town, invested in real estate and erecting buildings, besides taking a leading part in public affairs. He was for several years a member of the local educational board, also served in the city council and in these and other official capacities was untiring in his efforts to promote the welfare of the people and advertise the advantages of Clam Lake to the outside world. In politics he was an unyielding Republican and his influence in the councils of the party made him one of its trusted and aggressive leaders in Wexford county. While a zealous politician he was naturally and wisely reluctant to leave the career he had marked out for himself for the more uncertain and less satisfactory arena of official life, hence he had no aspirations or ambitions in that direction. Mr. Kelley stood high in the esteem of the public and as a neighbor and citizen always wielded a forceful influence for the welfare of the community and made his presence felt for good in all of his relations with his fellow men. As a patron of the Presbyterian church he lived an earnest, Godfearing life and dignified his religious professions by his works of faith and labors of love. At the time of his death lie was trustee of the Cadillac Presbyterian church, the growth and prosperity of which materially and spiritually were largely due to his unfailing interests and liberal financial support. His was indeed a full and useful life, fraught with great good to his friends and to the world, and his death, which occurred in Cadillac on the 26th day of December, 1879, after a brief illness, removed from the city one of its prominent and praiseworthy citizens and leading men of affairs.
Mr. Kelley was the father of three children, the oldest of whom, a daughter by the name of Edith M., is now the wife of H. T. Morgan Edwin V., the second, is a worthy citizen of Cadillac and the youngest of the family, Helen A. married F. W. Green, inspector general of Michigan.
On this date in 1934, “the most successful and painless [execution] ever conducted at the penitentiary” claimed the life of William Cody Kelley in Colorado’s brand-new gas chamber.
Nevada had debuted this American contribution to the art of killing 10 years before. Colorado was the second state to gas a prisoner, and stood on the leading edge of gas chamber adoption during the 1930s by a half-dozen states in the American West. (… plus North Carolina.)
Kelley was condemned for bludgeoning pig-rancher Russell Browning to death with a pipe, and his otherwise forgettable case was a milestone for a reason besides the method: Kelley was the first executed in the state of Colorado without review by the state supreme court.
The reason? Dead broke, Kelley couldn’t scrape together $200 required for the appeal.
Journalist Lorena Hickok heard of Kelley’s plight and was about to front the cash when she was talked off it, on the grounds that her sticking up for a condemned murderer might throw a politically difficult light on her close friend Eleanor Roosevelt.
Hickok swallowed her principles but a later letter to the First Lady — the two had a voluminous correspondence they may well have had a romantic relationship, too — drips with Hickok’s regret.
The thing has nearly driven me crazy. How can you have any faith or hope in us if we do things like that in this supposedly enlightened age? … I feel as though we were living in the Dark Ages, and I loathe myself for not having more courage and trying to stop it, no matter what the consequences were. You would have done it. Well — I guess I’d better not think about it any more.
-From One Third Of A Nation, quoted here
While an inconceivable fortune stood between Kelley and his life, the execution materiel — a dozen acid capsules — set Colorado back just 90 cents. Such a pittance bought a killing method so reliable that “there was no cutting out of the victim’s heart, as was done after executions under the State’s old system of hanging, to make sure of death,” a gross if well–founded precaution.
Kelley’s partner in the murder, Lloyd Frady, testified against Kelley (both men claimed the other had committed the murder), and had his own death sentence commuted for his trouble. Frady was eventually released in 1949, but not before he made his fortune behind prison walls selling artsy “curio goods”. Those without the capital, as they say, get the punishment — and in this case, vice versa.